56% of Email Is Opened on a Mobile Device
Americans check their smart phones a collective 8 BILLION times a day. With 185 million smart phone users in the United States, that means the average American checks their phone 46 times a day*. According to Litmus Software, which tracks email trends, in October 2016, 56% of all email is opened on a mobile device.
In fact, 34% of email is opened through the Apple iPhone app, and 11% through the Apple iPad app. That means almost half of all emails are opened on an Apple mobile device. Gmail and Android (both owned by Google) account for another 25%.
What do all these statistics mean? If you are using email to communicate with your customers, than you should ensure the mobile capabilities of your emails!
Many customers won’t even view an email that isn’t mobile friendly. And it’s unlikely that once you’ve missed them on the initial open, that they will go back and view your email on a computer.
Here are some 3 tips to make your emails mobile ready:
1) Use a responsive email template
There are multiple templates for mobile email. Two of the simplest email formats are scalable and fluid. Both formats are similar in that they resize emails based on the width of the viewing screen. By sticking with a single-column email format, the email can look presentable in desktop, tablet or mobile form. While this is certainly preferable to a multi-column desktop format, which doesn’t scale to mobile at all, it is far from the best solution. Scalable and fluid email formats are a compromise between desktop and mobile formats, meaning they often look passable on each screen, but are unlikely to engage your customer on any platform.
With a scalable format, you need to ensure your font is big enough, and often run test emails to different devices to ensure the email is appearing correctly. Along with being time consuming, each change can improve the view on mobile while making it less ideal for desktop, or vice-versa.
A responsive email format is the best option. With this format, it is written into the code to optimize content for each screen. Images are scaled correctly, font size is adjusted, and spacing is ideal for smartphone, tablet or desktop use. You can have a dynamic format that looks engaging on a desktop, but flows well in a single column on a mobile device.
If you are using your email to market to customers, and to generate leads, it is very important to use a responsive email template. Only a small percentage of your overall email list will even open your email. When they open it, you want to be assured that they can view it on any device.
2) Less Is More
People who are on the go are unlikely to spend even 2-3 minutes reading your email. Your email should be able to be read in about a minute. Just like a newspaper article, the most important information must be first. If you don’t catch your readers’ attention in the first few sentences, it is unlikely they’ll stick around to see what else you wrote. Ideally twenty lines of text is enough. You should catch their attention in the first sentence, and give them a reason to read the rest of the email.
Your first few sentences should come before a picture on the email. Since pictures can take longer to load on mobile (or possibly not load at all), it is important to not be overly reliant on images. Three images should be the most you need on your email. If you have too many it could slow the download speed, and your email may never get opened. Lastly, add descriptions to your pictures. If your images don’t load, it is important to provide a caption below the picture so the customer knows there was a picture, and what it showed.
3) Links, Links, Links
Instead of giving all the information in your email, provide your customers links to learn more information. If you have a great sale or promotion, provide the most important information with a link to your website to learn more. This will drive traffic to your website, and ensure that your email gets read in full.
If a customer opens an email and it appears too long, they may just delete it without giving it a read at all. They want something they can easily skim in 30 seconds to one minute. Your job in crafting your email is to give your customer every reason to view and read it. If your email appears too daunting in length, that may be too high a hurdle for many customers to even begin reading it.
If you use an email platform, such as Constant Contact, you can get analytics regarding your email links. You can see how many of your customers clicked on which links, pictures and videos in your email. This is valuable information to help you determine what your customers are interested in reading.
Ideally you want to have about 20 lines of text in your email. Give your customers a reason to learn more, and then provide links to give them that important information.
Mobile Email Will Grow
Just as mobile apps have surpassed desktop programs for everything from games to banking and everything in-between, mobile email is here to stay. It is best to assume your email will be opened on a mobile device, because chances are it will be.
As you are out shopping this holiday season, pay attention to all the people that are on their phones: in line, while eating, (hopefully not while walking). Over 60% of customers use their phones while out shopping*. They’ll be checking their emails as they shop, and you want to make sure your email is ready for them.