Thumb The New Mouse & Mobile Opens Read Longer

More email is being read on mobile devices than desktop and web-based email clients. Not only that, customers are more engaged when they read on a mobile device.


We have found (using Kickdynamic email analytics) that when email is opened on a mobile device it is read for 5-8 secs, compared to 4-5 for web and 0-3 for desktop email clients.


It makes sense to me (does it to you?) that our customers are more engaged on a mobile device. They are more than likely travelling or doing non-work related activities (on the whole - not always).


Do you know what devices your customers are reading your email on?

"...those that aren’t tracking which device their subscribers are reading their emails on, or optimizing their emails or websites for mobile devices stand to lose out. A poor user experience could mean no response, no action, or plainly put, no ROI."
— 'Email in Motion: How Mobile is Leading the Email Revolution', Return Path, 2011


How we interact with email on a mobile device is different to other reading environments.

Do you agree with this? I certainly do and it is important to understand the different interactions in order for your email marketing message to reflect this.

Your thumb is the new mouse. There is no move or click on a mobile device. It is scroll and select. Therefore emails must be designed for this in mind.

Also, by definition, mobile is precisely that, mobile! Therefore email should not be static and reflect the fact that a customer more from their email mobile experience.


Inboxes are getting more advanced on mobile devices. They are allowing us to control email better and take control of our crowed inboxes. Therefore as marketers we have to do more to standout in our customer’s inbox.

Also, is user behaviour of mobile devices and tablets different? Brightwave marketing believes so and in fact states in the following whitepaper:

"Tablets and smartphones are completely different."


Don't overlook Andriod.

Google owns 52% of the U.S. smartphone market compared to Apple’s
34%, according to September 2012 data from comScore. IDC research shows Android devices outpace iOS globally by a
3:1 margin. Even if most of your audience does not use Android today, the platform is too big to ignore.


So How Do We Make Email More Mobile Aware?

1. Responsive design:

Email must be designed with a mobile first strategy. Mobile design should not be an afterthought.

Responsive design entails coding the email HTML so it changes based on what device it is read on. Responsive design uses Media Query Support to know what screen size email is read on and then the mail layout adapts to that screen size.

I highly recommend reading the following Campaign Monitor article to find out more


2. Scalable email design
Scalable email design involves designing email that is optimised for mobile but looks the same on every reading environment. This is being more mobile aware and tactics include the following:

  • Descriptive subject line and pre header
  • Single column design
  • Key information & CTA in upper left of email
  • Larger text
  • Touch (and thumb!) friendly buttons
  • Preview pane optimization

Here is a great info-graphic from Litmus showing the anatomy of a perfect mobile email.


Imagery still appropriate?

Yes absolutely, but it has to be managed in the right way. Beautiful imagery is still beautiful on a mobile device but has to be designed correctly so it looks appropriate and adapts to a smaller screen size.


3. Location Live Content

Mobile email should reflect the fact that mobile email readers are mobile. They could be reading your email in a different place one day to the next - and your email content should adapt to this.



    • Content updates based on the location of the recipient at the time of open. For example, what country they are in at the time of open. Display different images to different locations
    • Directions, via a map, to the nearest store based on their location at the time of open.
    • Your customer may have registered in the Manchester store, but is in London when opening your email; Live Content enables you to direct them to the nearest London store.

Email is no longer stale and is now mobile aware.

What else are you doing to make email more mobile aware?

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