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January 26, 2016

Getting More People to Open Your E-Mails on Mobile Devices

email symbol on row of colourful envelopes
Photo Credit: RaHuL Rodriguez via flickr

Just like all good business people, you send e-mails out to your target audience (consistently but not overwhelmingly). Many of you likely notice a good share of your recipients are not bothering to open your e-mails. In fact, it feels as though they see they are from you and they immediately delete them.

The importance of getting your e-mails read on your audience’s mobile devices

You put a great deal of thought and effort into the e-mails that you send out to the members of your target audience. When you first started to send out e-mails, a healthy percentage of them were opened. All was right with the world. Now, however, you notice fewer and fewer e-mails are being opened. Obviously, you recognize the importance of your e-mail campaign and how it relates to your business’ success; but, the big question is, “What are you doing wrong?” You must be doing something different from what you did in the beginning. Otherwise, your open rate would not have changed over time.

It is safe to consider that if you send e-mail out to your target audience members, if those people don’t bother to open the e-mails, it was as though you never sent them in the first place. You may have the most incredible e-mails that exist, with wonderful graphics and pure pearls of wisdom. However, if your recipients don’t bother to open those e-mails, you are finished before you have even had a chance to begin.

What do you need to do to change that situation?

You have a couple of options in front of you. First, you can sit back and do nothing. Of course, that isn’t really an option at all. Second, you can keep doing what you are doing and hope for the best. Again, considering the results that you have had in the past, that is not really an option either. OK, now, wait for it, you can look at your approach and figure out what to do that will strengthen the open rate and get people to start noticing you again. Of course, that is the only true option that is available to you.

The first thing to understand (and always keep in mind) is the fact the majority of people are constantly on the move. Of course, that in no way means they are not interested in having access to the same amount of content that they have been able to read all along. It just means they want to read the content on their mobile devices.

However, it isn’t as simple as merely understanding that perspective. You need to do something now that you have that knowledge in hand.

Of course, you only need to do that if you feel that your e-mail strategy is important and is tied into the success of your business. You and I both understand, of course, this will always be the case. The fact is, a large percentage of e-mails that a person receives are read initially on their mobile devices. If you optimize that content, you will be one step ahead of the game.

How do you optimize your content for mobile devices? Well, there are a few ways you can accomplish that. It is easier than ever nowadays. In fact, there are companies that have developed software that is specifically designed to help you to optimize your content appropriately. If you take advantage of that, you will have a pretty easy time of it. So, how do you go about optimizing your content for mobile devices? It is important to realize there is only a small amount of content that really matters when it comes to optimizing your content. Those areas are:

Your subject line: Your subject line must be clear, concise, and compelling. You have a maximum of 25 to 30 characters so you better make it good. Any longer than that and you will be truncated. That is an area that is well worth polishing. Address them directly (using the person’s first name). Whatever you do, make sure that it has a human touch to the communication. If you manage to connect with your readers on an emotional level, they will be far more inclined to open your e-mails.

Your first line of content: Remember to keep it personal, but also appropriate. Your first line must grab the reader and keep the reader interested. You should inject as much of your personality in your first line as you possibly can. Take the opportunity to tell your story.

“From” line: It is important to make sure you use your name. It goes back to the human feel. The from line should never have the company name. It just isn’t personal enough. The best way to get a person to lose interest in what they are sending to you is for you to create the perception that you are not a person. Don’t do it because you will be very disappointed in the results.


Now you have a clear idea on what parts of your e-mails you need to fix for them to be of interest to the target audience that you want to reach. Working on those areas of your e-mails will most likely not be a big challenge. As you are improving your content, of course, another important factor that you should consider is when to send those e-mails. It will benefit you to identify the times of the day and the days of the week in which your target audience will be most likely to open your e-mails. You will likely see very positive results from the tweaks you did make. Remember that everything you do to entice your target audience will strengthen and improve the relationship that you share with them overall.


Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company's Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies. His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development. Mr. Cohn earned a Master's degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master's degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).