5 Tips for Mobile-Friendly Responsive Email Design
Transitioning to responsive email design is more than just a simple redesign. It's a different way of approaching email content. Just as responsive design has forced Web content managers to carefully consider the context and user experience for the content they present, so too is responsive email design demanding a re-examination of email strategy.
Here are a handful of simple things you can do now to ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly:
- Streamline design and content: Having a clear and concise message should be a staple of any email, but it's even more important when designing for mobile. Screen real estate is very valuable on mobile, so keep the design very clean and simple and focus on the essentials.
- Use a single column template: Because of the limited real estate you get with a mobile device, it's generally better to use simple layouts. Often times with multi-column layouts your readers will have to zoom or scroll on their smartphone to see everything. This can make it difficult for them to navigate the content of your email and the call to action. Using a single column template will make your content much more flexible for all screen sizes.
- Reel customers in with a clear call to action: Make sure to include a clear call to action, and put it near the top of your email. Multiple calls to action often make things a little complicated on mobile. Tell your readers what you want them to do, and make it really easy for them to do so. Want them to visit your website or buy now? Make sure that link or button is easy to find and click. Whatever the action you want them to take, just make sure it's loud and clear.
- Avoid small fonts: Make sure your text can be read easily. Use a minimum of size 11pt font for body text and 22pt for headlines. We also recommend using a strong contrast of colors, like dark text on a light background. Many people turn down the brightness level on the mobile device to help conserve battery-and they are often reading on the go outside in the sunlight-so a strong contrast of colors will be easier to read.
- Beware of image overload: Only use images that are absolutely essential to your email. The reason is that Apple's iOS automatically enables images to display by default, but many other mobile device platforms-like Android-turn images off by default. You can't assume your images will be displayed. If your email has a bunch of images in it, they might just look like chunks of white space.
The use of responsive email design creates a seamless user experience across multiple devices, further enabling the customer's omni-channel experience.
Mobile is going to continue to grow as will its use as a way for brands to interact with their customers. However, the mobile device is far more personal than your email inbox. Fortunately, there are ways to implement a mobile marketing strategy that delivers relevant information that your customers want to receive. By understanding how your customers want to engage with you will help you build loyalty and in turn, help you see faster returns on your marketing investment.
Greg is a 12-year mobile industry veteran and vice president of mobile solutions at Hipcricket, Inc., where he's responsible for the vision and strategy to deliver consumer experiences that increase mobile engagement and lifetime value across mobile messaging and advertising, mobile websites, social media and branded apps