Email Responsive Design: The Time is Now

By Josh Hecht in Direct Marketing on September 10th, 2013

With the percentage of mobile device email openings increasing, it’s the perfect time to consider the current state of your email marketing program, and where it needs to be in 2014.

                       Email Responsive Design It’s no secret that mobile phones are getting more sophisticated.  This is not news.  Also gone are the days of slow mobile browsing.  Again, not news.  But what has continued to change, and what all email marketers need to start really considering, is how affordable this technology has become.

An August report published by ExactTarget stated that 45% of email opens are from a mobile device.  In an excellent post regarding Gmail’s new tab structure, Litmus reports that 66% of Gmail opens occur on a mobile device.  The point is, email has been going mobile for a while now, and it’s going to keep growing. At BKV we’re seeing B2C clients achieving opens on mobile devices in the mid-60% range – well above ExactTarget’s reported 45%.  The time to overhaul your email creative is now. In a post from earlier this year, 5 Quick Tweaks to Optimize Email for Mobile, we mentioned how utilizing a single column format in email that renders well in desktop and mobile could be a solution for marketers not ready to make the investment in responsive design.  That can still be a viable option, but it shouldn’t be your long term solution.  A “one-size fits all” solution is really a compromise.  It’s robbing from “A” to improve “B.” There’s so much we can do utilizing responsive design to give the consumer, be it on mobile or desktop, the optimal experience:
  • Structure – Is the content organized in a meaningful fashion?  Is the CTA above the fold/scroll?
  • Content – Are we using imagery?  Do we need to?  Are we using navigation?  Where is it presented?  Do we need all this copy?  What about secondary and tertiary content?
  • Readability – Will the consumer be able to read the email on all screens?
  • Usability – Are accidental clicks possible?
  And finally, what comes after the click? The email needs to pay off the subject line.  Now that the consumer has clicked through the email, it’s the site’s job to convert.  What’s that experience like?  Even if it’s strong, chances are that consumer may have a preference for completing that action on a desktop, which reinforces why it’s so important for our emails to provide the optimal experience on all screens – something we can only accomplish with responsive design. With Apple’s September 10th announcement, be sure you’re considering your existing email creative. As high-end smartphone ownership becomes cheaper, mobile opens are going to continue to skyrocket. Interested in speaking to our email experts about how you can improve your next email marketing program? Contact us today!