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22nd October 2015 /

Responsive email design for a smartphone society

Responsive email design for a smartphone society

You know those graphs? The ones with a 'mobile usage' arrow pointing upwards and a 'desktop usage' arrow going in the opposite direction? Well, it turns out the predictions were true, mobile usage topped desktop in the UK early in 2015.

According to Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report, we are now officially a ‘Smartphone society’. We typically spend almost twice as long online on our smartphones as we do on laptops and desktop devices.

Successful marketing has always been about saying the right thing to the right people, in the right place. And right now, for many of us that means mobile. And yet many organisations are still failing to embrace mobile or understand the wider implications to their businesses if their digital comms aren’t adaptive for multiple devices.

The ‘responsive website penny’ may well have dropped with most, but what about email? 41% of all emails are now opened on a mobile.  

The ever increasing variety of mobile screen sizes, email clients, apps and operating systems means that designing for mobile is more important than ever. Non-responsive email design now poses a real threat to engagement levels and response rates.

So, here are a few tips to ensure your marketing emails are accessible and easily digestible to mobile audiences:

1. Use a responsive email template that reconfigures to suit the viewer's screen size. Test it across multiple screen sizes and email clients.

2. Ensure your call to action / interaction buttons are a usable size. Don’t rely on text links in body copy.

3. Structure your content so that it can be read easily in a scrollable environment. Users are more likely to scan for something of interest, and they may only scroll once or twice before losing interest.

4. Use images to gain impact and quickly communicate your messages, but ensure they are optimised for mobile, so that they’ll resize correctly.

5. Shorten your subject lines to around 30 characters if possible and ensure your preview text works alongside it to encourage users to open the email.

6. And finally, use mobile friendly landing pages. Make sure the calls to action on your emails drive users through to responsive web content – or you’ll lose them at the first hurdle!

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