With 48% of emails read on a mobile device, according to Litmus, and 63% of consumers saying they delete emails immediately if they are not optimized for mobile, according to Return Path, there’s a growing imperative to be mobile-friendly. But being mobile-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean moving to responsive email designs.
Depending upon your capabilities and the percentage of your emails opened on mobile, you might find moving to a mobile-aware template a very attractive alternative—at least for the near-term. According to ExactTarget research involving nearly 160 B2C brands, 78% of marketers don’t use either a responsive or mobile-aware email template. So at least for now, there’s still a big competitive advantage to adopting mobile-aware email design, although I do anticipate responsive design adoption to grow significantly next year.
Making your template mobile-aware involves three key elements:
- moving to a single-column layout (2 column product grids are okay);
- using larger text, images and buttons; and
- spacing out buttons and links so they can accurately tapped, including those in navigation, social and administrative bars.
In recent months, a number of large retailers have made their email templates mobile-aware, including JCPenney, Banana Republic, Staples, Walmart, and Victoria’s Secret. Their redesigns—shared below—should give you plenty of ideas of how to execute a nice transition from desktop-centric design to mobile-aware. (Click on each email to see a larger rendering on our Pinterest page.)