Got a cell phone? Who doesn’t nowadays. In fact, 91 percent of American adults own a cell phone, according to the Pew Research Center. That represents some 239 million adults, meaning there is a lot of connectivity on the go.

This post, 6 Ways To Make Mobile Email Marketing Work for Your Business, was first published on WebMarketingToday.

With those millions of adults checking their phones an average of 150 times daily, studies show, marketers have a potential 35 billion opportunities each day to get a mobile message through to their intended audience.

Mobile has become the dominant way the world connects. Research shows that some 51 percent of all emails are now checked on a mobile device. With the checking of emails comes the opportunity to influence engagement and buying behavior — if the messages are designed and delivered with mobile in mind.

Here are six ways to make mobile email marketing work for your business.

1. Make It Fit

The screen width of an iPhone 6 is 4.7 inches. The width of a Galaxy S5 is 5.1 inches. To make mobile email work, you must orient your message and design towards what presents itself well in the very limited space of the typical smartphone.

Doing so is not that hard, as email marketing vendors have adapted their editing tools and layouts to work well on a mobile device. Email marketing vendor Constant Contact, for example, adds an icon to its design templates to identify explicitly those that work well in mobile.

Mobile-friendly templates ensure mobile-friendly results. (Source: Constant Contact)

Mobile-friendly templates ensure mobile-friendly results. (Source: Constant Contact)

2. Make It Vertical

Traditional marketing, like billboards, magazine ads, direct mail, or even web banner ads, have always had the luxury of combining ideas horizontally where, say, the left third of the ad is a compelling image and the right two-thirds contain some text or offer.

In mobile, this just won’t work as the small width of the screen means that all of the content will be viewed vertically, or stacked one idea on top of another.

Where a typical ad might orient the image to the left and the marketing copy to the right, a mobile-enabled email would more likely have a single image that spans the entire width of the top of the message with a text overlay and the marketing copy below.

It all works, but it means that we cannot assume a traditional design will automatically port over to mobile. A little more planning is required.

3. Make It Short

The principle “less is more” has never been more applicable than with mobile. Messages should be single ideas with maybe a smaller secondary idea that follows.

For example, a mobile message from a barbecue restaurant might offer a free side item with a regular order of ribs as the primary message. Typically, this is going to be one message, one idea, and one call-to-action.

Adding a secondary sub-message might be OK but it needs to be short and subservient to the primary message. This is no place to cram in a full food review!

4. Make the Call-to-action Obvious and Executable by Thumb

A call-to-action contains the tangible step you want recipients to take once they read your message. Call now, complete a form, or register for the seminar are all excellent calls-to-action.

In mobile, it is important to have these immediately viewable without requiring the user to scroll. In our barbecue example, the call-to-action might be to get an emailed coupon for the free side item once the offer has been shared on Facebook or forwarded to a friend.

Make mobile email messages thumb-friendly.

Make mobile email messages thumb-friendly.

Keep in mind that while all smartphones have keyboards, a great deal of the interaction is done with a single appendage, the thumb. It’s not that you can never ask for detailed information that will demand two hands and some specific inputting, it’s just that the easier it is to engage with a single thumb click, the more likely you are to get a response.

5. Make Fonts Larger

In most traditional print advertising, a 10- or 12-point Arial, Verdana, or Helvetica font is just the thing. For mobile, experiment at bumping that up a bit, depending on the message.

At a minimum, 11-point type is required in the marketing copy and at least 22-point type for any headers or call outs. Whatever you do, don’t use 9-point or smaller, as reading something that small on a mobile device would be nothing short of painful.

6. Make Sure It Works

Experienced email marketers know how to use test messages to evaluate their work in a live environment before sending to the complete list. In a mobile world, make sure that one part of those tests includes viewing and interacting with the message expressly on a mobile device. Even if you have designed the message with mobile in mind, what looks good on your laptop screen may not be as you imagine when reduced to 4 or 5 inches.