New research on mobile email usage has revealed that mobile opens have risen to an impressive 41% and are likely to surpass 50% within the next twelve months. In 2011, the open rate was just 27%.

Go way back to quarter four of 2010 and only 13% of emails were being opened on mobile devices. This is a meteoric rise and a clear indication that the ‘mobile-first mindset’ shouldn’t only be applied to websites; businesses need to put smartphones before desktop email clients when it comes to their emarketing design and strategy.

It’s important to note that laptops are considered desktop devices, which makes the fact that over a third of all email opens originating on truly mobile devices all the more engaging.

With this in mind, here’s a mobile email marketing checklist we recommend taking note of when preparing your next e-shot:

1. The message needs to be clear. Instantly. On a smaller screen, time and space is precious – make best of use of it and avoid rambling introductions.

2. Have a clear call to action. What do you want the reader to do? Such advice applies to all email marketing, but less screen estate means more pinching and zooming if you hide the one result you want to achieve from the email.

3. Space! Fingers aren’t as accurate as mouse pointers – make sure any links or buttons aren’t surrounded by other elements – give people room to press the link correctly the first time they attempt it.

4. Testing, testing, testing. Ensure you check your email on as many devices as possible – an iOS device, an Android phone, your colleague’s Blackberry, your parner’s iPad. You’ll never be able to test every device, but leave as few stones unturned as possible.

5. Keep it lean. Bear in mind that many of your recipients may be receiving on the go and will be quite often reliant on poor cellular data signals. Keep large images to a minimum and that will help bring the overall weight of the email down and, consequently, have it delivered faster into their inbox.