Marketers: Make Email Responsive, Scalable

Email marketing has been around nearly as long as email itself, but with more people using their smartphones for more than voice communication, marketers may not be optimizing their campaigns for the mobile platforms. 

According to digital communications company Yesmail Interactive, more than a third of emails are opened on a mobile device, but more than three-quarters of marketers have only a basic mobile strategy that does not adapt email campaigns. At the same time, half of consumers say mobile emails are difficult to read because they have to scroll too much (29% say the layouts of the emails are wrong for their mobile screens). 

The answer, says Matt Caldwell, vice president, creative and agency services at Yesmail, is to create emails that have both responsive (able to recognize the platform) and scalable (easily adaptable to any platform) design elements. 

“I think people are becoming aware of the techniques we can use,” Caldwell tells Marketing Daily. “How we adapt to email [marketing] is quite different from how we adapt to the web.”

When developing email campaigns, marketers must adhere to the “six-second rule,” which is based on how long people will pay attention to a commercial email in their inbox, Caldwell says. (He adds the six-second designation is a number of years old and is probably closer to three or four on a mobile device.) Under such pressures, responsive and scalable email campaigns need elements such as: large logos that link back to websites, larger text and calls to action, larger navigation and modular sectioning that can be viewed (and moved for different screens) easily. 

“If we did that old-school look, you’d have to pinch and zoom to see [the message],” Caldwell says.

Right now, the two biggest issues preventing marketers from creating responsive and scalable email campaigns are awareness and resources, Caldwell says. 

“I think people are becoming highly aware of the techniques we can use,” Caldwell says. Getting them to invest in those techniques is another matter, but as more marketers recognize mobile devices as an email platform, the resources should come. “The pattern and trend-line are distinctly upwards.”

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