A good example of responsive design from The Smashing Library

Have you ever read your email on a smart phone or tablet? If you’re lucky, you can easily read and respond on your mobile device. Unfortunately what usually happens is the font is tiny, you have to scroll sideways to even see most of the copy, multiple columns make it impossible to understand the message and huge images take up unnecessary real estate on a small screen.

Your website may be responsive (if OSP built it is almost certainly is).  This means it senses and appropriately reacts to the device accessing it — but if you think designing your email campaign to be responsive is a waste of time, you’re missing the boat.

At least 36% of all email opens are on a mobile device, according to a Knotice Email Opens Report. And that number is growing.  In fact the number of people who read their email on a mobile device grew by 28% last year.

Emails are very different animals than websites, but there are still ways to make them responsive for mobile devices. Not only does responsive design improve the user’s experience, it makes them more likely to take action and respond.

You can’t respond to what you can’t see.

  • Use a larger font size so your message is easily read on a small screen.
  • Use touch-friendly buttons so “fat fingers” don’t frustrate and prevent a response.
  • Make sure your calls to action are prominent and easily clickable.
  • A one-column layout can be read on screen without having to scroll AND you can have two column design on laptops and tablets but have the same email shown as a single column on mobile phones.
  • Make sure you have a good balance of appropriately-sized images to text.
  • If images are disabled on a device, be sure you have descriptive text where an image would be. The style may be lost, but the substance is still there.

Why responsive design?

The use of responsive design in your email marketing campaigns can double their effectiveness, but not the cost. That is certainly the mark of an efficient marketing campaign. You’ll also be able to provide compelling content, no matter what the medium or device used to read your message.

Most importantly, users now expect responsive design. An increasing number of organizations are using responsive email design. If you’re not, you’re getting left behind.  In fact, if your email is hard to read or looks bad on a mobile device 80% of people will delete it immediately!  If they don’t (or can’t) read your message you have not only missed out on a potential sale you may very well loose that person for good if they unsubscribe from you list because they can’t read your message.

Take a look that the image on this page.  That is Smashing Library’s responsive email and it is a really great example of what you can do with responsive design.  Their very wide header image is  hidden on mobile phones as is the very awesome looking “S” bookcase image.  This helps ensure there is no scrolling on mobile phones.  Take a look at The OSP’s new responsive email and you will see that the two column portion in the middle becomes one column when you view it on a mobile phone.

Think about the goals of and audience for your email marketing campaign. It’s worth a little extra time to make your emails responsive so they help you achieve your email marketing goals. Make it happen.


Need help making your email marketing responsive? Find out more here or  Contact The OSP – Your Online Success Partner

We provide a full suite of email marketing services for our clients: Responsive HTML email design services, email marketing strategy, email campaign management and analytics, email list building and management tools, email copywriting, and more. Contact us today to find out how The OSP can help you reach your email marketing goals.