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How To Design An Email Campaign That Is Mobile Responsive



Mobile Responsive

Do you remember when mobile phones were just for calls and texts? Considering how far mobile technology has come in the last 20 years, it may feel strange to look back at the days when the most dynamic thing you could do with your mobile was play Snake.

Now mobile is poised to become the dominant device used around the world. Did you know that mobile is the preferred browsing tool for the majority of Australians? According to a data report from Deloitte, 88% of Australians are using a smartphone, making this great southern land one of the leading global users of mobile technology.

With the majority of the population using mobile, there is a question that is being posed to marketers and business owners alike; is your marketing optimized for mobile?

While webmasters are focusing on adapting websites for mobile use and businesses foray into the realm of app building, there is one important tool that needs to be considered for mobile marketing.


A powerful email marketing strategy is essential for generating leads, as well as promoting new products and services. With such a large portion of the population using mobile, it’s time to make sure you’re using an email design that is mobile responsive to ensure your will be marketing effective on mobile.

What does a mobile responsive email look like?

You may be surprised to learn that it’s not only millennials who are spurring the growth of mobile engagement. The Deloitte report has revealed that the growth of mobile use has actually been driven by Australian seniors. It’s clear that all demographics are using mobile, which means there are several best practices you need to follow to design and implement a mobile-responsive email campaign:

  • The content is designed in a single column – this makes it easier to read without moving the column around in a mobile device.
  • While normal websites may use a 12-point font, a mobile responsive email would not use fewer than 14 – talk about being easy on the eye!
  • Have an impressive call to action – be clear, prominent, and bold! There is no point in making your audience scroll below the fold to find out what you want them to do.
  • Hyperlinks are for large screens – have bold buttons for mobile phones instead. It’s a struggle to click on the right hyperlink on a small screen.
  • Go easy on images – not everyone loves flashy images that gobble up data when all they want is to read. Simple coding techniques could make smaller images load on mobile devices while the larger ones are left for other devices.
  • Call to action is not an image – Some users would have their email settings filtering out images from their inbound mails, and a call to action image would just be blank space and a vital opportunity lost!

The best mobile responsive email campaigns

The market is saturated with newsletters fighting for a customer’s attention. When the battleground is inbox, you need to make sure you’re doing the following to ensure your emails are functioning within the parameters of mobile.

Are your emails dynamic and responsive?

With users adapting to multiple devices, your emails should be seamlessly adaptable, too. This means that the proportion, layout, font, and size of buttons should all fit the device like a glove using secondary codes. If it is just a part of your email that adapts while the rest of it stays static, users would end up having a clutter of images and text when they change their devices.

There are several ways to make your email dynamic. Consider embedding videos, a countdown timer for special offers or a live social feed to make your email stand out from the crowd. Elements like this work well on mobile as they prompt the user to click through easily to the pages and promotions you want them to visit.

Is your email layout optimized?

Apart from scalability and readability, the overall layout should fit into the screen without much fuss. A horizontal email layout, for instance, typically reduces the size of the main content area, while having mouse buttons that work like a magic on the desktop could be rendered virtually useless when users try to click on them with their fingertips on miniature screens.

Are you using text only when it’s necessary?

When PGE undertook the challenge of converting their email campaigns to be mobile responsive, they had a lot to work on. Their text is particularly was large and consumed large portions of the display surface. Their new mobile-focused design used text sparingly, letting imagery and buttons do the heavy lifting.

While a large batch of text is easy to read on desktop, the same can’t be said for mobile. In this case, the “less is more” approach is the best method to adopt.

Is your email design fluid?

The acid test is in the ability of your email to match the hybrid design requirements of multiple screens. This means that your emails should virtually detect the kind of screen that it is viewed on, and should adapt its layout to enhance user experience. In effect, what is viewed through horizontal scrolling on computers should adapt itself to the vertical layout of mobile devices?

Mobile responsive emails will be the new normal

Designing an email campaign that is mobile responsive is a multifaceted approach that should keep up with constantly-changing technology and the adaptive nature of consumer behavior. It takes thinking from a consumer’s perspective to understand the needs and issues faced by the end-user.

The world has changed from the static behavior of browsing on one device to seamlessly using multiple devices on the go – and an email campaign has to be mobile responsive to cater to the changing needs of the fast-paced lifestyle of its consumers in an information era.

Shayen de Silva is a senior digital marketing consultant specialising in search and content marketing at Web Profits. His role working in the competitive space of content marketing allows him to use out-of-the-box thinking to create content strategies that will attract customers to his client's business online.