The Importance of Responsive Email

The technological revolution is certainly nothing new and all manner of different devices and screen sizes are now used to view media. These range from Smart TVs, to Smart watches and now mobiles which are capable of harnessing newer technology such as augmented reality. This renders it imperative to utilise email marketing that can adapt to various specifications; maximising effectiveness whilst keeping up to date with the most popular technology.


It has now been over two years since mobile became the most popular method of accessing the internet.[1] What’s more, the average American adult spends 4.7 hours a day checking their phone, accounting for almost a third of their day![2] More specifically, mobile devices are now the most popular choice for opening emails, with 53% opened using such a method. This is an incredible increase of 500% since 2011, where mobile devices accounted for just 8% of email opens.[3]


Clearly there are numerous complex notions regarding the technicalities of responsive email, although a fundamental aspect is to convert measurements of templates into percentages. This can be done through the majority of graphic design software. In essence, rather than having separate dedicated emails/websites for mobile and desktop, one would use a responsive design whereby information is easily consumed on either platform.


The user experience is of course essential to maintaining the attention of the consumer, particularly when 80% of recipients will delete an email if it is not optimized for mobile.[4] Conversely, 63% of consumers are interested in making a purchase, should they regard an email to be aesthetically pleasing on their mobile device.4 Furthermore, in the increasingly busy society we live in, people do not want to have to pinch screens or scroll horizontally in order to consume the information. Call to action (CTA) buttons must be clear, preferably visible without the need to scroll.


Ultimately the key reason for utilising responsive design in email, is to increase conversion rates. If these emails and subsequent landing pages are poorly designed, then customers will undoubtedly be lost. On the other hand, once the recipient becomes confident that these responsively designed emails are the perfect channel through which they can access purchase pages, then they will continue to do so in the future. This takes on added significance when you factor in the fact that 69% of tablet users reported shopping directly from their mobile device within the last 30 days.[5]


Responsive design also allows you to do some important high-end heatmapping and A/B testing, via software such as Clicktale. As a result, users can be segmented by mobile in order to create a clearer picture of how those users are interacting on your site. Once this is done, the effectiveness of various sales tactics and marketing strategies can be more easily gaged.


With regard to the running of business, search engine optimisation (SEO) must also be taken into consideration. It is far simpler to manage one SEO campaign, as oppose to separate ones for desktop and mobile. In addition to pleasing your customers, using responsive design is also more cost effective and will keep everyone involved in the business far happier!


To conclude, a few simple rules are included below to consider when adapting your email content:

  • Building on single column templates optimizes readability as smartphone screens force marketers to arrange contents vertically.
  • Call to action (CTA) buttons must be visible, even if this means shortening content. These buttons should be a minimum of 44x44 pixels in order to be easily accessible with a finger.
  • Emails must be instantly effective and recognizable, as they are often read on the go.
  • The majority of mobile inboxes display emails showing only the subject and first one to three lines. As a result, both should be emphasized.
  • Image sizes should be lightened in order to reduce download time. This can be a genuine irritation for consumers.
  • Most importantly test, test and retest, to ensure emails are displayed well across all devices!






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