With mobile becoming the go-to screen for e-commerce, it is more important than ever that your Shopify email campaigns are mobile-friendly. Your emails must be able to display cleanly on any screen size, with no need for your customers to pinch or zoom.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to step into the age of fluid email design. As any respectable email marketing agency would recommend, the last thing you want is for your customers to be hit with a dense, incomprehensible email that leaves them stumped over what they’re supposed to do.
In order to avoid a frustrating experience for your mobile-using customers, follow these steps to set up a mobile-friendly Shopify campaign.
Step 1 Choose an appropriate Shopify email template
One of the essential elements of an email campaign is choosing a quality template. That being said, don’t just pick any template that looks attractive. While the template’s design may be perfect for desktop or laptop users, it may not be optimized for mobile users. Choose a mobile-friendly template to make sure that your emails are catered toward all screen sizes.
Step 2 Tweak your subject line to appeal to mobile users.
The shorter your subject line, the better. Your email subject line gets just one shot to convince people to open your message. So make sure that you write something precise and straightforward that’s also clever and intriguing enough to compel your subscriber to open your email.
Don’t overstuff your subject line. It won’t win you the love of a mobile user. Consider which details are superfluous, and then prune them from your draft. The prevailing benchmark for mobile-friendly subject lines is to get your message across in 40 characters or less. Here’s an example from Chanel to get you thinking.
This subject line captures your attention and gives you a good understanding of the topic without using many fluffy words.
If you’re having trouble cramming your message into a 40 character limit, then you should start by putting the most eye-catching information at the beginning of the subject line. It’s more likely to grab your subscriber’s attention when they skim through their inbox. Take this subject line from Shutterfly, for instance.
The value proposition is positioned at the beginning of the subject line, which means subscribers who only read the first few words will still get your point.
Another effective trick to capture your reader’s attention in the first few words of your subject line is to use their name. See how this example subject line from MailerLite makes it easy for readers to jump right in by adding a bit of personalization to it.
Step 3 Add a pre-header.
One of the most common email marketing faux pas is to ignore the pre-header text when creating Shopify email campaigns. The preheader — just like the subject line — is crucial when it comes to making your Shopify campaigns both mobile-friendly and something that will earn you more open from your subscribers.
The pre-header text helps break through the clutter by providing context and extra substance to the subject line. It allows you to provide a quote that builds anticipation for what the reader can look forward to. So, make the most of this bit of extra space you’ve been blessed with.
Look at how NOVICA uses pre-header text to take care of the guesswork users probably had upon seeing the subject line. It summarizes the key takeaway of the email and subtly lures customers in by emphasizing the offer.
Once you have the perfect pre-header, make absolutely sure that your subject line fits with it. But don’t just tack on a stock tagline. Instead, try using something creative and unique to sell the sizzle. In the example below, PetCareRx spikes subscribers’ interest with the fun and upbeat pre-header copy, which perfectly fits the subject line.
Step 4 Employ simple, friendly fonts.
If you’re worried about the lack of a fancy font to impress your customers, rest assured that a plain-Jane font can get your point across just fine.
It’s vital to use typography that makes reading easy on mobile devices so that anyone who receives it can easily understand your message. Don’t use anything that looks complicated or intricate because the result will likely be confusion, not comprehension. To ensure that your audience gets your message easily, select a font that’s simple and easy to read, regardless of device.
Another issue with making your email mobile-friendly is the text size.
Tiny text on mobile is just plain ugly, and it’s more than likely that your mobile visitors won’t even bother reading it. Hubspot recommends a minimum body copy size of 14px and a maximum headline size of 22px for emails to ensure that your email appears well on all screen sizes.
Step 5 Write a concise email copy
There are few things more irritating than an email that forces you to scroll left and right just to read a couple of lines of text. No one has time to wade through terrifyingly long strings of text, no matter how important or well-crafted your message might be. This is why keeping your message short and to the point will make you more likely to get a response from readers rather than send them back into their inboxes. Take a look at this email design by Booking.com, which addresses the needs of mobile users.
Mobile email readers, in particular, are less tolerant of long emails than desktop subscribers. Don’t waste their time with unnecessary prose — instead, use short paragraphs and to-the-point information to make things easy on the eyes. Just like Kate Spade’s email copy, short and snappy sections are all you need to hook your reader.
Step 6 Choose images carefully.
Emails with a lot of fancy graphics can be irritating to scroll through. We know you spent hours finding those perfect pictures, but customers don’t appreciate having to wait for them to load. Not only is this annoying, but it also doesn’t earn you any points no matter how pretty the visuals are.
And don’t forget about all the mobile devices and email clients that don’t display images by default. In this case, the best approach is to optimize your emails for viewing without pictures so that the recipient has an enjoyable, content-filled experience even if they can’t see the images. You can also use the alt text feature in your Shopify campaign to provide some context to subscribers when images are not displayed.
But no matter the workaround you devise, never, ever use images to display important text. You can’t ignore the fact that your customer’s email program may not deliver your message correctly, and you don’t want to risk excluding them from your message. It doesn’t matter if you think it displays correctly or if you’ve asked them to check their spam folder. If text is critical to your message, make sure you include it in the copy.
Step 7 Give your campaign a test drive before sending it live.
Conduct testing on multiple platforms and email clients before sending your marketing emails. The final look and feel of an email can significantly differ from one platform to another. So if you want your message to be heard across all mediums, send out a testing email first and see how it looks across multiple devices and programs.
Step 8 Learn, analyze and optimize your Shopify campaigns.
The key to effective email marketing strategies is to remember that analyzing and refining are crucial. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time — or even multiple tinkerings — to hit gold. Just like how a learning organization builds a collaborative learning environment where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, so should your marketing team.
Don’t sit on the sidelines and let your campaigns stagnate. Be smart enough to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Try new things that might work better. And then keep learning from experience.
Shopify has a convenient email analyzer tool that provides information about your campaigns and allows you to optimize their performance. You can also add Shopify-compatible marketing automation plugins for more advanced marketing analysis.
Fine-tune your campaign until it’s pixel-perfect.
If you’re a Shopify merchant who is bleeding profits, you need a fast way to stop the money from leaking away. Luckily, in just a few easy steps, you can be on the road to winning more customers and improving your standing on the Shopify leaderboard with a mobile-friendly Shopify email campaign.
Ahmad Benny is the Founder of Bengu, a site that helps people cut through the noise on marketing software and online training courses. On the site, you can find helpful reviews and how-to guides on a variety of marketing topics.