Email marketing is a great way to grow your brand and develop relationships with clients, as well as potential customers. Of course, in order to make that happen, there are some important steps you need to take. You have to create valuable content and a captivating email design, both of which take time and money. It’s worth it, though, when you see the return on your investment: someone responds to your email, forwards it to someone, or makes a purchase from your website. As exciting as that is, it can be frustrating to find out that your emails aren’t as effective as they could be. What’s the culprit? They’re not responsive. In other words, they don’t translate well between devices. Thankfully, a responsive email template can help with this issue. In fact, even free responsive email templates can get the job done! How do these templates work, and what can you expect when you start using them?
What Is Responsive Email Design and Why You Need to Care About It
Technology is constantly changing—and that’s a good thing. People around the world are more connected than ever before. On a single platform, you can talk to someone from the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Africa all at the same time. You can now shop for products from the convenience of your phone, wherever you happen to be. All of these changes make this an exciting time to live. However, they can also make things really frustrating as an email marketer. When email marketing first began, all you had to worry about was making sure your content was up to par with what your subscribers expected. Now, in addition to amazing content, email marketers include audio and video links, as well as GIFs, into their email campaigns. If you’ve invested time and money into creating eye-catching emails that provide valuable content—great! Unfortunately, it’s not enough. You can have the best email campaign ever, but it can easily fall flat if your emails don’t translate well between a desktop computer, a tablet, and a smartphone. What looks great on a computer can end up looking distorted on a phone. The images can take forever to load, or not load at all. The font might be so tiny that it’s difficult to make out words. This is extremely frustrating to your email recipients. You’ve likely experienced it yourself and know just how annoying it can be to feel the excitement of opening an email with an interesting subject line, only to be unable to read the contents of that email. As a marketer, this presents an interesting challenge. It would be easy to just focus on emails that look great on a desktop computer and ignore other devices. Choosing to do that, though, can have a detrimental impact on your bottom line. Why? More and more people use smartphones to:
- Check email
- Engage in social media
- Research products and read product reviews
- Make purchases.
Here are just a few statistics from Campaign Monitor that will make you rethink using a responsive email template.
- Emails that don’t display correctly on a phone are usually deleted within three seconds
- Nearly 40% of consumers make in-store purchases based on emails received or research done on their smartphone
- Emails are now opened on smartphones and tablets more often than on desktop computers
- Mobile users tend to check their email more often than when on their computer
- Over 50% of consumers choose not to engage with a company because of a bad mobile experience
Mobile responsiveness is absolutely necessary for the success of your email campaigns. This is one area where you can’t cut corners. A responsive email template uses CSS media queries to adjust the content of your email so that it fits the screen of whatever device your subscribers are viewing it on. So, it can dramatically improve the quality of your emails across the spectrum of devices, whether they’re on the computer, an iPhone, Android, or a Kindle tablet. Thankfully, these templates are easy to use. You don’t need to be an HTML expert to use them, which means there’s no excuse to start using them in your next email marketing campaign.
Responsive Email Template: How to Implement Them into Your Marketing Strategy
When utilizing a responsive HTML email template, you’ll want to avoid the following common mishaps.
- Issues with the layout. Smartphone screens vary in size, so you have to make sure your responsive email template will fit all screens without distortion. It’s best to set your email width to between 300 and 600 pixels.
- Missing call to action. Because smartphone screens are smaller than computer screens, you’ll need to make sure your call to action stands out. A call to action button is usually helpful in these cases, as it can be displayed prominently even on a small screen.
- Using large image files. Due to bandwidth restrictions, larger images can take forever to load, which will be annoying to your subscribers. Shrink images sizes if possible.
- Not optimizing images. Even though it’s 2019, not everyone has the latest iPhone, which means that images won’t show up on these phones. This is why you need to optimize your images with alt text. Though subscribers won’t see the image, they’ll be able to see the alt text describing the image.
Here are three brands that have created engaging email campaigns using a responsive email template. Their email looks great on both a large desktop screen and a smaller smartphone screen.
On Cloudflash Running Shoes
On Cloudflash is a brand of running shoes. Their email design is absolutely phenomenal. It shows a pair of running shoes in the clouds, illustrating the comfort level of their shoes. They’ve obviously used a responsive HTML email template as the images in their email aren’t distorted. They fit the screen as intended. This brand has also kept their email relatively simple, with just a few lines of text and two call-to-action buttons. From this email, the recipient clearly knows the intention of the sender and what they want the consumer to do next. Source: Pinterest
Harrods: Luxury, Designer Clothing
is another example of keeping it simple. This luxury brand avoided doing what a lot of clothing brands do—cramming a lot of images and information into a single email. They’ve used a single column design, which translates easier to smaller screens. Source: Pinterest
Esurance Insurance Company
differs from the previous two examples in that they included more text in their email. Yet, by using a responsive email template, they’ve been able to avoid distorted images or lines of text that run into one another. Source: Pinterest
Other Helpful Email Design Tips for Improved Responsiveness
Whether you use a paid-for template or choose to use free responsive email templates, you’ll want to pay close attention to your email design. Here are some steps that can help.
Your Call to Action Should Be Easy to Spot
Repetition for emphasis—this bears mentioning again because it is so incredibly important to the success of your campaign. You need to guide your readers to take action. You’re not just sending a nice email for fun. You want them to do something with it, whether it’s read a blog, check out your products, or complete a survey. As in the example below, find a way to highlight your call to action, either turning it into a button or putting some sort of border around it. Source: Pinterest
Use a Single Column Design
On a mobile device, multiple columns condense upon one another and are difficult to follow. It’s best to stick to a simple design, utilizing a single column only. This will make both your text and images look better. Source: Really Good Emails
Internal Headlines and Subheads Should Get to the Point
You want to attract your readers’ attention quickly and one of the best ways to do that is to create catchy headlines. A word of caution: Make sure your headlines, subheaders, and even your email subject lines are concise. Doing so will make your email more readable and easy to scan. Source: Campaign Monitor Make Sure Your Email Subject Line Grabs Attention Fast The subject line is what’s going to grab attention first. Source: Sumo Besides making them concise, you’ll want to make them interesting. Some ways to do this:
- Ask a question
- Avoid promotional language
- Use emojis
The majority of your email subscribers will read your emails on their phone. Therefore, your emails need to be mobile responsive. The best way to accomplish this is by using a responsive email template from Delivra. In addition to using a responsive template, make sure you:
- Optimize images
- Have a clear call to action
- Use single columns
- Keep subject lines concise
Doing all of this will ensure the success of your next email campaign. One of the best ways to know if your email design and content are successful with your audience is to do some A/B testing. Discover how Delivra split tests can help you deliver more engaging emails.