October 6, 2017

Why Mobile-Friendly Emails May Not Cut It

If you are accustomed to checking email from your smartphone, then you are familiar with viewing less than attractive emails that either take up your entire screen or don’t load at all. When this happens, you and millions of others simply close the email, sending it to trash or spam. In the worst case scenario (but not uncommon) recipients may unsubscribe altogether, because who wants to strain their eyes to read about x or y sales offer? Seriously—people don’t have time for that.

In a recent Hubspot article on e-mail optimization, it was found that…:

• 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices
• 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile
• 89% of email marketers are losing leads and opportunities because they’re not optimizing their emails

So, what does it mean to optimize an email, anyhow? In Layman’s terms, optimization relates to making an e-mail mobile friendly. This can include:

• reducing image sizes
• increasing the size of links and CTA buttons
• using pre-header text
• coding your own template

Email platforms like MailChimp make it easy to view a “mobile version” of your e-mail to ensure the readability of content. The downside is that this “mobile version” doesn’t always accommodate for different types of phone displays (i.e. an iPhone SE will display differently than an iPhone 6 or 7 and Android devices).

Reducing image sizes and tweaking the layout of an email is great to achieve a mobile friendly version of your email, but, it doesn’t mean your emails are mobile responsive.

Why mobile responsive?

When viewed on smartphones versus desktop or laptop computers, responsive email adjusts to the layout of the email message, image sizes, font sizes, and CTA buttons. In effect, there becomes two versions of the email message: the mobile version and the desktop version.  When creating an email that is “mobile friendly,” there is no one HTML/CSS code to modify content or image sizes between the two platforms. Mobile friendly designs generally appear the same on a mobile device but ‘scaled down” to about half the size.

Responsive emails keep up with the times. New devices are coming out constantly, and most people want to keep up with the trend. A responsive email will adapt to any device’s screen size, whereas a “mobile friendly” or “optimized” email may not always cut it.

Unfortunately, making emails responsive takes time and money—which is why so many haven’t yet gotten on board this burgeoning trend. However as more people see the advantages (or more companies become apparent that they’re losing money from antiquated email design), the accessibility of responsive email is likely to change.