5 Signs Mobile-First Email Design is a Must — Now

4/5/2022 David Kudla

5 Signs Mobile-First Email Design is a Must — Now

Maybe it’s the limited brainstorming. Or is it troubleshooting the early bugs? Either way, you’re not sold on mobile-first email design. Perfect. I’ve pulled some stats together with hopes you’ll start to rethink your approach to email design.

Let’s start with the big picture…

According to a study by Deloitte, on average, we check our phone 47 times a day. To get a little more specific, that number jumps to almost 75 times a day for those of us between the ages of 18 and 24. In an even more recent study, Dscout found that average users physically interact with their smartphones (tap, type, swipe, click, etc.) 2,617 times a day.

2,617! That’s a lot of screen time. So doesn’t it make sense to design an email with the mobile user as your muse?

Here are a few more email-centric stats that may help turn the tide and cause you to question the true value of a desktop-first design approach.

Mobile Opens Continue To Climb … A Lot

More email is read on mobile than on any other device. Back in 2011, a mere 8% of emails were opened with a mobile device, but soaring statistics have taken mobile-friendly designs from a progressive choice to a crucial necessity that can make or break your business.

According to Litmus research, by April 2015, 48% of emails were opened on mobile devices, and quickly climbed to 56% by September 2016 (while webmail accounted for 27% and desktop only 17%). This increase won’t change course any time soon. With such a drastic rise in mobile email usage in just five years, email layouts must be designed with a mobile-first approach to stay on par with user trends and behavior.

Where Mobile Matters

  • TV/Radio/Film – 72%
  • Events – 60%
  • Estate Agent – 55%

Regarding mobile usage, Fluent’s “Devices and Demographics 2017” report found, “A little over half (54.2%) of respondents said they used smartphones most often to make online purchases, followed by desktop and laptop computers (23.3%) and tablets (13.7%).”

How Mobile-Friendly Is Your Mobile-Aware Design?

Simple, efficient design responsiveness improves user engagement, leading to higher open and click rates, and improved conversion via mobile device.

In a mobile-responsive email design, layouts automatically adapt to the end user’s screen by resizing and rearranging visual elements. Text, images, and any other content are rendered to be viewed clearly and optimally, based on the attributes of the end user’s screen configuration.

In fact, an infographic from Litmus shows 56% of all business-to-consumer (B2C) emails were converted to mobile-friendly designs by 2015, a 155% increase from October 2013. However, of these mobile-aware designs, only 18% had layouts that support dynamic, customizable content and were completely responsive emails, leaving room for growth for businesses that strive to meet user demands.

Create a Clutter-Less User Experience

With a mobile-first email design strategy, one must focus on the most essential functions and priorities for a less-cluttered, more effective user experience. So it’s no surprise evolving mobile and email usage continues to impact the work we do here at RRD Marketing Solutions.

It’s true: mobile-responsive email design can be time-consuming to build, often requiring specialists to determine the best email design to meet your goals. Having said that, we’re committed to educating and instructing designers in mobile email best practices that are visually appealing and engaging on any device.

David Kudla is a production specialist at RRD Marketing Solutions.

How can we help you create more effective and mobile-friendly email campaigns? Contact us today.

This post was originally published December 1, 2016.


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