Designing HTML Email for Mobile: 7 Helpful Tips

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Email Marketing

Though there are a lot of people out there still using a full screen to check their email, small-screen mobile platforms are growing more and more popular every day. These range from text-only viewers to full HTML-capable mobile phones and tablets. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that your emails will be opened on any number of these devices, so that when you are in the design and coding stages of your email marketing, you can make sure the look and feel of your message stays consistent.

Here are seven simple guidelines to help keep your emails looking good and functioning well on most mobile devices.

  1. Keep message size down – Mobile network speeds are often slow, so if your email is very image-heavy, it may not load in a timely manner.
  2. Have a text-only version – Many people turn off HTML emails on their mobile due to load times or simply due to personal preference. Make sure to have a text-only translation for these cases.
  3. Add extra padding – Remember that people are going to be using their finger to navigate the email. Keep extra padding around links to accommodate for this issue.
  4. Keep subject lines short – With limited space on the screen, make your subject line short and sweet so that it will easily grab the recipient’s attention. Aim for fewer than 28 characters (including spaces), or 3-5 words.
  5. Use a single column – Since your space is limited, a single-column design will help your email stay flexible for different screen sizes.
  6. Have an obvious call to action – If you are trying to get someone to click a link or button, make it very prominent. Keep this item front and center so there is no confusion when the recipient is scrolling through the message.
  7. Keep your width down – Traditional emails on a browser are commonly sized between 550px and 650px. Mobile devices are much smaller. Slim down your design as much as possible, while ensuring that it still looks good on a desktop. The easier it is for a mobile phone to render it, the better off you’ll be.

Even though your email will probably never be perfect across all devices, if you follow these guidelines and keep the user in mind, your end result should be a success.