responsive-designWith all this talk of spring cleaning, I thought I would talk about how you can clean up the design of your emails. According to Experian’s quarterly email benchmark report, over 50% of total email opens now occur on a mobile phone or tablet. More email is now read on mobile devices than on desktop clients. This means that, if you are designing your emails with desktop clients in mind, you are neglecting a large sector of your customer base. So how can you make sure that your subscribers always receive a clear, easy to read email, no matter what device they are reading it on?

Rather than designing a series of different emails for every device that a customer may read a message on, more and more companies are opting to use responsive design for their marketing emails. Put simply, responsive design ensures your emails adapt themselves to whatever size screen they are viewed on. This means that an email should look effective, whether it’s viewed on a 50-inch smart TV or a 4-inch mobile phone.

The Benefits

With so many people now using mobile devices to read their emails, it’s clear that responsive design offers a number of benefits:

Less Deletes

People generally only take a few seconds to decide whether or not they are going to read or delete a marketing email. If an email looks poorly formatted on their mobile device, your subscribers won’t think twice about deleting it. If you can ensure that you’re emails always look good, you will at least reduce the likelihood that they will be deleted.

Easier to Use

Emails that have been designed for desktop clients are generally very difficult to navigate on a mobile device. The links and call to action can become very small, making them tricky to click on a touch screen. If your customers can’t click on your links, it’s obvious that your marketing email won’t be particularly effective. With a responsive design, your email designs will adapt for the mobile user, making them much easier to navigate.

Removes Unnecessary Content

Emails viewed on desktop clients can be very content-rich. However, if you include the same amount of content on a mobile email, your call to action could be diluted. Responsive design allows all but the most necessary information to be removed from your emails on mobile devices. This will give your calls to action much more impact on smaller screens.

Some Examples

Here are a few of the companies that are using responsive design in their marketing emails:



Groupon Desktop


Groupon Mobile

This example from Groupon shows that your email doesn’t have to look radically different on a mobile device in order for a responsive design to be effective. By simply showcasing the deals one on top of the other (rather than side by side), they have made the email much easier to read and navigate on a mobile device, without having to compromise on content.



Joy Desktop



Joy Mobile

Joy’s responsive design shows how you can cut down on some of the content in a mobile email without changing the meaning of the message. When viewed on a mobile device, Joy’s email has a slightly simpler design, and they show one image for ‘fave outfit’, rather than 3. This makes the email look much less ‘busy’ on a small screen, but the readers can still understand the email’s message.

In this modern world, responsive email design is now a must-have. By adopting responsive design, you will show that you are company that reacts to your customers’ needs, and ensure that your emails always look great!

Image courtesy of 2nix at