Just over half of emails sent between May 2016 and April 2017 were opened on mobile phones, making clear that successful email campaigns optimize content for mobile viewing.
Gartner L2’s mobile marketing report finds a clear difference between brands that have a mobile strategy and brands that don’t. For example, H&M sends emails that fit the mobile screen, while beauty upstart Madison Reed issues emails in which images are completely obscured by text.
Across verticals, many brands not only fail to optimize e-mails for mobile but have actually regressed over time. In 2016, almost three-quarters of brand emails were optimized for mobile web browsers. Yet this slipped to 67% in 2017, with consumer electronics showing the greatest regression.
Subject lines play an important role in determining the success of a brand’s mobile marketing efforts. Best-in-class brands send emails with mobile-friendly, short subject lines. However, brands rarely send the majority of their emails at the best-performing subject length. In 2017, email campaigns with a subject length of 21 to 30 characters performed strongest, but only 26% of email subjects measured 30 characters or less.
Lululemon stands out, with 93% of its emails optimized for mobile viewing. Emails from the brand feature optimal subject lines of 30 characters or less, hero images above the fold, and a clean footer template with large clickable options that lead to different product areas of the site.