Designing Emails for Mobile Users

At least a third of your subscribers will check their email on a mobile device at least some of the time. And as mobile devices get faster and more reliable, that number will mushroom. That’s good news, because it means that people access their email more often and may be more likely to open messages they receive. But it also means that they’ll be talking to the person next to them on the subway, checking their heart rate at the gym, getting ready to fall asleep in bed, and eating lunch while trying to absorb the content of their email as well.

For email designers, all those distractions mean that people aren’t paying quite as much attention to the content on screen as they used to. And because most people now have touch phones, it means that they expect to be able to do everything you need them to do with one finger—one finger that’s a lot less precise than a mouse cursor. As you think about your next email design, ask yourself these questions to make things a little easier on your mobile subscribers.

  • Are clickable elements big enough?

Can your subscribers easily click on the element they want without having to expand the screen size, an action which requires two fingers and therefore two hands?

  • Is there enough space between clickable elements?

When a subscriber clicks, can he easily hit the right button or do “too close” elements encourage misfires?

  • Can the call to action be seen at a glance?

Have you designed your call to action so that it stands out from surrounding content? It should be big, bold, and easily tappable by either the right or left thumb.

  • Is there enough contrast between text and background?

Because mobile emails will be viewed in a variety of contexts—bright sun, fluorescent light, dim home lighting—it’s essential to provide sharp contrast between text, images, and background so the subscriber never has to squint to make out your creative.

  • Can subscribers easily operate your navigation bar from a mobile device?

Lots of emails do great on the creative, but then stick a tiny, barely readable navigation bar across the top of the email. Experiment with other navigation options so subscribers can find what they want more easily.

At econnect Email, we want to make your email creation process as snafu-free as possible. Use our creation templates and email testing options to create messages your subscribers can easily open, read, and interact with, no matter where they happen to be when they click.