10 Tips to Increase Email Opens and Engagement

September 17, 2018

10 Tips to Increase Email Opens and Engagement

When it comes to creating and using a robust, omnichannel marketing experience, email marketing will almost always be one of the first avenues that comes to mind. As we’re sure you may know from personal experience, a lot of email reading happens on a mobile device (specifically phones). This is further evidenced by Litmus’ “Email Client Market Share Trends” report from June of 2018, which said that mobile opens account for 46% of all email opens, while desktop opens sit at 18%. Therefore, when you’re creating emails to use in an outreach or nurture campaign, you need to make sure the customer experience across devices is seamless. This starts with mobile responsive website design, which means content is properly displayed and easy-to-navigate no matter how it is being viewed.

So where do you begin once you start crafting emails? What elements should be on your checklist for making your email outreach mobile-friendly? Read on below for ten tips to make your emails shine on mobile devices!

1. Use short subject lines

Be aware that some email clients will not display full subject lines, so think of making them 40 characters (or 5 to 6 words) or less. You can also just make sure the most catchy/important parts of your message display at the front of the subject line.

2. Use a single-column email template

Multiple columns within emails may look great on desktop, but on mobile they can be far too condensed and difficult-to-read. Additionally, they may require some scrolling, which can turn mobile users off. Make sure when designing your emails within a marketing automation tool or developing HTML, you’re using a single column to simply and spotlight your content.

3. Keep your email width at 600 or fewer pixels

Understanding that there are exceptions to mobile devices handing responsive designs is important when creating emails that will, most likely, be read on mobile. That being said, if your emails are 600 pixels or less in width, users will have zero issues when viewing emails not on a desktop. Accomplish this by setting a width attribute in your email template’s table tag to 600 pixels or use the CSS width property to make this adjustment.

4. Use larger/legible fonts

While using size 8 or 10 fonts seems like a good idea for minimizing scrolls, small screens make these already-small fonts even smaller thus making the reader squint or zoom in order to see what you’re communicating. Try to stick to font size 12-14 to keep people from deleting the email prematurely.

5. Keep images small

It is a nice touch to break up emails with images or graphics, but it is important that you use smaller ones in order to reduce load times and bandwidth. A lot of mobile devices operate on a 3G or slower connections, so loading speed is vital to the success of your emails. While you can use responsive design to code loading techniques, less technically savvy users can shrink images by 50 percent and compress them at a higher rate than normal.

6. Make your Call-to-Action eye-catching

Your call to action (CTA) is how you make an email truly a tool of conversion, and should make your reader do something, such as clink a button or link that takes them further down the prospecting funnel. Make sure CTAs are large, easy-to-read and easy-to-click with a finger or stylus. Compelling CTAs are often brightly colored and at least 40 pixels square.

7. Avoid images as CTAs

Images can be flagged as spammy, or not displayed by certain email clients, so using them as a call to action may not be the best way to make sure it is visible. If you think the image as a CTA will make all of the difference in the world, at least be sure to use a descriptive alt tag that matches the CTA text, thus still providing an actionable item even if the image doesn’t load.

8. Do not use menu bars if it can be avoided

Menu, or navigation, bars are not necessary in emails, and can prove to be more frustrating than useful. Avoid them completely and stick to basic images and links.

9. Keep links spaced out

Stacking links (meaning not using an adequate amount of space in between each line) can be difficult to navigate on small screens, and frustrating to click when they increase the risk of clicking the unintended link. Multiple links in an email may be necessary – just make sure they are distinct and formatted in a way that makes them so.

10. Keep different mobile device sizes in mind when testing

Not all mobile devices are created equal, with phones even varying in size between different makes, models and production years. When you’re testing emails, make sure you test them on various devices and screen sizes.