Responsive e-mail

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If you want people to respond, your e-mails should be responsive too

When you send out an e-mail to your customer database, you hope it will be read. But often the e-mail arrives in a format that’s not exactly inviting to read – especially on mobile devices.

For example, an iPhone might display it scaled down to fit the screen. That requires the user having to enlarge the type to see what it says. On the other hand, an Android phone might make the user scroll across – rather like trying to read a newspaper through a small, rectangular window.

Problems like this can be solved by responsive e-mail design. Just as a mobile-optimised web site will adapt to suit the device, so too can your e-mails.

What does ‘responsive’ mean?

Put simply, the output has an optimised readability for various devices so that the content adapts to fit more flexibly. For example a side column of a website can collapse below the main content in order to leave more space on a phone for the main content.

Designers will know that you can code CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) so that the e-mail arrives in a specific desired format. The trouble is that some of the bigger webmail clients –such as Gmail – may strip this out. The trick is to adhere to guidelines that ensure your e-mail doesn’t arrive as a confused mess. So pay attention to:

  • It’s common sense to have your main message and call to action in the top part of your e-mail. Keep it concise.
  • Columns – narrower, single columns of text adapt better. Even if your intended layout does become a little scrambled, it will still be legible.
  • Links and targets areas (such as social media buttons) are at the recommended minimum size. They’re not much use if they end up being tiny. Also, it’s best to place them at the end.
  • Similarly, bear in mind the minimum font size for a device (e.g. for the iPhone, it will be 13 pixels). Anything smaller and it might be upscaled and ruin the layout.

As usual, the skilled design team at iWeb can help with any queries you may have about creating more responsive e-mail and newsletter campaigns. Get in touch today and we’ll respond immediately.

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