Have a think about what task people use their smartphones or tablets for the most. If you thought it was social media, gaming, reading books or listening to music, you would be wrong. Email is used more than any of those, according to findings released by Adobe earlier this year.

What is even more telling about the state of the email marketing industry today is that more messages are consumed on mobile than on desktop and that has been the case for a while. Research by email analytics firm, Litmus, revealed that the tipping point occurred between May and June last year.

Both of these facts were used to enforce the importance of mobile in email marketing during the session; Successful Email Campaigns for the Multi-Channel Age, presented by Freemax Media’s Warrick Lambert and Suzanna Chaplin at last week’s a4uexpo Europe in Amsterdam.

Attendees were able to gain useful insights into the best way to tailor their email marketing campaigns for mobile. For those that could not make it along, we have shared some of the best on this very page.

1. Identify Your Audience

Before anything else, you should be analysing your audience. Is it worth investing in mobile-optimised creative? For example, if you’re selling craft materials to the retired, there’s a good chance your core audience won’t be smartphone or tablet users.

2. Device Targeting

Most businesses don’t have a limitless supply of email marketing spend. Do you invest in all mobile platforms, the top two, or maybe the one with the highest conversion? iOS is known for its higher conversion rates, but Android devices are more plentiful.

3. Vertical Consideration

You’ll need to take into account the vertical that you operate in. In the same Adobe research mentioned earlier, it’s a different story for the performance of finance-related emails one mobile, a fact that can be attributed to folk being generally weary about transactions of this kind while on the move.

4. Time Matters

On a weekday, the morning is all about smartphone traffic stemming from commuters heading to work. Then in the afternoon, it’s the desktop, while people are holed up in an office. Tablets are more popular in the evening, but so are smartphones. Ideally you’ll want to make a couple of sends a day: morning and late afternoon.

5. Target Certain Days

Are you only sending a couple of emails a week? If you are, then you’ll want to send the mobile-optimised campaigns towards the end of the week. Freemax reported that Friday, Saturday and Sunday drive a huge amount of their mobile opens and clicks.

6. Look Beyond CPA

Research alternatives to CPA, but beware there are upsides and downsides to them. For example, cost-per-download (CPD) can struggle in multi-channel campaigns. Should a user read your email on a desktop, they’re likely to head to the app store directly rather than through your newsletter, which will lose you revenue.

7. Consider Pre-headers

Pre-headers offer good real estate to communicate offers to consumers. On smartphones a snippet of pre-header is fed into mail apps, so providing a little more information in the copy about the offer you are promoting can improve open rates. Be sure not to repeat the subject line, though.

8. Optimise Subject Line

Think about how your subject line looks on different devices as they all have different lengths. The absolute maximum is 68 characters in a subject line, but on Outlook it’s 47 and on the iPhone it’s 37. Litmus is a paid-for tool for previewing emails on a variety of clients and hardware.

9. Slicing

Apart from the iPhone, most clients don’t download images as a default. Avoid big black boxes with no data by using slicing, to divide the creative into segments so it spells a word or image. You can then colour code it and use an ALT Tag to give more information about what’s in the main body of the message.

10. Designing for Android

Android is problematic because of its fragmentation. Adding to marketer’s pain is the fact that many opt against using the default email client. You can counter this by using a fluid layout that adjusts to any viewpoint size, avoid side swiping by placing the main call to actions on the left and stick to a one-column layout.