9 tips for mobile e-mail design
Originally published by Mequoda Group; republished here with permission from the author.
Mobile email design is a hot topic as the usage of mobile devices increases. After researching the topic in depth, I’ve come to some characteristics of mobile email design that should be considered in the development stage.
Whether you are sending an email newsletter or promoting a product or event, your email design needs to be optimized for mobile if your audience is viewing your content on the go. Here are a few tips for mobile email design.
Font size: Font for mobile emails needs to be larger than that of standard emails. Apple will automatically increase small font to be the minimum of 13 pixels. On Android devices, 16-18 scale-independent pixels are considered medium and large text sizes. Many designers recommend a minimum of 14 pixel font for body text and minimum of 22 pixel font for headlines.
Concise headlines: I’m taking a note from app design tips for this one. Try working with a 35-character limit on headlines, and put your most important words up front.
Design: Single and double column design tend to work the best in mobile, with single being favored by developers looking for complete simplicity. A double column design could work for an email newsletter with a full text, featured article. For snippet-based email newsletters, a single column design would increase clarity.
Sending format: Multipart MIME is used by most professional email marketers, and for mobile email design, that approach should not change. This format sends the email content in both HTML and plain text. Using Multipart MIME will assure your email content is available, even if the mobile device only allows text.
Images: Visual content can draw people in, but don’t overdo it. When including images, assign alt text to each in case images are blocked. Alt text associated with images will allow people to know what the image is, even when blocked. Apple’s iOS enables images to display by default, which is good news for email marketers using visuals.
Dimensions: While designing for Android, stay under 600 pixels. The Litmus Blog suggests that the overall size if is trimmed to between 320 and 550 pixels. This size requirement is specifically for non-iOS phones, because Apple devices will automatically resize the content.
Contrast: A higher contrast between content makes images and text more legible.
Creatives: Your creative calls-to-action need to be eye-catching and tappable, with a minimum size of 44 x 44 points.
Test: Testing is the only way to make sure your mobile design looks appropriate on different devices. Since mobile designs are typically slimmer in content than a regular email newsletter or promotional piece, it is even more important to have all links working properly.
Chris Sturk is managing editor, copywriter and community manager with Mequoda Group.