August 24, 2022

Marketing Emails: 10 Tips for Mobile

By: Mary Hiers

Here are 10 tips for optimizing marketing emails for the mobile experience. Click on one to learn more. 

1. Minimize Bells and Whistles

2. No Links in the Email Body

3. Keep Your Subject Line Short

4. Keep Marketing Emails Themselves Brief

5. Take Full Advantage of Pre-Header Text

6. Use a Single-Column Design

7. Make Your CTA Button Large Enough

8. You Need Enough “White Space”

9. Use a Responsive Email Template

10. Test and Proofread

Marketing emails are at least as likely to appear on mobile screens as on desktop screens. If you’re still assuming your marketing emails will be read on a laptop or desktop screen, it’s time to change your thinking.

Optimize your emails for mobile and both mobile and desktop users will see it fine. Otherwise, the experience could be suboptimal for mobile users. And since at least half of people view emails on mobile devices now, that’s a lot of people to disappoint.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to optimize emails for mobile if you follow these 10 tips.

1. Minimize Bells and Whistles

GIFs, animations, and videos are great in other places and contexts. They’re not great in mobile emails, however.

Things generally load more slowly on mobile devices. Plus, these types of extras stand between your reader and the point you want to make.

If you want to use an image in your marketing email, keep the file size small. You can usually dispense with it altogether. Mobile email readers generally want to keep scrolling to a minimum.

2. No Links in the Email Body

Even the slimmest fingers can have trouble tapping links, especially if there are several close together. You’re better off keeping links out of the body of the email.

You could put a list of links at the very bottom of the email. But it’s better to forego links completely in favor of a CTA button.

Generally, you want your reader to tap the CTA button anyway. The fewer things that distract your reader from it, the better.

3. Keep Your Subject Line Short

Keep your subject line to 30-45 characters, and you’re golden. It’s OK to occasionally use an emoji in your subject line, as long as it’s clear what it means and you don’t overdo it.

Whittling down subject lines takes practice. Naturally, you’d like to pique your readers’ interest with your subject line. It takes fewer characters to do that than you may think.

Write down your first pass at a subject line and then leave it alone for an hour. When you come back, you can often think of several ways to restate it using fewer, shorter words.

4. Keep Marketing Emails Brief

The less thumb-scrolling your mobile reader has to do, the better. Your goal, remember, is to get them to click on your call to action.

This means keeping the fluff to an absolute minimum. You can do this without coming across as brusque, but it may take practice.

People appreciate short marketing emails, whether they’re in a desktop environment or using a mobile device. Get your point across in as few words as you can.

5. Take Advantage of Pre-Header Text

Your pre-header or preview text should be less than 150 characters long. That’s long enough for effectiveness and a bit of creativity.

This is where you sum up your proposal and give your reader a reason to open the email. Writing effective preview copy takes practice, but soon you’ll be writing it with ease.

6. Use a Single-Column Design

Regardless of the device, your readers will appreciate the simplicity of a single-column design. It looks clean, lets you provide adequate white space, and you won’t have to worry about it rendering wrong on mobile devices.

The average email user is “over” being wowed by elaborate designs. Chances are, they just want to see if the message looks interesting (through the preview text), open the email, and consume it quickly, without a lot of fuss.

7. Make Your CTA Button Large Enough

With mobile emails, buttons are better than links. And while almost everything about your marketing emails should be small, your call-to-action button is the exception. 

Right-handed people have an easier time clicking a button on the left-hand side of their screen with their thumb. Left-handed people have an easier time thumb-clicking the button if it is on the right-hand side of the screen. 

The more horizontal real estate your CTA button takes up, the easier it will be for everyone to click, regardless of their handedness. 

8. You Need Enough “White Space”

You’re probably thinking, “I need to keep everything brief, in a single column, with a generous-sized CTA button. And I need to include plenty of white space, too?” 


It won’t be difficult if you keep your text brief. Again, you want to minimize thumb-scrolling, but with a sufficiently brief message, you can do this while including enough white space to give your marketing email a clean, crisp look.

9. Use a Responsive Email Template

Many email marketing platforms include these automatically. These templates act as “guardrails” helping you write your marketing email so it looks just as great on mobile devices as on a laptop.

If your email platform doesn’t include responsive email templates, you can get them for free from several providers. They are well worthwhile for helping you envision your marketing emails as your readers will see them.

10. Test and Proofread

Many email marketing platforms let you send a test email to yourself before you send it out to the masses. If yours does, use it!

Additionally, plain old proofreading goes a long way with marketing emails. And if you keep your emails brief, proofreading shouldn’t take too long.

Ideally, you should read your test email at least a couple of hours after you create it. Once you’ve had the chance to “forget” it for a while, you’re more likely to catch errors that you made.

It’s Worth the Extra Effort

Email marketing is a go-to format because of its outstanding ROI. And the fact is, many people read their emails on mobile devices. Make that experience pleasant and friction-free and you can boost ROI even more.

In fact, your whole digital marketing strategy should incorporate mobile friendliness. Chances are, your customers are as busy as you are and depend on mobile devices a lot of the time.

If you need help getting your digital marketing strategy in shape, complete with email marketing, schedule a call with our team. We have the tools and expertise to elevate your digital marketing in every channel.

It’s not easy keeping up with changes in the world of digital marketing. You’d probably rather be focusing on your business activities anyway. 

Let us help. We know how to use email marketing and other digital marketing tactics to let the world know about the great things your business is doing. 

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