Responsive Email Design Is NOT All That

Over 50% of opens now happen on mobile devices. And that number is growing fast.

If you’re using responsive design, great! You’re on the path to mobile-first email marketing. But remember that just because your emails look better on phones and tablets, that doesn’t mean they’re getting acted upon. Clicks and conversions are often lower on mobile devices when compared to desktop and laptop computers. And that’s because mobile-first email doesn’t start and end at the design stage…

Design matters

Design definitely has an important place in mobile-friendly emails. How an email renders on an iPhone is vastly different from the way it appears on a desktop screen. Scrolling is an issue because people don’t want to do it. Links need to be clickable even by fat fingers. And smaller screens of mobile devices lead to smaller attention spans by users. So, yes, design matters, and you’ll get nowhere in mobile marketing if you don’t address the design issues first. But there’s so much more to it…

Content matters more

Responsive design makes your emails appealing on tiny devices, and it should make them easier to scan and interact with. But content matters more. Content starts with your From line, your subject line and your preview text (i.e. the little text blurb visible from the inbox view). Design might make a good impression when people open an email on mobile, but content is what keeps them there. And content is what gets you click-thrus, which matters more than opens, because they get the customer closer to the “buy” stage. Still, despite all the work content does, it’s not what matters most in mobile email marketing.

Testing matters most

Nothing matters as much as testing when it comes to mobile-first marketing. It’s only through testing that you can learn how to fully maximize a 2-inch wide screen. It’s only through testing that you’ll learn:

• The best From name
• The best subject line
• The best preview text
• The best image
• Where to put the image
• How big (or small) to make the image
• The best font—and font size
• How much (or more likely how little) text to use
• The best call the action
• Where to put the CTA button
• What color to make the button
• The effects of formatting
• Which offers work best for which audiences
• …and so much more!

Whether you’re just starting out ensuring you’re creating mobile friendly emails or you’re far down the path of mobile-first, keep your priorities straight and remember: Design matters and content matters more, but testing matters most.

scottScott Hardigree is the Founder of Email Industries, the folks behind Indiemark and BlackBox.