Nowadays it’s generally accepted that having your eCommerce web site optimised for mobile devices is essential. Increasingly, these platforms are taking over from traditional desktops as the most popular means of browsing the web. Given this, it’s odd that  many online traders give so little thought to the way e-mail is sent.

Here are a few interesting facts:

  • By the end of the year, it’s predicted that half of all e-mails sent in the UK will be accessed via mobile clients
  • 62% check e-mail on their smart phones daily – often 3 or 4 times a day
  • The most popular device of all for opening e-mails ( and that includes desktops) is the Apple iPhone
  • 97% of e-mails are read only once – so you only get a single chance to impress

When you consider the above, it’s surprising that only 25% of companies that are sending out promotional e-mails bother to make them mobile friendly. Put simply, if your e-mail is not being optimised for viewing on the smaller screen, you’re wasting opportunities to reach your market.

So what is responsive e-mail?

With responsive e-mail, one size does not fit all. It uses CSS3 media queries to identify a device’s screen or display size and then serves the appropriate layout. This will be pre-determined by a web designer, who can modify the displayed content to optimise usability for a narrower screen. The most common is an iPhone size screen, but it can also be set for tablets too.

In practical terms, you’re not relying on pot luck. Your all-important e-mails can be scanned and read by your customers in a format that fits their preferred browsing device. And that means you’ll communicate better – not to mention generate more sales.

When are where are e-mails being picked up?

The devices used to read e-mails can vary from time of the day to day of the week. During office hours, the desktop is only slightly ahead of the mobile as preferred device. However once you get into the leisure hours, tablets begin to come into their own, with many people sitting in front of the TV with an iPad. When it comes to the weekend, the use of desktops drops off sharply and your customers will be more than likely to be receiving and responding to e-mails on a mobile platform. Leisure time is also when they’ll be more open to buying – so that’s why it’s crucial that your e-mail is optimised for a mobile.

Make your customers more responsive too

It’s also worth paying attention to the content that does more to catch your customer’s eye. After all, most people just glance at an e-mail subject line and the choice to read it or delete it is made there and then. So what will weight that decision in your favour?

Obviously, making your subject line engaging and intriguing is a no-brainer. During leisure time, some people will read e-mails just to pass the time – so keep it entertaining too. But the most popular means of enticing customers is with a special offer upfront. After all, everybody likes a bargain. Promos and vouchers are also likely to save you e-mail from the bin.

Not far behind these sales pitches is delivery and tracking information. If they’ve already ordered from you, knowing exactly where the goods are in the logistics chain is always reassuring.

How iWeb can give your e-mail the advantage

Our skilled eCommerce web design team can advise on the best ways to improve the responsiveness of your e-mails. We can optimise layouts and designs so that they can be better viewed on mobiles. We’re also full of hints and tricks that will make navigation easier, encourage more customers to buy and eventually work wonders for your bottom line. So for a better return on your investment, invest a little of your time in talking to iWeb.