When it comes to mobile emails, making them responsive isn’t always enough.

How are your emails performing on mobile? Not getting the CTR/ open rates you’re after? Or maybe you are but you’re now looking to improve on that success.

We’ve done some thinking and nailed it down to 5 key problems that most greatly affect the performance of a mobile email. And with every problem there’s (almost always) a solution. So here they are – the 5 problems that face marketers when sending mobile emails and our tips on how to solve them.

1. Behavior


People tend to be using their mobile phone or tablet whilst doing something else like watching TV, traveling or shopping. This means your email is likely to be competing for their attention.

Your reader will want the most relevant information right in front of them and a clear indication of what action they need to take next.


It’s important to focus your design around the primary task at hand. So if your aim is to tell a story, then make sure the type is readable yet concise. If it’s that you want them to make a purchase, put a large call-to-action right where their thumb falls.

Tip – Use ‘display: none’ in the CSS to hide whatever could be considered visual clutter on mobile.

2. Size


Small screens means certain information can’t be seen and text is often squashed in to a smaller space. When faced with an essay in tiny type you can guarantee your reader is not going to want to read it.


Using a responsive layout will force your content in to an area that’s visible. Minimize copy to make sure your email doesn’t appear too long or in too smaller point size when rendered for smaller screens.

Tip – Ensure your call-to-action button is positioned somewhere ergonomically attractive (placing it in the top right hand corner would mean a strained thumb).

3. Orientation


Orientation changes can stretch your content across the screen. Responsive templates using screen size will fill the specified screen size, so if your campaign is viewed in landscape mode, you’re then reliant on the device scaling the email to fit.


Use the media query: @media all and (orientation:landscape) {…} to apply specific CSS to landscape orientation.

4. Ergonomics


With thumbs coming in all shapes and sizes a common problem you may face is readers miss-tapping, or not tapping at all!


Design finger friendly call-to-actions with space around each button or device.

Tip – Recent scientific research shows that 59px diagonal for a button is the best size for one handed thumb users.

5. Speed


Some devices still don’t like images because download speeds can be slow. Your load times from email receipt to checkout must be optimized for 3G, which has an average download speed of 2.1Mbit per second in the UK (and is faster in the US).


This means you must ensure your emails and landing pages are at least that fast to load. The quicker the better. Make sure you optimize all image files and color image backgrounds.

Tip – Add in ALT tags wherever possible just in case there are problems with loading.

Need anymore tips? Make sure your emails have the best chance of being read on mobile by downloading our infographic ‘The anatomy of a responsive email‘.