Just as web design is evolving, so is the frontier for email marketing. Based on current studies, just over 47% (which will quickly approach the 50% marker by the end of 2013) of emails are received and viewed on mobile devices. With our audience’s living on-the-go lifestyle, they are depending on mobile devices as their primary source of communication verses the desktop.
How Does This Change the Frontier of Email Marketing?
As designers and developers have embraced the concept of responsive design for web design, e-marketers are faced with embracing the same strategy. E-blasts should both yield the simplicity of messaging, call-to-action and now the ability to flow and conform to the fluid display sizes on smartphones, tablets and anything else on the horizon.
The 411 on Responsive Design.
Responsive design techniques allow designers to hide, stack, expand, flow, collapse and modify content display on smaller screens. So if you have a full-width image, responsive design will allow the image to resize to fit the width on your device. Or if you have 8 paragraphs of copy, responsive design will allow you to hide the excessive amount of text for mobile users. This is not done with smoke and mirrors, instead it is done through additional HTML/CSS coding. Learn more about RWD.
Strategic and Skillful Acts.
The additional time and effort behind responsive design calls for more intentional consideration of what is important and what is not important. Today’s users can not be bothered with forms, 20 paragraph emails, or excessive options. Their attention is captured by simplicity in design, message and action requests. In all your messaging and consideration, we recommend you put your growing mobile users first when it comes to email marketing.
Form Follows Function.
Keep in mind the world of touch-screen devices. These are your users, so make sure that your links and call-to-action graphics are built with them in mind.
The Code Head’s Challenge – Who Needs Standards?
Responsive is a goal, however keep in mind that – unlike web browsers – there lacks an industry standard. The world of responsive appears to be moving at a faster pace than the world of email client applications and email marketing distribution vendors. Some vendors play well with responsive coding, while others are struggling with keeping up with the times. In addition, the same goes for email client applications. As all email applications may play well with archaic html coding practices, others are not equipped to welcome new coding practices (outside of mobile devices). So if your audience is government or institutional, responsive may not be the key at this time. However, if your audience is on-the-go you may want to consider making the switch over to responsive design.