Mobile Email Marketing: Challenges and Solutions


In the last several years there has been a massive growth in the number of mobile devices capable of handling email in a sophisticated way. There has also been a huge growth in terms of the number of people that are engaging in that type of email. It is so important to have a mobile friendly email marketing campaign. The good news is that the need for mobile email campaigns is because these devices have suitable email tools and features. Not every mobile device is well equipped, but the people that are using their devices for mobile email, most likely have mobile devices that are well suited. Most people participating in mobile browsing and email are using iPhone, Android or Blackberry devices. You may think that because these devices are so advanced that the issue of email format and content for mobile devices is more of a non issue, but it is not that simple.

There are two main challenges in mobile emails. An ever increasing portion of the emails you send will be read on mobile devices. Even though they are great at processing the messages and HTML content, they have some issues.

The first big challenge is design and styling. Some devices automatically shift sizes of fonts to assist the recipient in reading. It will increase small fonts to a larger readable font that is more appropriate for the screen size proportions. Reading an email on a phone or tablet screen is much different than seeing it on a desktop; so there is still a design challenge, simply due to the size variance.

The second challenge is about being mobile. People are not sitting at their desks checking their email with their mobile phones, they are on the go, hence the term mobile. The point needs to come across clearly and quickly; with mobile friendly links to sites so they can follow through with the call-to-action right then and there. Mobile email users are found to spend more time with an email because they aren’t tied to their desk; they can check it anywhere, anytime. But they are less tolerant of high frequency emails, because they receive alerts or notifications every time they receive emails. To make things even more complicated, you can’t throw mobile users into one category; they can be soccer moms checking their email in between games, or they could be a business person browsing their inbox on a 35 minute train commute.

Those things sound like big issues, but there are a couple ways to tackle these problems. You can try to isolate mobile users on your list and send them mobile friendly, specifically design messages for the devices they use. Some ways of identifying and categorizing these users include: appropriate option in the sign up form e.g. check here if you read your email on a mobile device, subscriber preference option, and surveying your subscribers. The problem with that approach is device loyalty. They most likely do not only read email on a mobile or only on a computer, it is probably a mixture of both. The alternative approach to the situation is to design email messages that display well in all forms. That really covers all your bases without having to categorize people into semi-functioning groups. You need to design your email to function well across all platforms, and to have mobile friendly versions of the landing pages from the links in your emails.

You should take into account the mobile users when designing your email, but doing so without making any changes that cramp your traditional readers. Mobile email is getting bigger every day, so it is important that you consider your mobile friendly subscribers when designing your email content and message.

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