How do you get subscribers to take action on email they receive via mobile device?

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Even if you're not leveraging advanced technology to tailor email content to different mobile devices there are still some best practices that help ensure your content is received in the best possible light. Consider the following suggestions if you want subscribers to take action on the emails they open via mobile devices.
  1. Use a short subject line. Mobile devices display only so many characters in the subject line, so title the email in as few words as possible. Your recipients can't take action on your emails if they don't open them first.
  2. Trim the file size. Mobile Internet connections run slower than desktop connections, so avoid extremely data-heavy content. You don't want your recipients aborting the email before the content loads.
  3. Optimize email content for mobile. If content via mobile is not easy to read and respond to, your customers will abandon the email. Get to the point quickly; your recipients are probably on the move and exposed to all sorts of distractions.
  4. Direct recipients to mobile-optimized landing pages. In addition to narrow page widths, mobile landing pages should have brief, direct copy that gets the point across. People who want more information can return to your site later from a desktop and explore deeper links for more content.
  5. Integrate social media. Social media sharing buttons should be available and easy for your mobile audience to use. Instead of placing these buttons all the way at the bottom of the email, insert them near the middle, next to content that recipients most likely will want to share.
  6. Invoke a sense of urgency. Screaming at your customers that the world will end if they don't make a purchase in the next 10 minutes isn't likely to get you the results you want, but hinting at a sense of urgency is a good idea. Make it clear when your sale or special offer expires, so that recipients have more incentive to take action immediately on their mobile devices rather than waiting to view the content on a computer.
Test to determine what percentage of your subscriber base is opening messages on mobile devices, and use the results to adjust the extent to which you cater to your mobile audience. Rusty Warner is VP-product marketing at Alterian (, a provider of customer engagement solutions.
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