Why Mobile Responsive Email Design Can No Longer Be Ignored.

June 7, 2013

Edit:  Download Our Latest Free White Paper on This Topic Here If you’ve ever tried opening your emails on a Mobile, regardless of the screen resolution, you may have found some very strange-looking (or even completely unreadable) newsletters. What have you done? Instantly deleted the email? Unsubscribed? Lost trust for the sender? In the past few months, we’ve found it more and more difficult to ignore increasing mobile open rates (MOR) rapidly overstepping the 50% mark for each email campaign we send - raising alarm bells with how this may be affecting our Click Rates, and ultimately the Conversions for our clients. This has led us to look further in to optimising our email templates for multiple devices.

Why use a mobile responsive email design?

It’s not just one type of mobile we’re optimising for. One mobile will react differently to standard (non-responsive) email designs to another. Some will display the full size email but it will be zoomed out, meaning to read the content you will have to zoom in requiring you to scroll side to side and up and down. Others will try and force text to fit the width of the screen causing the layout to be skewed, resulting in the reader needing to perform many different gestures on the mobile, such as pinch and push to zoom and swiping to move side to side, just to know what the content is. Using a mobile responsive design allows us to rearrange content and images, or even change images completely when the email is opened on a mobile device. This will provide a more ‘linear’ and mobile-friendly layout, reducing the width and meaning you can view the email comfortably in one hand, scrolling down with just one finger.

Why is a mobile responsive email template so important?

In many online markets (specifically retail) a lot of companies are seeing upwards of 50% of their email subscriber base opening their email via mobile. Campaign Monitor states that email opens recorded by mobile have skyrocketed from 4% in 2009, to 40% at the end of 2012. So far this year all of our clients sending regular emails are seeing 50%+ mobile opens. The average mobile open rate across other companies is roughly 41%. The true value of conversions from a mobile responsive email will continue to broaden only if it’s hand-in-hand with a fully mobile-optimised website, creating a seamless user experience. In the short term however, the value in having a responsive design is in the knowledge that the majority of your subscribers are receiving an email that is perfectly optimised for the device they are viewing it on.

Where’s the proof?

Putting our theories in to practice, we built a mobile-friendly version of our Weird Fish email template.

Using this responsive design, we have noticed a 10% increase in click through rates to the Weird Fish website compared to an earlier campaign. This shows that using responsive emails is making people more likely to read through the email and potentially see something they are interested in. Not optimising your marketing strategies for mobile is the equivalent of ignoring your largest target market. If you are not using a responsive design for your email marketing campaigns, how many conversions are you missing out on?





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