Mobile devices might be choking your leads without you even noticing it. Here’s how to retain control in the new era of email marketing.

 

“What’s the big deal?”

In 1971, the big deal was Ray Tomlinson sending the world’s first email (to himself!). Today, it’s an even bigger deal with around 190 billion emails sent every single day.

Californian research group Radicati say that in the business sphere alone, email users send and received about 121 emails every day in 2014. That means that if your marketing email is lost among a hundred other messages in an inbox, your campaign isn’t going to be as effective as you’d like.

 

“That’s okay – I’ll make my email stand out with engaging writing and graphics”

That’s a good idea that many successful marketers have been using for some time. Employing professional copywriters and graphic designers is certainly a plus, but there is an emerging problem.

In today’s mobile world, studies show that almost half of all email is opened on a mobile device. If you’re one of those people, you’ll already have noticed that sometimes those e-newsletters can be quite hard to read on a four-inch screen.

The problem is that many corporate emails are designed to look lovely. But only on a desktop monitor.

When you try to open that delightful email on a small screen, everything is squished and cramped. The mobile user has to zoom in to read it, but then the text doesn’t sit nicely, the sidebars are pushed out of view, the images become a nuisance and (critically for the marketer) the call to action is either lost in the jumble or displays too small to press with a finger.

 

“How do I fix it?”

The solution is Responsive Email Design. With effective coding, you can actually program your email to find out what size screen it needs to fit on, and then to rearrange itself into the perfect format for easy reading and navigation. If you’ve browsed the net from your smartphone, you may have already come across some pages that are squished up, and some that seem perfectly designed for mobile use. That’s because the latter sort use responsive design.

 

Does responsive design actually matter?

Yes! Responsive email ensures that your message is communicated in the best possible way, regardless of how your readers are opening it. As a result, MailChimp research has proved that responsive design improves the click through rate on every platform, including desktops. As the chart below shows, on a mobile device, responsive email design can raise the click through rate from about 1 in 40 to almost 1 in 30. That’s very good news to anyone running a large campaign.

So all you need to do now is learn a new programming language, redesign your current layouts to be compatible with the @media tags, reassess the scales of your logo and images, consider the…

 

“But I can’t do all that!”

The great news is that you don’t have to! Designers are willing to do the hard work to make sure that your emails look great every time and adapt to any given screen. A good graphic designer with a knowledge of responsive programming can work with you on every stage of your branding including your marketing emails, making sure that your business always looks its best, regardless of screen size or browser. These experts can make sure that the colours, shapes and flow of your responsive emails matches your business identity, helping you to find resonance with your customers. Good design leads to easy reading, which leads to engaged customers, which in turn leads to a stronger brand and better sales.