Are your emails optimized for mobile devices?

Amber Manning's picture

Project Manager


Are your emails optimized for mobile devices?

Spurred by Frogloop’s article, “Who Says Email’s Dead?”, which highlights the increase of mobile email usage from 2009 to 2010. I reviewed some of the most recent email campaigns I received to see how well the message translated to my mobile device.

In 2010 70.1 million mobile users (30% of all mobile subscribers) accessed email on their mobile device, an increase of 36% from 2009.
- Comscore

Here is what I found:


DailyWorth Email

This email has been effectively optimized for mobile. The template is selective in its use of imagery. The majority of the email is text based. The content is also relatively short so there is not a lot of scrolling or need to download additional content. It links to to allow readers to get additional information if they want.


Prometheus Radio Project

Prometheus Radio Project Email

This email translated fairly well on my phone. All of the images loaded quickly and it did not spur me to download the rest of the message. If Prometheus Radio Project staff wanted to further maximize their email mobility, I would suggest that they work on reducing the amount of content that is featured in each email so the reader has less scrolling to do.


Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Berrett-Koehler Publishers Email part 1

This message does not seem to be optimized for mobile devices. The images are not all loading and the message is so large that it only partially downloads. To further maximize this email for mobile devices, I would suggest reducing the template width, using fewer images, and optimizing the images that are used for web so that they load more quickly.



EMILY'S LIST Email part

This email has been in large part optimized for mobile. The message is primarily text based. It is not very long so you do not have to do a lot of scrolling. Finally, there is no need to download additional content. To further maximize this email for mobile, I would suggest making the template width smaller. It may also be a good idea to move additional content to the sidebar to improve readability.


Grameen Foundation
Graneen Foundation Email 1
Graneen Foundation Email 2

This message contains many images and a lot of content. As you can see, in order for the reader to view the full message they have to scroll a few times and then click the 'download remaining' button because the email is so large. To optimize this email for mobile, I would recommend using fewer images in the template. This would cut down on the size of the email. I would also suggest cutting down the length of the content and instead point the reader to the organization's website where they can do further reading.

The bottom line is that a large number of people are reading emails on mobile devices. You do not want to miss out on a great opportunity to communicate with your supporters simply because you have not considered mobile optimization.
For more tips and ways to optimize your emails see our Best Practices and Tips for Sending Email.

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