Fresh Ink

October 12, 2018
Author: Christina Hagopian

Mobile Email Marketing Tips For E-Commerce Success

3 tips to mobile email banner image

A recent report by the Radicati Group predicts that people will send and receive 281 billion emails per day in 2018, with an expected 3.8 billion email users worldwide by the end of the year. In the US, more than 85% of adults send or receive email. And according to a study by Adestra, even teenagers, who rely heavily on social apps to communicate, still consider email “a fact of every day life,” with 78% of them using email.

DMA insight’s 2017 report points out that 99% of us check email daily—up to 20 times a day! And as far as ROI goes, this same study revealed that on average, email delivered a 30:1 result.

If that’s not evidence that email marketing is a critical channel for e-commerce companies, I don’t know what is.


Why Optimizing Email for Mobile is Key

It’s no secret that mobile-ready email is a must for a successful e-commerce marketing program—in fact, 73% of companies say that mobile optimization of email is a priority, according to a survey by Smart Insights. Unfortunately, many “mobile optimized” emails are still falling short of the massive opportunity they present. Here are just a few stats to illustrate what I mean:


  • More than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. (source: emailmonday)
  • 37% of in-store retail sales are influenced by a shopper using a mobile device. (source: Deloitte)
  • Mobile users check their email 3x more. (source: Google)
  • Mobile email opens have grown by 180% in the last three years. (Source: emailmonday)
  • Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates. (Source: CMS Report)
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site. (Source: socPub)
  • 70% of consumers delete emails that don’t render well on a mobile device IMMEDIATELY. (Source: Blue Hornet)

And if those don’t convince you that it’s time to get serious about optimizing your emails for mobile, here’s one more to push you over the fence:

  • 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (Source: MicKinsey & Company)


3 Tips for Optimizing Your Mobile Emails (and Increasing ROI)

Having worked extensively with numerous luxury, lifestyle and e-commerce brands like Pepsi, La Perla, and Sesame Street Workshop on creating mobile-optimized email campaigns that drive results, we’ve learned a thing or two about what really moves the needle.

Here are our top three tips for winning the mobile email marketing game.



“Mobile first” design means exactly what it says—and as the stats above show, it’s critical to make sure your emails don’t get deleted by more than half of your recipients.

“Skinny” emails are a great way to get started. Skinny emails have a narrow width that’s suitable for viewing on desktop and mobile—with no development adjustments needed.

Skinny emails work best with limited body copy, a width of 500 pixels or less, a simple design, and large touch-friendly buttons. This is truly a “mobile first” method and a must for email programs that have an audience primarily opening emails on mobile phones, but the beauty is that they also work on desktop.

Responsive design is another option which enables your emails to dramatically change the layout of your content depending on how it’s being viewed. A two-column desktop layout, for example, could change to a single-column mobile layout; images and text size could scale and buttons can change size.

Responsive design requires more complex development and cross-browser testing than some marketing teams have an appetite for—which is where “skinny” emails come in as an excellent alternative.


Banana Republic - Mobile Email Marketing Tips For E-Commerce Success
Banana Republic’s “skinny” email makes browsing and shopping within the email a piece of cake.

Regardless of which method you choose, optimizing copy, headlines, and imagery to load quickly and render properly on mobile devices is key.



Emails with a personalized subject line have a 50% higher open rate than those that are not personalized (even when sent by the same company); and a 58% higher click-to-open rate.

Pepsi - Mobile Email Marketing Tips For E-Commerce Success
For Pepsi, Hagopian Ink created this animated, personalized email—delivered to the recipient on their birthday—as a means of increasing engagement and brand loyalty.

Personalized subject lines can use the recipient’s name, a reference to previously purchased or browsed products, loyalty-program updates, items from abandoned carts, membership milestones, and special offers catered specifically to the recipient’s preferences and past behaviors. Segmenting your email lists based on these factors is key.

But personalization doesn’t apply only to subject lines — in fact, we wrote extensively about why personalization matters (and how to get it right) in this post. Recently, we’ve seen brands personalizing even the landing pages they direct recipients to, so that they have a look and tone consistent with the email message, as well as the same personalized call to action.



Transactional emails (i.e., shipping and delivery confirmations, receipts, password resets, etc.) are as much as 8 times more likely to be opened (compared to marketing emails), because consumers want this information, urgently.

Why not capitalize on this opportunity to engage, cross-sell or up-sell?

Cuvee Beauty - Mobile Email Marketing Tips For E-Commerce Success
An example of an “upsell” Hagopian Ink created for Cuvee Beauty. The offer for Essential Booster was sent to customers who ordered Shampoo & Conditioner.
Abandoned Car - Mobile Email Marketing Tips For E-Commerce Success
An example of the Abandoned Cart email Hagopian Ink created for Cuvee Beauty.

Consider including a coupon or discount code, a product recommendation related to a recent purchase, a refer-a-friend offer, or a sales announcement that’s relevant to the recipient’s browsing behavioras part of the email.

A study by Campaign Monitor showed a 760% uptick in revenue when this tactic was applied.



If you’re still feeling lost or overwhelmed by the prospect of optimizing your mobile email marketing campaigns, we got you. Our team here at Hagopian Ink can design and implement killer campaigns that deliver bankable results. Visit us at to learn more.

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