Writing Shorter Email Subject Lines for Mobile Mail / by Chel Wolverton

How short are your subject lines?  Do you find the majority of your customers are reading your email newsletters on their mobile devices? In January this year, PEW released a report on Internet, broadband, and cell phone statistics stating that they "...found that 83% of adults have cell phones or smartphones".  With mobile use increasing and Apple's iPad release this year, it's important to be as concise as you can when sending emails and especially, newsletters. If you're like me on the go, your attention goes to the most compelling things in your inbox, the rest gets ignored and then archived if it's not important.

Blue Sky Factory often talks about telling your customers what to expect in your email marketing.  In this mobile world, it is incredibly important.  If you're attempting to reach your customers with a special offer or want them to act, tell them what they're going to get by opening your email.  Forget 140 characters.  You now need to do this in 5 words or less.

In this Android screenshot, you can see that email subject lines trunicate at 5 or 6 words.  Doing some research I found the same is true for both the iPhone and the iPad.

To find where your customers are reading your emails and determine if this affects your strategy, go to Google Analytics (you DO have Google Analytics right?) browse to Visitors -> Mobile -> Mobile Devices.  Make sure you check out their screen sizes too to see what the majority of the devices are showing, you can do that at Visitors -> Browser Capabilities -> Screen Resolutions.

Screen Resolutions

Mobile Devices

It's time to be increasingly thoughtful about mobile marketing given the growing trends.  Give people a compelling reason to read your email when they're on the go and make sure it's easy also for them to follow through on your call to action via their mobile device.  If not, then it better be compelling enough for them to leave it in their inbox for when they return to their computer vs archiving right away.