A Brief Introduction to Responsive Mailer Design

By OctaneGo, September 5, 2013 | Tips & Resources

The world is becoming ever more mobile, with people taking along their digital lives with them and always looking to be connected on the move. According to a recent study covering Indian mobile users by Octane Research (India Mobile Users Experience Monitor 2013), 64.2% of the respondents stated that their most preferred activity on their smartphones was checking email. That’s a huge number of people checking mailers from marketers but also where a problem arises. Simply put, different smartphones and mobile devices such as tablets and phablets all have different characteristics such as screen size, resolution and mail apps and these differences can create major problem when it comes to displaying your emails correctly.

This is where responsive email design comes into play. Responsive email design means that the email automatically adjusts itself to better utilize the display available for any given device. How this works is that the response code in the email gets the information from the device and reacts by displaying the most appropriate layout of the email that keeps the design language and utility of the email intact.

Non-Responsive Mailer
Responsive Mailer

Small cluttered call to action buttons with difficulty viewing text.Clear and large call to action buttons with larger, easily legible font.

Why should marketers care?

There are many reasons why marketers should care about responsive mailer design but the most important of them all is the marketers need to provide the best experience of engagement to the people who are opening the emails. The layout, the amount of scrolling, the rendering of images, the placement of link, all contribute towards the overall experience for a subscriber and have a very real impact on the potential for conversion. The better experience you offer them, the higher engagement you will see and thus, a higher chance for conversion.

Another important reason why we should care about responsive mailer design is the touch screen problem of ‘involuntary clicks’. This usually happens due to the mailer design not being displayed correctly on a device, the recipient scrolling or adjusting a mailer and inadvertently activating a link that pulls them away from the mail and towards a different page. Picture this scenario; you get an email on your mobile device but the font is really small and as you try to navigate through the email you accidently click a link. You get frustrated and close the link before the page opens. This can be a false positive for the company when it comes to analytics and will end up providing incorrect stats. For marketers, the number of opens and clicks matter a lot and incorrect or non-responsive mailer design via virtue of being non-optimized, can lead to incorrect assessment of engagement.

Do remember, your mailers are the medium of your conversation with your customers and subscribers. Responsive mailer design removes someone of the basic problems that people face when checking your communication on their mobile devices. While a lot of companies (ESPs) don’t offer the ability to send responsive mailers yet, we believe it is only a matter of time before it becomes the standard and the norm rather than the exception. At Octane, we too believe in this and are hard at work to offer you the ability to design and send responsive mailers of the next generation.

So what do you think? Are we right or is responsive mailer design an unnecessary challenge?


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