6 Design Tips For Mobile Responsive Emails

top design tips mobile responsive emails

Mobile has emerged as one of the major channels that is shaping the implications for email design as we speak.

Email marketing is so widely appreciated because it gets your product or service to your subscribers’ eyes within mere seconds.

According to Moosend’s 2016 infographic within the past 12 months alone, a significant change has taken place regarding open rates by device. At the beginning of the year, desktop open rates were almost equal to mobile open rates, accounting for almost identical percentages (approx. 50%).

By the end of the year though, a different trend can be noticed; emails viewed on desktop sank to 43% while mobile open rates experienced a substantial increase just below 60%, within just a few months. Arguably, mobile is on the rise and it is taking email with it.

mobile desktop stats 2016

1. Test Mobile Responsiveness Across Devices

At the moment, not all mobile devices provide their users with automatic scaling. In particular, iOS mobile devices offer smooth email rendering, however this is not the case for Android users (who get to see the top left corner of the email message).

This points towards a piece of advice that is central as much as it is basic: test before you send across various operation systems, even across different mobile phone manufacturers (e.g. an iPhone, a Samsung, Nokia, a LG, and a HUAWEI, or another up-and-coming manufacturer).

Two of the top tools to test email responsiveness across different popular clients and devices are Litmus and Email on Acid.

2. Apply The KISS Principle

The world is already saturating our eyes enough as it is, from our office desktop screen, to our mobile screen, to the billboards on the highways. The KISS principle (aka “Keep it simple, stupid”) is a design formula that advocates minimal design and, in our case, a minimal layout.

Sometimes brands, in their attempt to impress their audience, employ tons of impressive elements, structures, and text. These only add to the confusion of the user; a user who is probably in a hurry to get in a cab and get to their next meeting, or do the groceries before picking up their kids from ballet.

A cluttered email is not what these users need or will be attracted by, for that matter.

To avoid a layout that causes visual saturation, go for a single-column style (or select one from our Template Library) and proceed accordingly. In the single column, you can, for instance,

• drag and drop a container,
• add an impressive photo, and
• couple it with an engaging tagline in distinctive font size (as explained below).

A visually pleasing email will increase your audience’s engagement with your newsletter, and boost your click-through rate.

3. Go For A Background Pattern, Not An Image

To make well-informed decisions when designing your responsive email campaigns, you should keep in mind that backgrounds may be significantly distorted from one screen size to another. If you design your email to fit your 25” screen, the background will, most probably, be cropped or zoomed in on a smaller screen, and will look awkward.

To avoid this, you should choose backdrops that feature patterns instead of single images. Patterns will not be affected by mobile responsiveness, while a photo of a picturesque cobbled street of a Greek island will.

4. Add Padding And Whitespace Wisely

Using spacers and padding is essential to designing an email layout that is inviting for audiences to read. However, if you only design with your desktop monitor in mind, your mobile screen might not follow. And you might get something like this:

responsive emails padding

Remember: T comes before S in Moosend’s Campaign Editor! Test before you Send! Visit the Campaign Editor FAQs to learn more.

5. Use Mobile-optimized Landing Pages

You are sending out a newsletter about an awesome new product you launched, with a link to your site. However, user experience is compromised if the landing page is not optimized for mobile.

To improve user experience, make sure all your email links direct to mobile-optimized landing pages. As mentioned earlier in this post, mobile open rates are showing a gradual upward trend. This makes designing for mobile an essential requirement.

6. Adjust Font Size

Last, but certainly not least, the font size should be legible across all screens. Below you can find a short list of suggestions for optimal choice of font sizes:

● Headlines: <22px
● Subsections: <18-20px
● Body: 12-16px

Think of all the potential you are missing out on when sending a striking email that is not optimized for mobile users. All your precious time designing would go to waste and present a sloppy image that does not do your work or dedication any justice. Make mobile responsiveness testing an integral part of your email campaign design process and take your brand a step further.