You’re Already Doing Mobile Marketing, Even If You Aren’t

Andrea Fryrear on Mobile Marketing

Nice job on that mobile marketing, Every Marketer Everywhere!

Oh, you didn’t know you had a mobile marketing strategy or were doing mobile marketing at all? As far as users are concerned, you’re doing mobile marketing 24/7 whether you intended to or not.

 In reality, there’s no such thing as “mobile marketing.” It’s all just good ole’ digital marketing that we need to learn to adapt to the environment where it’s being consumed.

Take a look at these three huge marketing channels – email, social media, and content – to make sure that your message is always on point in the always-on world of mobile.

And remember, “unless you mean to target customers who are literally walking around at the time, mobile marketing isn’t really a distinct thing — it’s just the future of digital marketing.”1

Email for All Screens All the Time

Reading email is among the most popular activities for users on both smartphones and tablets. In fact, 91% of smartphone users check email on their phone at least once a day.

If your email looks terrible (or, even worse, doesn’t load instantly) on a phone, you’ve lost an opportunity for engagement and risked an immediate unsubscribe. The good news is that it’s not overly complicated to optimize your existing email campaigns for optimal mobile viewing.

Err on the Side of Larger Fonts

Any fonts smaller than 12 pts will automatically be bumped up to that size on Apple devices, so you’re much better off keeping all your text at 14 pts or higher. Otherwise, your design could get thrown way off by the automatic resizing.

For headlines, a 22 pt font typically reads best on both phones and tablets.

You should be keeping email content short and sweet, but if you have multiple headlines be sure that you’re establishing a clear vertical hierarchy with your font weights.

So if your first headline is 22 pts, go down to 20 pts for your next one and so on.

One Column Emails are Safest

Ideally, we could use the same kind of responsive design we use on websites for emails to make sure they could display optimally on all screen sizes. Sadly some mobile operating systems (including the increasingly popular Android OS), don’t support scaling email content to fit the screen.

That means that if you use two columns or more, it’s possible only the left side will show on a mobile screen.

To ensure an accurate view stick to a single column of email content with a maximum width of 640px.

Consider Size and Placement of Calls to Action

Generally, the whole point of an email campaign is to get a reader to click on your call to action (CTA). So if your CTA button is too small to be easily clicked on a mobile screen you’ve hamstrung your campaign before it even goes out.

The minimum clickable size of a button is 44 x 44px, so don’t go any smaller than this, and make sure you’ve got at least 44 pixels in between clickable areas to avoid accidental misclicks.

You’ll also want to consider where your button appears on the screen. If it’s in the lower left corner, for example, it can be awkward for users to click on. This is particularly true if they have a slightly clunky cover for their phone or tablet that covers part of the screen.

Plan for Image Failure

Your email should be compelling and clear both with and without images because many email apps don’t support images. The iPhone’s native email app is one of the few that displays them by default, so plan for them to be off.

Check out our complete guide to using images in your email marketing for some in-depth tips on this tricky situation.3

Leverage Mobile App Usage with Social Media Marketing

Some statistics report that users spend 89% of their mobile time in apps, but that doesn’t mean we all need to rush out and make our own apps. Instead we can leverage existing apps where people already spend their time, namely social media.

Image courtesy of

There’s already a lot clutter in the app space, and with the heavy up front costs of app development the ROI is risky at best.

Additionally, apps aren’t like websites: people aren’t going to install dozens of apps to cover the same space. Will Critchlow puts it very succinctly:

“the long tail of providers simply works against ‘an app for everything’. You might have an app for your favorite store and your favorite newspaper, but you’re not going to have 15 of each (in my opinion).”1

So keep up your social media presence in the networks that are most valuable to your audience, but start carefully considering the time of day when you post updates.

Is your core audience likely to be at home, commuting, or at work? Their environment will affect what sort of content will they be most likely to share and engage with.

For maximum impact, make sure that your header images do some heavy lifting for you by clearly communicating the value of your brand and/or product. Many users will only see this image before they scroll.

Additionally, you can pin strong posts/tweets/updates to the top of your page to make sure they are the first things mobile users see once they begin to scroll.

Content Marketing: Answers at the Tap of Finger

A huge number of consumers have made “the mobile mind shift,” meaning they now expect to have access to anything at anytime via their mobile device.2

That means if your content can answer their questions clearly and beautifully on a mobile device you’ll be ahead of the game.

To do so your visuals (site layout, images, sharing capabilities) should work on any and all screen sizes.

Furthermore, it should be dead simple to complete the actions you want your visitors to take.

For example if you want a visitor to fill out a form after consuming your helpful content, that form should be clear and easy to complete on a mobile device.

One simple but often overlooked way to achieve this is by defaulting to an email input keyboard (one that shows a single button to insert .com, and puts the @ symbol front and center) for the email input field.

Take the time to consider your mobile users’ experiences carefully; it will pay big dividends.

Conclusion: Keep Doing Mobile, Just Do It Better

Now that you’re aware of your mobile marketing setup, you can attack it proactively to make it a consistent part of your digital marketing strategy.

With a more considered approach to email, social, and content marketing you can engage your mobile audience in the ways they’ve come to expect and demand without breaking your budget.

1. No Mobile Marketing Strategy


3. Optimize Email for any Screen Size