Drive better mobile results with responsive email design

Posted April 16, 2013 in by

mobile designWe’ve all been there. Checking your email on a mobile device can be a nuisance – teeny-tiny text, broken layouts and that horrible side-to-side scrolling. Now think about your own email communications. Do they fall victim to this poor customer experience?

Let’s hope not, because the consequence isn’t good: 70% of consumers will delete your email if it doesn’t render correctly.* Buh-bye, sayonara. When the consumer does check in on a desktop, your email won’t be there.

So you decide to cater to mobile. And good thing you do, because as of March, 43% of email is opened on a mobile device.** And users could be checking their email four or more times a day. But you approach it with a one-column design. You adhere to best practices, minimal images and minimal text, but it just looks so boring when you open it on your desktop – you can’t win! Or can you? Enter responsive design. I’m sure you’ve heard about this approach for Web design, but did you know it’s equally effective for email?

Responsive email design is a little slice of “have your cake and eat it too.” Your emails can look great on mobile AND desktop! By adding just a little extra CSS (called media queries), your email will be able to recognize whether a customer is looking at your email on a mobile device or on a desktop and automatically adjust your design to look the best by:

  • Displaying a different image
  • Adjusting the size and color of text
  • Increasing button size
  • Hiding or showing different content

You’ll be happy to hear that it’s not as intimidating as it may seem. With a little up-front planning and some additional lines of code, you can send out one email that will look great regardless of where your customer opens it.

And don’t stop at optimizing your emails for mobile – there is so much opportunity to reach out to mobile users. Get your feet wet with an SMS (text) campaign, or if you are really ready to dive in, create an app that allows you to send push alerts to your subscribers.

Responsive email design isn’t a trend; it’s a reality. According to Experian, 76% of companies are already starting to optimize for mobile. So now’s the time to get on board. Are your emails communications optimized? Please share your challenges or successes below.

*BlueHornet “Consumer Views of Email Marketing” (2012)
**Litmus –”Email Analytics” (March 2013)

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