The Importance Of Responsive Design in Emails
by Kerry Butters last updated on 0

The Importance Of Responsive Design in Emails

It’s a busy world that we live in, and technology is proving to be both the perpetuator of the busyness, as well as the relief. All things tech make the workaday job go faster, smoother, more streamlined and more convenient. But with this great enhancement of efficiency, there is just more and more to do.

Marketers around the globe have found that it is more than possible to keep up a healthy, lively and engaged presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram – all before lunchtime, leaving the rest of the afternoon to worry about YouTube, Vine, blogging, Tumblr. and, of course, the email marketing campaign.

The reach of the social media marketer is now enormous. The channels available to us myriad, diverse, and each one unique. Various audiences frequent these various digital haunts – and more and more they are doing so via their mobiles.

I suspect that you’re the same. When you get up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? Check your smartphone, right? Right.

You browse through the morning’s headlines, have a quick check on Facebook to see what your (less busy) friends were up to last night, fire up your Twitter app to see what’s trending on the digital airwaves, and then finally log on to your emails to see what’s most pressing in the day ahead.

Mobile Emails

Yes, this is effectively when you start work for the day. Before you’ve even had a shower, brushed your teeth, eaten breakfast or visited the toilet. You’re on your email.

Maybe it’s your work email – but, while you’re there, you must certainly take at least a quick look at your personal emails. And when you do, you will see that marketers like yourself around the globe have already been up and hard at it, and have sent you some of the latest offers from their respective companies.

You know now that your working day has started.

You Are Not Alone

In this day and age we live on our smartphones. Indeed, they have proven to be the most favoured method for internet access for users. In case you missed it, the crossover happened in 2014, as this visualization from comScore shows:


The rise in both consumer and company adoption of mobile has had a significant impact on marketing. No longer is it good enough to create all content with only the desktop screen in mind. Now it is imperative that everything the marketer creates be optimized for the mobile screen as well.

It’s been more than 3 months now since Google rolled out its mobile-friendly algorithm update – meaning that mobile-friendliness is now a ranking factor in Google search. Google, the undisputed giant of the internet, created this update in response to what users want and expect in this modern era of internet browsing.

“As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns,” so said Google on their Webmaster Central Blog back in February when announcing that the update was coming.

This was inevitable, of course. Just like me and you, 80% of internet users now own a smartphone, and we use it to perform practically every internet task that comes our way – including viewing our emails.


The Importance Of Responsively Designed Emails

Back in 2011, mobile made up just 8% of email opens. By 2014, this had jumped up 500%, with 53% of emails now being opened on mobile.

Add to this the following statistics, taken from an infographic by Litmus:


The Advantages Of Responsive Email Design

Your emails may look outstanding on a desktop – but if they don’t cut the mustard on mobile, then users will simply hit ‘delete’, or, even worse, ‘unsubscribe’.

A survey conducted by BlueHornet has revealed that if an email is not optimized for mobile, over 80% of recipients delete it and another 30% unsubscribe. Additionally, over 63% of consumers are interested to make a purchase if they find an email looks good on their mobile devices.

Let’s now take a look at the further benefits of responsive email design and what it can do for your conversion rates:

1. Enhanced UX

User experience (UX) is of vital importance to all methods of marketing, but none more so than on mobile. As we have seen, the majority of people now check their emails via their smartphones – further proof, if any were needed, that we’re living in an exceptionally busy world these days. We like to check our emails on the move, not sat behind our desks.

And so, when it comes to UX for emails, we don’t want to have to pinch our screens or zoom in to view the content. If there’s a contact number, then we want to be able to simply click it to make a call, rather than copy and paste the number into our contacts. We want big call to action (CTA) buttons, so that we are confident that we have hit the right part of the screen when committing to making a purchase. We don’t want clutter. We want the text to be legible. We don’t want to scroll horizontally. We want all the images to download perfectly and instantly. And if we have all of these things, then we are much more likely to open up the next email (and the next, and the next) that we receive from the company in question.

2. Increased Conversions

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to affect your conversion rates, then it’s poorly designed emails and landing pages. If they are not optimized for the mobile screen, then you can wave goodbye to yet another customer (and another, and another).

If you get the responsive design of your emails down to a fine art, then you can expect your sales to increase as well. Once people have become confident that your emails are the perfect channel through which they can access the purchase pages of your (responsively designed) website, then they will be happy to continue to do so in the future. Think about it, people are generally seated and relaxed when they’re browsing the web on their mobiles – what better time to encourage them to make a purchase?

3. Higher Click-To-Open Rate

A recent study by MarketingProfs has revealed that responsive emails have a 21% higher click-to-open rate (11.9%) than non-responsive ones (9.8%). For this reason alone you should be making immediate moves to make sure that all of your emails are responsive.

How effective to you find responsively designed emails? Let us know in the comments below. 

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