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Why mobile email design is a must

Email triage doesn’t exist, so email marketers must design for the mobile now. A staggering 97% of emails are opened and viewed once. This means you only get one chance to get your message across and it may not necessarily be on a desktop. Mobile internet continues to gain pace and email seems to be one of the most popular uses.

Why mobile internet is so big
The screens on the latest generation of mobile devices may be small but the superb resolution and usable touch screen makes the internet truly mobile. The apps and software work together with this new technology to make the whole mobile web experience simple and satisfying. This has allowed people new to the concept, to quickly adapt and benefit from the new platform, thereby fuelling high adoption rates. 

Look at any of the research available on mobile internet and they are all pointing in one direction. Mobile internet is growing and it’s growing fast.

Mobile internet – a game changer for email
Email has gone mobile. According to Return Path, 88% of people check emails on their mobile phone daily. Wait a minute, wasn’t email supposed to be dead (or on its last legs anyway)? Or could it be that mobile internet has taken one of the most powerful online channels to date and given it legs? 

It seems that email use on a mobile is habit forming too. Subscribers who have opened emails on their mobile device in the past are 45% more likely to do the same in the future.

Email is now on the move. You follow the recipient around their daily lives, you engage with them when they are doing lots of other things. They could be watching TV, at a restaurant, with friends.

This changes the way users can interact with your email as well. Arguably, interacting with a PC could be quite a lonely experience. With mobile internet, sharing now includes simply handing your phone to your friends.  

Non-optimised websites and emails turn off mobile users
Mobile is becoming the channel of choice and users are demanding that the internet accommodates this new platform. It is no longer acceptable to be designing for a desktop screen or having a painfully basic “mobile” version of the website. To give you a clue to just how demanding the users are becoming, 63% of Americans and 41% of Europeanswould either close or delete an email not optimised for mobile. 

That’s scary stuff and you can guarantee only good, fully functional mobile websites will be saved in mobile favourites. So it’s not just the mobile email that needs to be fit for purpose, the website has to do the mobile job too.  

Now, I’ve been banging on for some time about the about the real need to design email for mobile, in fact it is more common now for a “mobile version” of some templates to be designed as well as the “normal” one.

However, due to the fast increase in mobile and tablet usage, I think we should only be designing one template. The only template that is virtually guaranteed to work on all devices, regardless of the screen size is the mobile one! And you can’t wait or put this on the back burner. Your recipients screens are shrinking at an incredible rate and you need to make your emails fit.

Tim Roe, Head of Deliverability and Data Segmentation, RedEye, and DMA Email Marketing Council member

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