Mobile era makes responsive email design essential

March 10, 2016

Quite often new research merely reaffirms what we already know. That was true of Yesmail’s latest study ‘Do or Die: The Implications of Ignoring Responsive Design’ – you can see where this one’s going – which found that firms who implemented responsive design in their email campaigns, i.e. ensuring the email displays optimally regardless of the device it is being viewed upon, yielded much greater results than those who chose not to optimise their emails.

What is interesting, though, is how great the advantage is from implementing responsive design. Those firms who bought in to responsive design garnered 55% higher mobile click-to-open (CTO) rate and 23% higher desktop CTO rate than marketers who opted out of using responsive in any of their emails.

It’s hardly surprising, though, that responsive design plays such a big part in the number of unique clicks an opened email generates, given the ubiquity of smartphones.

Last year marked the point at which smartphones overtook laptops as the most popular device to browse the web. That gives some explanation to why Yesmail’s benchmark report also found that in Q4 2015 mobile revenue accounted for more than a quarter of all email-generated revenue.

The shift in internet users’ behaviour means it is not an option for firms, with ambitions to gain more customers and maintain their existing base (all businesses, in other words), to treat mobile like a second-class citizen.

That message is echoed by Yesmail’s Michael Fisher: “Marketers must meet basic customer needs and expectations.

"As mobile quickly outpaces desktop, these findings indicate that consistently using responsive design is something email marketers can't afford to ignore.”

That’s not to say firms should automatically start prioritising mobile – desktop still brought in larger average order values (AOV) – but the time will come when mobile takes precedence over desktop in every marketing endeavour. It’ll be here sooner than you might think, too.

Kevin Mason - Director