SEO isn’t just for getting your website to show up in Google. You use SEO to get your Facebook page to show up in Facebook or to make it easy for people to find you in LinkedIn.

And now, you use SEO for your email.

I’ve been switching as much as possible from desktop-first to mobile-first, which means I use the web mostly through my mobile device. On business trips, etc., I take only my cell phone: no laptop or tablet.

Last week on a trip to Denmark, I noticed the difference in email on desktop and mobile. Here are screenshots. First, a screenshot of my GMail account from my desktop computer:


Screenshot of Email on Desktop

Second: here is what I see in my cell phone (I use a Samsung Note 4, which is a large phone, so many of you will see less):

Screenshot of Email on Cell Phone (Samsung Note 4)

Finally: Here is the body of the first email:

‘ The Content of the Email

To make this easier, here is the first email in all three views: desktop, mobile, and the email:


All Three Views

Okay, do you see what’s going on?

The email’s subject line is “SearchCap: Google Business Photos & Chat, AdWords Spring Cleaning & Google Unwanted Downloads”.

In desktop view, you see the first 80 characters of the email’s subject heading (“SearchCap: Google Business Photos & Chat, AdWords Spring Cleaning & Google Unwan…”)

However, in mobile, you see only the first 48 characters of the email’s subject heading (“SearchCap: Google Business Photos & Chat, AdWor…”). The remainder (“…Spring Cleaning & Google Unwan…”) is not shown.

Mobile is clipping your email’s subject line.

This is very bad news. If your email’s subject isn’t immediately apparent in 48 characters (incl. spaces), your audience will swipe right and delete your email.

This is similar to writing text ads in Google Adwords, where you have only 35 characters per line.

  • You have only five or six words to show your reader why she should read your email.
  • The subject must offer a clear benefit to her.

Using Your Logo

What about that big S? Where does that come from?


The Logo Comes from the Google+ Page

Well, there’s finally a reason to use Google+. Pej Gruppen, a trends research company in Denmark, put their logo in Google+ so it shows up in their email. This stands out much better in the row of random alphabet letters in email on mobile. You may notice that photos of your friends show up in GMail on mobile: that’s because they added their photo to their Google+ profile.

You may notice there is a second line in mobile view (“SearchCap: Daily Search Engine News Recap SearchC…”) I look all over the email, incl. its source code, but I couldn’t find that text. If you look at mobile view, the same text is repeated in the second line.

Wrapping Up

We’ve passed the 50% mark. More than half of users are now using mobile, not desktop. If your email open-rate has been dropping, this may be the reason: your emails are not getting attention on mobile devices.