It’s looking like 2014 really is the ‘year of mobile’, but that’s also what we thought last year and the previous two or three years before that. So what is it that will make 2014 the year mobile finally takes centre stage and why is important for marketers?

There have been a few recent announcements that have caught our attention and made us think that 2014 really is the year for mobile:

  • Research from Litmus found that 51 per cent of email is now opened on a mobile device
  • In-App mobile spending reached 3.5 billion in 2013 and according to Juniper Research, In-App ad spend will reach almost 17 billion USD by 2018, up from 3.5 billion USD (Technorati)
  • Facebook’s mobile advertising now accounts for nearly half of its revenues (Marketing Week).

Further research from Constant Contact  found that 80 per cent of smartphone owners said it is “extremely important” to be able to read emails on their mobile devices and 75 per cent of respondents in the same survey said they are highly likely to delete an email if they can’t read it on their smartphone. Couple these stats with the number of people who read emails on their mobile first (51%) it is clear why the emails marketers send must be optimised for mobile to achieve success.

Other than the fact people are often glued to their handset, there have also been changes in technology and devices which have helped to increase smartphone usage:

  • 4G Consolidation – which allows for faster loading of rich media content on media devices
  • The new KitKat Android Email App deployed to more devices delivers more functionality and faster load speeds
  • Wi-Fi availability is increasing with access able on UK planes trains and undergrounds

With increased access to communications on the move here are four quick ways you can optimise your email content for mobile:

  1. Use a single-column layout – it ensures that your emails fit the small screen and are easier to interact with. It also helps improve legibility.
  2. Add ALT text to images – as images are often disabled in emails on mobile by default and can be slow to load. The ALT text, can then be used to describe the image displayed giving the user a clear idea about the message conveyed.
  3. Place the call to action (CTA) in the top part of the email – so that the reader doesn’t have to scroll down to view it. Also, keep your call-to-action buttons big enough to make it easy for users to tap on.
  4. Resize CTAs to make them suitable for touchscreen - 44x44 px