The increase in smartphone usage is altering email marketing planning, especially how emails are designed for mobile devices to drive immediate customer action.

Though text and instant messaging communications are popular, consumers still rely on email as the main form of communication with brands. Companies still use email as the primary means of announcing sales and other limited-time offers, and email is also the conduit for order confirmations, merchandise return procedures, cancellations, and myriad other transactional-type communications between business and consumer.

Considering email's importance to maintaining consumer purchasing and satisfaction, it's imperative for firms to consider how well their email content is adapted to mobile devices.

A considerable majority of smartphone users check email on their phones, but they do it very quickly—by scanning through their messages. Accordingly, email optimized for mobile needs to consider users' very short attention spans: Its content should load quickly, it must be easy to comprehend, and it has to have clear and simple calls to action.

1. You need an optimization strategy

You simply cannot ignore the growing number of people who check email only on their phone, because many of them will not engage with non-optimized emails that are difficult to navigate and are unprofessional in brand appearance.

Consider a company that has several auto-responders set up to thank visitors for a purchase or welcome them to a monthly newsletter. If those automated messages are not mobile-optimized, open and click-through rates can plummet because of poor design.

With email marketing, you don't want to give consumers a reason to unsubscribe. If they can't navigate your emails properly without an undue amount of pinching and zooming, or if the images are not sized properly, then you run the risk of otherwise interested customers' unsubscribing out of annoyance.

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image of Kevin Gao

Kevin Gao is president and CEO of Comm100, which he founded in 2009 with the ambition to revolutionize online customer service and communication. Its solutions include Live Chat, Email Marketing, Support Ticket, Help Desk, Forum, and Knowledge Base.

LinkedIn: Kevin Gao