Responsive email design has become a necessity for getting the best possible results in the business world.
The numbers speak for themselves, today around 47% of emails are opened through mobile devices, and this data comes from a study by Litmus made with over 250 million worldwide opens.
Nowadays users expect to have a great experience when reading their emails from mobile devices, just like when they are visiting responsive websites (which are more popular everyday), therefore it is crucial for you to make sure you use responsive email design if you want to get great results from your email marketing efforts. Smart marketers have already realized that a new era of responsive email design is upon us and there is no escape.
Whether you design email blasts for your clients or you craft emails for promoting your own products, it is important emphasizing that even though most mobile email applications today try to adjust non-responsive emails to fit perfectly into small screens, often the process results in messages that are hard to read (they look really bad most of the times), and therefore they end up being ignored. The majority of users simply delete emails that do not look good on their mobile devices. However, if you use responsive email design you will ensure an optimal experience for your subscribers across all the different platforms and devices, resulting in an overall greater impact from your messages and consequently a higher ROI regarding your email marketing efforts.
What Exactly is Responsive Email Design?
Essentially, responsive email design is a set of principles and techniques applied for designing emails that includes fluid layouts, media queries, images, and customized copy. This design approach makes the emails adaptable for both mobile devices and desktops. While the traditional email design rates messages that generally present fixed-width frameworks, multiple paragraphs of text and images, responsive emails are able to adapt to the device screen size and then display content accordingly, usually skipping the elements like some blocks of text in order to allow touch screen users to read and respond calls to action very quickly.
Responsive email design techniques enable the web designers to hide, modify or expand/collapse content in order to optimize the message view on the different screen sizes. For example, you have five short paragraphs on your email copy, with responsive email design you could choose to hide two paragraphs and then display a shorter message for mobile devices. However, using this type of technique requires more than just clever HTML/CSS tricks. Content plays a major part in crafting an effective high converting email, therefore any content changes should be done only after some good amount of thinking.
Responsive email design also includes other tweaks for making emails easier for mobile device users to consume. Such as using large buttons for easy tapping, using certain types of layouts which follow a content hierarchy so emails are shown even without image displaying enabled, hiding content for certain devices and crafting the perfect navigation.
Unfortunately, there is not yet enough high quality consistent literature available online covering all the technical possibilities on the usage of responsive email design. Most designers simply have to work hard on testing their templates frequently on a variety of devices and email applications in order to ensure that everything is working great on their email marketing templates.
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