Globally, consumers are ditching the mouse and embracing the thumb – so why haven’t we embraced responsive email design yet?

Recently, a report by Ericsson showed that that worldwide smartphone subscriptions increased by 600 million between 2014 and 2015. This total figure will double by 2021. It’s no surprise that our day-to-day lives increasingly involve mobile devices; they’ve revolutionised the way we get news, shop and, of course, communicate with each other.

Email tracking company Litmus has been tracking email opens since back in 2011. Their findings probably won’t come as a surprise. 48% of the emails sent today are being opened on mobile devices, up from just 8% in 2011. As if email wasn’t already in the limelight, US company IDC also found that for American adults, checking emails is the most common activity on a smartphone, surpassing Facebook and general internet browsing. We’re starting to see that responsive email design is absolutely vital to address the current trends.

email client growth desktop mobile and webmail 2011 to 2014

Out-dated emails

We’re more connected to email than ever before, what’s the issue? Quite simply, the way we design emails isn’t keeping up.

The Email Marketing Industry Census last year revealed that 17% of businesses had no mobile email strategy, and as many as a third had only basic mobile design optimisation.

companies 2015 mobile strategy percentage

Responsive email design isn’t simply about ease of use or branding; it can be the difference between a lead and a lost client. A reported three quarters of mobile device users will simply delete an email without reading it, if it doesn’t convert well. Email campaigns live and die on the scant few words that a customer sees as they glance at a notification, or skims through their inbox.

As consumers multitask their way through the day, digesting huge amounts of information, small buttons and tiny text are guarantees for lost attention.

Six key elements of the mobile-optimised email

According to Campaign Monitor, a leading marketing agency, there are several things you should perfect to ensure optimised mobile email design:

Craft your subject line

This is extremely important! While Desktops display up to 60 characters in an email subject line, mobile devices display only 25-30. What may have originally been catchy will now be cut short. Use your characters wisely.

Pretext headers are the hook

If subject lines were the bait, pretext headers are the hook. Most mobile inboxes will show a small amount of text under the subject line which is crucial to capitalise on to entice clients to open your emails.

Make your email concise and scannable

Take the time to make your emails concise and scannable, with visible key words. Bullet points and short paragraphs are the way to go for mobile customers.

Get an obvious call to action button

They should be at least 44 x 44 pixels and eye-catching.

confusing bright call to action

Make your emails click friendly

If you want them to click, ensure that you leave some space around any clickable content and never list links.

Test your emails across platforms before you go live

There’s nothing worse than realising your email is poorly formatted, after you’ve sent it to your subscribers.

Seek expert help

While the basics of mobile email design are fairly easy to achieve, you might want to consider seeking professional help to perfect your campaigns. There are a number of agencies who can help with responsive email design.

Make sure to keep in mind that mobile friendly emails have a fixed width, readable font sizes and suitably sized buttons to be user friendly on most devices. Mobile responsive design, on the other hand, means optimising emails to any particular device, automatically adjusting templates or hiding certain elements (like images) to suit the particular screen width or orientation.

Check that you’re taking advantage of every standard email sent, by using email signatures that add your branding to each email. Check out Crossware Mail Signature for a fresh and professional signature on each email, no matter the device an email is sent on or viewed on.

What do you think is the most crucial part of creating a mobile responsive email? Let us know in the comments below.

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