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Increase Your (Mobile!) Email Open Rates: How to Optimize the Only Three Lines That Matter

by Aaron Orendorff  |  
January 27, 2015
  |  6,412 views

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Why mobile is crucial for your email marketing success.
  • What the only three email lines your audience might ever see are.
  • How to optimize those three lines to increase your open rates.

There are a lot of guides out there to help you increase your email open rates. Why? Simple: unopened email is a dead email.

Doesn't matter if your visuals seduce, your copy persuades, or your CTA compels. Unread is dead.

But here's the thing: Almost none of those guides focuses on the one thing that matters most in getting your emails opened: mobile optimization.

Just how important is mobile optimization to your email strategy?

A whopping 65% of all emails are first opened on a mobile device, according to US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q4 2013.


Thankfully, a few email marketing providers are finally offering genuinely responsive design templates (unlike many of the old, one-size-fits-all approach). And yet, only 25% of marketers optimize their email for mobile, eConsultancy's Email Marketing 2013 Census discovered.

To dramatically increase your mobile email open rates, let's take a look at exactly how to optimize the only three lines that matter.

Here's a series of screenshots of major mobile default email displays:


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Aaron Orendorff is a freelance copywriter "saving the world from bad content" over at iconiContent. By day, he teaches communication and philosophy full time at a local college in Oregon.

LinkedIn: Aaron Orendorff

Twitter: @iconiContent

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  • by jrhmobile from my own dang self Tue Jan 27, 2015 via web

    If you're sending me an email, and expect me to read it on either my computer desktop or my smartphone, you'd better identify your business affiliation in that line too.

    Because if I get an email from someone I don't recognize -- or someone I do for such cheezy "buddy-buddy" identification pretending I know them personally, but instead is making a lame sales pitch -- it's getting flagged as spam for my future convenience, then tossed straight into the trash unread.

  • by Steve Tue Jan 27, 2015 via web

    Agree with jrhmobile... on point #3. Aaron I'd love to see the proof. And its not really the opens that count but the conversions (e.g. purchases). Opens don't pay the bills. Definitely agree on point 1. Point 2 really depends upon your audience.

  • by Aaron Orendorff Wed Jan 28, 2015 via web

    I think you're both right ... esp. about not being shady. You definitely don't want to sacrifice an open or a click for an actual conversion. Or worse, get a spammy reputation. It'd probably also depend on the nature of the relationship: B2B or B2C. For example, Unbounce always sends their emails "from" a real person ... but that make it clear that that person represents Unbounce.

    Thanks for the comments!

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