A study done by the Pew Research Center reported:
(...)some 88% of smartphone owners used email on their phone at least once during the study period, making email a more widely-used smartphone feature than social networking, watching video, or using maps and navigation, among others.
And according to Litmus, 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices such as phones or tablets.
There are some easy things you can do to help make your emails better for mobile. If you're just starting, it's good to review the basics of email marketing first. The main goals of mobile-friendly email are simple:
Make it easier and more enjoyable for the recipient to view your messages. Increase engagement with your contacts while they are on the go.
Make every second count
In general, you've got only a few seconds to capture your reader's attention. Those few seconds will determine whether they stay to spend more time with your mail or move on. How you approach capturing their attention is up to you, but keep those few seconds at the forefront of your mind as you design your emails.
Single column layouts work best
Things can get squishy on a mobile when too much information, menu items or pictures are sides by side. Lots of devices can handle responsive designs, but they still might not be easy to view on a small screen.
Using a single column for your information is an easy way to help ensure that it will be mobile friendly. If you want to get more specific, you can keep the width of your email under 600 pixels wide for best results.
Write short subject lines
Not all mobile devices are going to show more than 40 characters or so as a general rule. You don't want your message to be confusing or out of context because recipients only see part of the subject.
Consider that the subject line is your opening, it's the first thing a contact will see and it's what often determines whether or not they engage with your mail. It's worth spending some time composing subject lines that relate to what your sending and are catchy without being misleading.
It can be easy to forget this little bit of text that recipients can see before they even open your mail. Take advantage of this to help encourage opens. Treat it like a subtitle to your subject line - more information about what's in the email.
Use large font sizes
Teeny tiny fonts (like 10 or 11 pixels) are microscopic on some mobile devices. You don't want your readers having to squint and scroll and magnify when they're looking at your email.
To make it easier, use fonts in the 14 pixels to the 22-pixel range.
In general, larger text is good for readers on all devices, including laptops and desktop computers and will make your messages easier to read.
Be selective with your images
If you have some technical know-how, you can use responsive coding techniques to make sure your images are going to work on mobile platforms.
If not, just consider using smaller images or compressing your images by 50%. You will also want to make sure you add image descriptions (alt-text) so that even if the images don't display properly, your readers will still understand what the message is. Overall, you'll want to make sure that your email is appealing either way, with or without your images.
Break up your text
One long paragraph is overwhelming to most readers. It's too easy to lose your spot or lose interest if all the words just blob together.
Break up your work into paragraphs, add white space and group similar points together for easier consumption.
Create a clear call to action
Too many buttons, links, and instructions on a small screen can get confusing. Make it really clear what you want your readers to do.
Buttons need to be large enough for fingers to press and not too close together. Consider putting your call to action near the top of your message to increase the chances that your recipients will see it.
Another point to consider is how your email displays depending on the mobile device. Buttons on a mobile phone are potentially best in the middle of the screen so either thumb can reach them - on a tablet you'll want to left or right justify a button.
Don't use a traditional menu
This isn't a website you're creating, it's a mobile-friendly email. Tiny menu options can be really frustrating to users.
Try to add a lot of breathing room between clickable links or options and keep the choices to a minimum.
Test on different devices
You'll want to do some testing to see how your designs really look. Litmus testing can help you accomplish this easily.
The most important focus needs to be your reader.
It can be really frustrating when you can't see something or the information in an email is awkwardly displayed, that's true in general, but especially important to consider on a mobile device.
So, take these tips into consideration next time you're building an email campaign and aim for your best mobile engagement yet.