Responsive Email Design: Everything You Need to Know


Responsive Email Design is the process of delivering email newsletters that are easier to read on different devices and applications. We introduced Responsive Web Design, the Design and Development of a website for different devices, multiple times – here. Responsive Email Design is essentially Responsive Web Design applied to emails.

But why would you need it?

Citing emailmonday, “44% of email is now opened on a mobile device.” There’s an audience outside of desktop emails. If they want to view emails on their mobile device, then giving them one that is easy to read will have a higher chance of improving email conversion.

Issues with current email newsletters on a mobile device.

Take a look at these screenshots:

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When viewed on a mobile device, these newsletters are hard to read. Their layouts are not mobile friendly. The text is really small. To properly view these newsletter, the user is forced to zoom in/out and scroll a lot. Overall traditional email newsletters are making it hard to read for mobile devices. Statistics from yesmail also agree with the above points. This is a good time to check your newsletter analytics, do you know how it’s performing on mobile devices?

Issues Solved with Responsive Emails.

Look at these Responsive Emails:

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These Responsive Email newsletters feature content that is suited for the mobile screen with large text and in a one column layout. There is no weird scrolling or zooming. The user experience is much better.

On a larger screen, it looks just as good.

Technical Constraints

Building Responsive Emails isn’t without its drawbacks. As with Responsive Web Design, the Responsive Email Design makes some use of the CSS2 @media query to define design breakpoints. For a list of email clients that have this support check out stylecampaign for more. According to the list, Gmail does not support @media query. But this is only an issue when you design Desktop first and using @media queries to define mobile breakpoints.

The approach to Responsive Email Design should follow our previous post on Mobile First Design, where we design mobile first and then expand outwards. Email clients that don’t support the feature will revert back to the mobile design, whereas development of Emails that follow a traditional Desktop first design will not have the intended layouts on mobile Gmail.

More Information

For more information on how to get your Responsive Email Design Newsletter started, contact us today.

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