Email Marketing: A Mobile State of Mind

Mobile devices are well embedded in consumer behaviour and email marketers should strategically plan their content and targeting accordingly. In doing so, content feels less generic and more personalized to the user’s context.

As of Q3 2014, the proportion of mobile opens in North America has remained consistent at an average of 55% (Inbox Marketer Client Data). This is a trend we have witnessed for well over a year suggesting that desktop opens are no longer the majority and will only continue to shrink, though at a slower rate.

In this blog post we look at how email marketers can execute email campaigns using responsive design to send more relevant and targeted email campaigns.

5 Tips for developing responsive email design:

  1. Reduce the fluff for your mobile readers. Focus on content that is more likely to resonate with them.
  2. Reverse your design process. Most marketers and designers create their email campaigns by making the ‘main version’ first and then creating the mobile version as an afterthought. With mobile opens now making up the majority of open rates the main version should be the mobile version and so the whole design process should be reversed – “Mobile First”.
  3. Adapt a single-column layout. Design your emails with just a single column. By doing so, you’ll be sure that mobile browsers and email clients can display the contents of your email correctly and in the right proportions.
  4. Clear and easy to tap CTAs. A crucial element of any email design is the call to action (CTA). When creating your layout, make sure that your CTA buttons are large and stand out with a colour that contrasts your background. To make your CTA work on mobile devices as well as computers, make sure it’s large enough to tap with a finger.
  5. Test, Test, Test! Once you have put your design together, it’s essential that you try it out in different scenarios. View your layout on a variety of screen sizes, resolutions and devices to see how well it works. This will give you the opportunity to make changes where needed.

If you have a heavy mobile user base, you’ve likely already seen an impact on click through rates if you haven’t adjusted your old desktop friendly strategy. However, if you find you have a fairly even split on mobile and desktop, it might a good idea to begin experimenting with varying deployment times and measuring device open rates by those times. See if you can engage more desktop users (if you have complex product offerings) by using specific deployment times.

While optimizing your email templates to fit new devices is important adjusting your content strategy should also be seen as an important step in your path to email optimization. This means putting yourself in your reader’s shoes and really trying to understand how your content resonates with them across various devices.