Farmers are mobile and your email marketing should be, too

by Jeff Walter
September 1, 2017

email marketing to farmers on mobile devices

Making the point and making it portable: engaging a farmer on-the-go.

According to a Farm Journal Media survey, the majority of farmers already use smartphones and tablets. Nearly 90 percent of farmers will soon own a smartphone. In addition, 75 percent use smartphones for email.

Is your email readable on a smartphone?

If you create an email for farmers and review it in Outlook or on a desktop, you are missing a key review step. Check it across multiple devices using or a similar service that tests the format across various platforms. Does it appear the way you had intended? A majority of the recipients will probably view it on an iPhone, iPad or an Android device. According to Litmus Labs, users view 45 percent of email on an Apple mobile device. Here are the top 10 email clients:

  1. Apple iPhone 31%
  2. Gmail 22%
  3. Apple iPad 11%
  4. Apple Mail 7%
  5. Outlook 6%
  6. Samsung Email App 5%
  7. 5%
  8. Google Android 4%
  9. Yahoo! Mail 3%
  10. Windows Live Mail 1%

Marketing to farmers with responsive email

Responsive web design is a technique where a web page “responds” to the device viewing it. For smart phone users, the web page will present larger text, smaller images, change the menu, and other techniques to make it more readable and usable.

Your email should be responsive. It should present well on both desktops and mobile devices. Below are some examples the demonstrate the value of responsive emails.

The first email comes from a technical company with a responsive website.  The message is readable on a desktop in Outlook, but not so much on an iPhone:

email marketing to farmers non-responsive design

  • The copy is too small.
  • The link in the copy (“In this on-demand webinar”) is difficult to tap.
  • The social sharing icons on the bottom (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) are too close together.

The next email looks good on a desktop and on an iPhone:

email marketing to farmers responsive design

This is an example of responsive email design.

  • The mobile view uses larger copy.
  • The top image didn’t contain message copy, so readability isn’t an issue.
  • The call-to-action button is large enough to tap.

Long emails on smartphones are acceptable

Those who have been doing email marketing for a while are familiar with the concept of “above the fold.” Email designers tried to keep key messaging at the top of the email, so it would appear in a preview pane on Outlook.

Mobile users are used to scrolling – it’s the way they view almost everything on their devices.  While it’s still best practice to keep key messaging close to the top of the message, users will scroll down if they are interested.  The “fold” doesn’t exist on smart phones.

Mobile-friendly email needs to link to mobile-friendly sites

Always remember, the destination for any link on your email should go to a responsive web page. Email clicks won’t bring you much business if you take mobile users to a non-mobile experience.

Ensuring your email content, design and platform are mobile-friendly, along with any linked pages, will guarantee your customers have a good experience with your brand and communications.


Jeff Walter
About the Author – Jeff Walter

President/Chief Integration Officer. Jeff combines 20 years of client service experience with his deep knowledge and passion for agriculture, which stems from growing up on a corn and soybean farm in northern Illinois. He is a quick study of the brand, the customers and competitors, knows the right questions to ask, and with his oversight on planning and analytics, pushes the team to category-defining strategies and results-driven plans.


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Since 1978, the ag-marketing experts at Rhea + Kaiser have been helping brands connect with the farmer customer.

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