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Designing Responsive Emails

A Guide to Designing Responsive Emails That Look Great on Any Device

Best Practices for Responsive Email Templates and Design

Discover the ultimate guide to by Digi Marketing Inc. creating visually stunning and responsive email templates. Learn best practices for designing emails that captivate your audience on every device. Enhance engagement and boost conversion rates with our expert tips and techniques.

Email design is a potent tool for reaching your target audience and amplifying your products or services. Yes, we’re talking about the underappreciated power of responsive email templates Marketing – not the flashy allure of paid ads, not the viral potential of social media, and not the intricate web of SEO. In our increasingly mobile world, the effectiveness of email marketing hinges on a critical aspect: designing emails that shine across all devices, especially smartphones and, to a slightly lesser extent, tablets. In this article, we’ll delve into the art and science of designing responsive emails, unveiling best practices to ensure your message looks outstanding, no matter the device.

Keep Your Email Design Simple

When designing responsive email templates, it’s important to keep things simple. This means using a clean layout, a limited color palette, and a simple font. By keeping your design simple, you can ensure that the email looks good on any device and that it’s easy to read and understand.

Use responsive email templates

responsive email templates and techniques allow you to design emails that adapt to the ever-changing screen size of users’ devices. This means that your email design will look great on any device. It does not matter whether it’s a desktop computer. There are seemingly hundreds of sizes of the same smartphone or a tablet. Some common responsive design techniques include flexible grids, scalable images, and media queries. Sounds somewhat scary right? Luckily, our Email Service Provider (ESP) partners—Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Privy, and Sendinblue— have built-in design tools to make this super easy! 

Optimize Images for Mobile Devices

Images are a key component of any email design and marketing campaign, but they can also be frustrating for mobile users if they’re not optimized for mobile devices. To optimize images on handheld devices, make sure they’re scaled appropriately and use alternative text for images. Additionally, consider using web-safe fonts that are easily read on small screens. Finally, you can create logic through your ESP to have specific content appear/ not appear on mobile devices.

Keep the User Experience in Mind

When designing responsive email templates, it’s important to keep the user experience in mind. This means designing emails that are easy to read and navigate. They should have clear calls to action (CTAs) that are easy to click on. Keep your text blocks brief and your buttons big! For a quick size guide on your CTA button, look at your Thumb! It’s a good rule in general to have the height of your CTA roughly the thickness of your Thumb + full width for mobile emails. By keeping the users desires in mind, you can ensure that your subscribers have a positive experience with your emails and are more likely to engage with your content.

Test Your Email design on Multiple Devices

As always, test, test, and test again in email design. Before sending your email out to your subscribers, make sure to see the things on different devices. This will help you sort out any issues with your design or layout and ensure that your email looks great on any device. Many tools can help you test your emails on different devices, such as Litmus, but these days most ESPs have built-in solutions for testing the look of your design on multiple devices.

Why are responsive email templates important?

Before we talk about some of the major reasons why anyone should be sending emails that are well-made. Let us take a delve into some of the figures:

  • Email is first looked at on a mobile device more than half of the time, which is rising. 
  • The most prominent email client is the Apple iPhone at 28% 
  • Mailchimp found that unique clicks amongst mobile users for responsive email campaigns rose from 2.7% to 3.1% — a nearly 15% increase.
  • For every $1 spent, $48 is the average return on email marketing investment. 

So it’s likely that your audience is checking your emails on a mobile device. Also, it’s possible (by changing the styling and methods of your mobile-focused communication) that you could reach more people or current users while multiplying your investment in email by 48x.

Let that sink in this is something that can have a huge impact.

Now that we’ve got the stats out of the way. Let us discuss about a handful of the upgrades in quality you need to see this by making your emails results improve. Inline (i.e., not attached) images? Check. huge, beautiful call-to-action buttons rather than tiny hyperlinks? Check. pretty, engaging content with next to no amount of effort? Double check.

Now that we have got your interest let us look at the aspects of different ideas of email making.

“Design once, view correctly everywhere. What a great idea!”

Scalable email design

Scalable email design usually consists of a few scattered components: a simple layout that is often a single column scalable for any size; large, attention-grabbing text; and bug, clickable call-to-action icons. Use this format if you wish to look to change things up while spending minimal amount of coding effort.

Fluid email design

Fluid email design uses percentage-based sizing to on its own adjust the width of content and images to the given screen size. Use this format if you think you are not afraid of a bit of whitespace around the edges of your content.

Image from Litmus

Responsive email design

responsive email templates and design are all about providing customized content for your user’s chosen platform. With responsive design, anyone can send email templates which can be of different sizes it depends on what screen size they are viewed. These emails will always render correctly regardless of the device it’s viewed on.

Image from Litmus

responsive email templates and design use CSS media queries to produce two different copies that depend on your user’s screen size. Media queries automatically adjust the email copy’s layout, content, and text size to the user’s device screen. More effort is required at the outset, but a good template should last a while.

Responsive email design best practices

  • Stick to a single-column layout. Less shifting and moving makes reading your content easier for your audience.
  • At a minimum, use 11- or 15-pt font for the body text and should not be smaller than 20-pt for the titles. This will make your email design much more reading friendly on a small screen.
  • Place your most desired call to action or information “above the fold.” This term, borrowed from print journalism, means you want your most loved content readily available without making your audience scroll to find it.
  • Avoid using hyperlinks and especially avoid cluttering several hyperlinks together. We’ve all tried to tap one link in an email only to select another very close to the original accidentally. Use a big, tappable button instead.
  • Use smaller, responsive images (or images at 2x for retina screens) and use alt tags if an email client does not load the images. This is also a best idea for accessibility.
  • Test your email. Use a service like Broadpeek or Socialpod to see how the email will look like in your audience’s inboxes. This is a fast and smooth method to dodge an embarrassing problem. Do not forget: once that email goes out, you can not take it back.

Respond responsibly

How can you decide which kind of email design is best for you, your business, and your audience? Start by considering the responsive email template habits of your users. For example, how often do you send out email newsletters? What are your user’s favorite devices to view the content you send them?

Now test, test, and test again. Most email automation software has A/B testing built in. They also offer responsive templates you can tweak and tinker with to your heart’s content. Try responsive, fluid, or scalable design and check your results. Once you’re dialed in on a format that gets a response, all you’ll have to do is continue producing great content.



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