So why should you be designing emails for mobile devices?

It’s a bit of a no brainer that mobile devices are being used more and more to open emails but I never realised that (according to the latest study!) over 50% of emails are now being opened with mobile phones, tablets and other such devices. So it really does make a bit of sense that we should really be designing emails for mobile devices!

Of course studies are just that, a study, but its not difficult to imagine that they are quite close to the truth when you mobile optimised emailsee how many people are stuck ‘heads down’ with their phones (and that’s just down the pubs and bars!).

What happened to talking to each other?

Over the past year we (Steph & I) have been monitoring a bunch of email lists from some of biggest names in the Internet Marketing  world (think Omar Martin etc.) and we could see straight away that the majority of these emails have been designed to be easily read on mobile devices.

We also saw that the vast majority of the 10 ‘Gurus’ that we were following were using Plain Text email formats as well!

If it’s good enough for them…

How to make Emails Mobile Friendly?

I could probably talk all day about how to get your emails mobile friendly but I’ve found 3 simple steps which really should help you to get started.

The rest of it is a bit of trial and error and testing of course!

Mobile Friendly Emails – Step 1

If your autoresponder service doesn’t have a dedicated template for mobile friendly emails or you just want to do what the Internet Marketing ‘big hitters’ are doing then just design your emails using the Plain Text option.

This takes away the possibilty of your reader not being able to view your emails because pretty much all devices (if not all?) will be able to read plain text.

Mobile Friendly Emails – Step 2

Don’t use font that’s too small!

You want to use font which is at least size 14. For some of our emails we are now trialing size 20 for the main body text! This might sound massive but we’re getting some really good results at the moment and it looks great on mobiles.

For the headings you should be looking at least size 22 and again, give it a go and do some testing!

Mobile Friendly Emails – Step 3

Keep your email width to a maximum of around 60 characters.

40 characters has worked best for us and you really need to try it for yourself (there is a common theme of testing here!)

Aweber and Mobile Friendly Emails

I’m actually a bit suprised that Aweber haven’t got a way in which you can set the character width on your plain text emails yet!

Apart from this, everything else about Aweber gets a big thumbs up from us and comes highly recommended.

Saying that, it was becoming a bit too awkward to type in 1 to 40 (or more if you prefer?) at the top of the email and then trying to keep the whole of the email within this character width!

The solution?

We use a little windows program called ‘A Ruler for Windows’. You can check it out HERE (and it’s FREE!).

With this on-screen ruler you can change it from horizontal to vertical and from a ruler to a reading bar!

So you just need to write the first line of your email (40 characters etc.), move the ruler to the end of this line and then write your email accordingly!

Here it is in action on an email we were ‘tweaking’ to make for a more attractive mobile device design:

mobile email design best practices

And you can see the ruler there on the right hand side in the ‘reading bar’ mode!

What’s great about this is that it actually stays on the screen regardless of what you are doing with the windows.

It made be simple but it certainly works…

I missed a Tip!

Well I actually touched on it a few time but not formally!

Test, Test, Test!

Always test the emails in your autoresponder and where possible test for mobile optimised email. A lot of people these days have mobile phones, iPad’s, Android devices etc. so borrow these off the wife and/or kids and see how your email reads and displays on these devices.

And don’t forget! We also have an article on how to use the excellent Google Mobile Friendly Test Page..

Over to you?

Do you optimize your emails for mobile devices?

What do you think of the ‘A Ruler for Windows’ applications? Got any better suggestions for our readers?


Jon & Steph

    2 replies to "Designing Emails for Mobile Devices"

    • Tony Fairminer

      Thanks Jon & Steph.
      Never even thought of the Email aspect.
      So focused on creating Responsive Websites.
      Not tried ” A Ruler for Windows” yet I will let you know how I get on.
      Tony Fairminer
      Tony Fairminer recently posted this great article…Decisions Decisions!My Profile

      • Jon

        Thanks Tony, glad the article helped.

        It’s quite a simple little program the ‘Ruler for Windows’ App but it’s great for making sure you don’t ‘stray’ with your width size when writing emails!


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