3 Reasons to Apply Mobile-First Email Design

Are you viewing this e-mail on your mobile device? Cool! Thanks to our mobile-first approach to web and e-mail design, it’s nicely optimized for the small screen. Our goal is to provide you with an excellent user experience because we want you to keep engaging with and enjoying our content.

Let’s take a closer look at why we’re taking this approach—and why it’s one you’ll want to consider.

What’s Mobile-First Email Design?
In short, mobile-first means designing the online experience for mobile before the desktop web. This concept applies most specifically to application and website development, but email marketers need to pay attention to it and apply the principles to their development work. 

Don’t worry, we’re not going to get into technical details—we’ll leave the coding to the development team. But what’s important for direct response marketers to know is that today, it’s essential to consider the mobile user alongside the desktop user. Any content you deploy has to be engineered to both look great and deliver the same results, regardless of how it’s accessed.

Why? We’ll give you three great reasons. You should apply a mobile-first email design to:

1. Align with Customer Preferences.

Two-thirds (66%) of emails are opened/read on cell phones or tablets. (Marketing Land)

More and more people are sending, reading, and receiving emails on their mobile devices. They’re likely switching between devices, too. In fact, you might have started reading this post on your cell phone and are reading it now from your laptop. The expectation is that you should be able to do both—and have seamless experiences, every time.

2. Enhance the User Experience.

28% of white-collared American workers find it annoying to have to scroll excessively to read an email, while 24% are turned off when layouts are not optimized for mobile. (Adobe)

The user experience is central to all of our marketing efforts today. Technopedia defines user experience like this: “UX generally focuses on the visual appearance of a system and how it affects the end user in terms of visual gratification and system usability and efficiency in completing system-specific tasks and processes.”

Let’s unpack this, shall we? An excellent mobile email user experience is going to…

  • Look great. The recipient needs to view the message content on their screen without needing to scroll. That means a simple, single column layout and images that are defined by the proportion of the user’s screen, not by pixels.
  • Inspire action. Compelling copy and images boost interest, engagement with emails, and action. Period.
  • Make it easy to take action. Messages have to load quickly or people won’t stick around. According to gomez, every 1 second delay in loading time results in an average 7% drop in conversions. Ouch. And call-to-actions need to be intuitive (highlighted, underlined, colored, etc.).

    Here’s a screenshot of a TWO email from an iPhone. It shows a compelling, scaled image; an easy-to-read single-column of copy, and an easy-to-see/click link that inspires action.

Get more ideas in 7 Tips for Optimizing Mobile Emails.

3. Boost Sales/Conversions.

Over one-fifth (22%) of people are most likely to visit the shop/website if they see something they want to buy in an email on their cell phone; 8% would buy immediately on the phone. (DMA)

In direct response marketing, ROI is what this is all about. With so many people opening your emails on mobile devices, you can’t afford to lose them to slow load times, complicated interfaces, and friction filled paths-to-action. The mobile email needs to be as easy-to-use as the desktop email. That way you can measure your results and perform testing to optimize your results.

But there’s more. Once the person clicks on your call-to-action, their experience needs to continue seamlessly to your website. Your landing page needs to be mobile-optimized, too. If you have a responsive website, you’re in good shape. Learn more in The Importance of Responsive Design for SMBs.

See how that user experience comes full-circle?

Contact us to learn more about effective email marketing.