As smartphones continue to get smarter, professionals are utilizing them more and more for business on the go. In fact, 51 percent of all emails are now opened on mobile devices. This number has more than doubled in the past two years is continuing to trend aggressively up. Furthermore, Experian’s “Quarterly Email Benchmark Study” claims that mobile received the largest number of unique clicks.
Forrester Research forecasts that 78 percent of US email users will access their emails via mobile by 2017. IDC and Facebook have already documented that emails are already the most popular activity conducted on smartphones. How much attention are we giving mobile users and what impact can you expect from a mobile-focused approach to email marketing?
As designers, we can begin preparing for this shift through the implementation of responsive design.
What is Responsive Design?
Responsive design identifies a device’s screen or display size using the @media query and serves the appropriate layout determined by the designer. They allow room for the designer to modify, hide, stack, add, expand, or collapse content to optimize usability for narrow screen sizes. It also uses flexible grid and fixed width layout in the HTML template, offering more flexibility and control.
Not all email clients are made equal. From inbox to inbox, how your email displays can vary. Some email clients strip out CSS style sheets and don’t support @media queries. However, optimization will be supported if synced with the phone’s native email application.
With that in mind, design your email template around Android and iOS users. Don’t compromise your design to perfect the experience on a less popular device.
5 tips for responsive design
- Design for mobile first: Begin with the mobile experience and work up to desktop. This approach is much easier than to try to fit a desktop experience into a mobile phone.
- Stack your content: Rather than scale down images, transform horizontal assortments into vertical at the 480px breakpoint.
- Optimize for touch: Position CTAs in a way that aligns with how people hold and use touch-enabled devices. Simplify for mobile and decide what needs to stay on the screen.
- Make it legible: Optimize your content on mobile by choosing easily readable fonts, increase line spacing, and font size.
- If it doesn’t sell, expel! Consider hiding extra text and menus that push down your most important content.
Based on recent statistics, mobile viewing for email is more than just a trend – it’s the new normal. Properly designing your emails in responsive format will prove to be more and more crucial in executing your marketing efforts.