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The Ultimate Guide to Creating Compelling Emails for Mobile Users

Subharun Mukherjee 18+ years of experience leading product strategy, Go-To-Market (GTM), new market entry, value-based sales, analyst relations, and customer experience programs. Expertise in Financial Services, eCommerce, on-demand services, and the SaaS industry.
The Ultimate Guide to Creating Compelling Emails for Mobile Users

By next year, 8 out of 10 email users will likely access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile device, according to The Radicati Group. More people are accessing the internet on their phones than via desktops, a shift that happened at the end of 2016.
To arm yourself with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a mobile-dependent world:

  1. Follow our tips to create must-read emails
  2. Review a series of awesome emails that you can use for inspiration
  3. Read our list of useful must-have email tools

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Tips to create must-read emails

1. Craft a great subject line
Make it interesting, relevant and concise. Mobile devices only show 25-30 characters so you don’t have a lot of space to convince a subscriber to open your email.
Here’s a great list of 164 subject lines that can provide some inspiration. They’re broken up by category such as: Urgent, Curiosity and Vanity. Of course, there are also certain words that actually put off subscribers, so be sure to avoid these words.
2. Put your pre-header text to work
The preheader is the most ignored part of an email, but it’s one of the most vital components. It’s the small snippet of text that follows the subject lines. In the example below, it’s the gray text.
Pre Header
It gives you more space to explain what your email is about without the subscriber clicking to open it.
3. Personalize your emails
Consumers expect personalized messages. You can use customer data to create personalized messages. For example, you can send an email suggesting similar products based on recent purchases, or include a subscriber’s first name and location in the message. Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, proving the process works.

4. Segment emails
Sending email blasts to everyone on your list is a thing of the past. As you collect customer data you can build profiles and segment your audience into specific groups. By segmenting your list, you’ll send more relevant emails to subscribers and keep the amount of emails you send at an appropriate level.
Aren’t sure how to segment your users? Check out our previous blog, 6 Ways to Segment Your Audience to Increase Engagement.
5. Include one, clear call to action
While you might be tempted to include two or three call to action buttons in an email, you shouldn’t. One case study shows emails with a single call to action, or CTA, increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%.
Your CTA should be a bold color, have 2-5 words inside and be in a clutter-free area. In other words, the CTA should be by itself, not next to an image or more text. Here’s an example:
Call to Action Email
6. Leave room to click
Remember, subscribers are likely viewing your email on a small screen. DeviceAtlas reports that the most popular screen size in most countries is 4 inches. Too much text and your recipient could accidentally click on the wrong link, leaving them frustrated.
7. Automate your email campaigns
Given the amount of customization that’s required to run a successful email campaign, using automation and scheduling tools is a must. These tools allow you to trigger a welcome email to land in a subscriber’s inbox seconds after signing up for your list, or schedule an email to arrive on a subscriber’s birthday.
Here’s a great example of an automated welcome email that even includes the subscriber’s first name:
Automate Email Campaigns

Mobile-friendly emails to use as inspiration

1. Keep it simple
Here’s a great email that shows the power of brevity. This email has about 50 words in it, and yet it gets its point across. Remember to keep your emails simple and concise.
Simple Email
2. Give customers a discount
This email from American Apparel offers a 20% discount using the code “NIGHT” that expires when the sun comes up. It’s a playful way to use urgency while giving night owls a sense of exclusivity.
Discount Email
3. Offer free shipping
Customers love shopping online because of the convenience, but 58% of consumers abandoned their cart because of high shipping costs. Reclaim some of those lost sales by sending remarketing emails that remind subscribers about the items in their cart and offer them free shipping as an incentive. Here’s an example:
Free Shipping Email
4. Encourage app downloads
Email is a great way to promote your app. Encourage people to download it by offering an incentive or highlighting the benefits. Here’s a great example that does just that:
App Download Email
5. Get personal
Delta has really figured out how to capitalize on the high open rate of a travel confirmation email by personalizing it even more. Using visually appealing boxes, recipients have quick access to packing tips, flight upgrades, top restaurants in the destination city, the flight’s movie and menu selections, and a way to stay up to date on flight and gate changes by downloading the Fly Delta app.
Personalized Travel Email
Email marketing tools
To help send effective mobile emails, try these five free tools:

  • The Hemingway App– Check your copy for mistakes before sending emails, with this app.
  • PutsMail– See how your email will look using this preview tool.
  • CleverTap– Send personalized, segmented messages from one platform; based on user’s profile and actions.
  • AWeber– Get more people to sign up for your emails with this tool.
  • BombBomb– Integrate videos in your emails easily with this tool.

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Last updated on June 7, 2024