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StreamSend: responsive email design important for mobile device users

StreamSend: responsive email design important for mobile device users 

Responsive email design is becoming an important principle in marketing due to the rising use of mobile devices. The term refers to a design that adapts itself to whatever form factor is being utilized to read an email. Dan Forootan, president of the email marketing service provider StreamSend, discussed why marketers should rely on responsive design and how best to implement it.

“Mobile engagement has grown exponentially and will continue to do so,” Forootan commented. “Expectations have changed and consumers want their information and services to be available on every device. Over 50% of email views are happening on mobile devices today.” He pointed out that responsive emails have positive results. “By sending responsive emails, marketers provide mobile viewers a good user experience, which in turn makes it easier for them to engage with the email,” Forootan asserted.

StreamSend’s president believes marketers should be implementing this important design principle in their emails. If they do not, they will miss out on an opportunity to engage with customers. “While most marketers are aware that mobile is becoming more and more important, I don’t think they realize that over 50% of their email views may be happening on a mobile device,” Forootan remarked.

What should marketers be looking for in a responsive email template? “A good responsive email template is compatible with all major mobile and desktop email clients,” Forootan said. “They are coded to adjust their layouts based on screen size, so that they look good on any screen.” That being said, appropriate responsive email templates do not neglect smaller screens. “When viewed on a smaller screen, the template should stack content so it’s easy to read, scale or hide unnecessary images and control font sizes – all while keeping the call-to-action prominent and easy to click,” he added.

Another crucial part of responsive design is ease of navigation. Having a navigation bar is not mandatory, although if marketers feel the need to include it, they should restrict it to a maximum of three links. Otherwise, if the navigation bar is too long, it will either make the content too small to read or it will stack awkwardly.

Font size matters, too. High-contrast fonts that are a minimum size of 13 pixels are easier to read. Forootan advised using bold text as little as possible, because they are hard to read. Making titles and important content bold lets it stand out. On mobile devices, especially those with small screens, italics are difficult to read, so marketers should not use them.

It is crucial to remember that consumers will only read content if they can see it properly. Many smartphone users do not bother to change their default setting that blocks images in emails, so putting content into an image defeats the purpose of reaching out to potential customers. Instead, Forootan suggested putting the most critical elements of a marketing message, such as a call to action, towards the top of the message. When marketers do that, readers do not need to scroll.

After the email has been designed, marketers must test how messages appear on various mobile devices. They should also see how different email services (such as Gmail and Outlook) will display their messages. Forootan remarked that applications exist to preview how emails will look in the most popular email clients and on widely used devices.

Marketers should also look at the email design firm itself. Forootan recommended choosing a company with experts in coding and email design. Furthermore, marketers should also take ease-of-use into account when choosing an email design template. Forootan noted that the ability to drag and drop is desirable, as it allows the marketer to update images and content in real time. In addition, the email template should provide the capability to embed video and make content dynamic.

While it might seem as though the final step is sending out the email, Forootan commented that is not the case. “It’s important to remember that while responsive emails generate higher click-through rates, the campaign’s overall success will be greatly impacted by the email’s landing page,” he said. “The landing page should also be responsive, possess a powerful call to action and complement the email’s look and messaging.”

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