19 Reasons Why Your Email Templates Should Be Mobile-friendly

Responsive web design has been a hot topic for years. 2013 was the peak. But still there are tons of websites which are not mobile-friendly. I couldn’t find fresh statistics about the percentage of responsive websites vs. traditional ones.

According to an article from May 2015 only 56% of sites applied responsive web design.

I spent over three years of my life to help fellow email marketers create professional mobile-friendly email templates without coding.

Everybody knows about responsive web design. Especially since Google started to penalize those sites which provide bad mobile experience for visitors.

On the other hand there are still many companies who just don’t care about how they subscribers will read their old-school email templates on their smartphones.

More than half (56%) of your users open your emails on their mobile devices, and up to 80% will delete an email that does not display correctly on their mobile device. Think about how many subscribers will be lost if your emails are not compatible on their mobile devices.

Are you doing enough to make sure your emails can be read on your audience’s preferred mobile device?

We will go through and explain the many reasons why mobile-friendly email templates are becoming more popular and suitable for your audience.

You might want to check out other articles in our blog series which helps email marketers to understand email design.

1. Your audience will delete your email if it isn’t mobile friendly

According to Bluehornet, up to 80% of people will delete an email that isn’t optimized for their mobile device. If your email template doesn’t look good on your audience’s mobile devices, the chances of it being effective are very low.

2. People look at their phones 150 times a day

There are many opportunities to reach your audience throughout the day – in fact, over 150 times according to a blog from KissMetrics. Your email design must be effective enough to capture your audience’s attention within these brief and scattered moments throughout the day.

3. On average, people spend 4.7 hours on their mobile devices daily

With so much time spent on mobile phones, you have a better chance to reach your audience if your email is compatible on their preferred device. But don’t forget – you must catch their attention quickly!

4. Your audience will begin to opt-out if you don’t adapt

According to Litmus and Fluent in 2016, 45% of consumers have unsubscribed from promotional emails because the emails or website didn’t work well on their smartphone. Once a user opts out, it is very unlikely for them to re-subscribe to your content.

5. Mobile-friendly email templates increase open rates and click through rates

Several companies have already found that mobile-friendly designs have higher click through rates and open rates when compared to non-responsive designs.

  • In 2014, MailChimp measured a 15% increase in CTR among mobile users when using responsive design.
  • According to Litmus and MailChimp, the first link in a responsive design email on mobile has a 30% higher click rate than non-responsive design.
  • Companies that use responsive design in all of their emails had a 55% higher mobile click to open rate when compared to brands that have not implemented responsive designs in any of their campaigns.
  • Click to open rates are 40% higher for brands that send exclusively responsive emails (14.1%) versus brands that only send non-responsive emails (10.1%), according to Yesmail’s 2015 publication, “Email Marketing Compass: The Season of Mobile”.

6. The number of mobile users will continue to rise

Following the rise in popularity of mobile devices, mobile users will reach 56% of your audience in 2016, according to Litmus.

mobile device usage statistics

Source: Litmus

This means that over half of your emails will be read on a mobile device, and these numbers are only expected to increase. Even more – mobile device users now surpass desktop users.

percent of emails opened on mobile devices

Source: Smart Insights

Another source, Gartner, reported that 74% of smartphone users actively use their device to check emails. Also, over 67% of Gmail and Yahoo opens occur on a mobile device.

7. Rise of mobile opens

While email opens on desktop and webmail have largely stayed the same in the past few years, opens on mobile are steadily increasing. In June 2016, 54% of all emails were opened on mobile, while only 27% were opened in Webmail and 19% on desktop. If this pattern continues – and it’s expected to – you will be seeing more and more of your subscribers using their mobile devices to open your content.

percent of emails opened on mobile, desktop or webmail

Source: Litmus

8. Many industries have already adapted

In a study done by Litmus in June 2015, 48% of B2C brands had a mobile-friendly email design and webpage. Now, just one year later in June 2016, the number of businesses that use mobile-friendly emails has increased to 72%.

The most popular industries to use mobile-friendly emails are travel and transportation (44%), agency (33%), and finance and banking (29%).

See which industries are more likely to make their emails mobile-friendly:

use of responsive email design by sector

Source: Email Monday

9. You can provide personal & dynamic content…

…straight to your audience’s inbox if you know their interests and preferences!
But if it is not compatible on their chosen device, then you are out of luck and your email may be ignored. Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile users to improve the likelihood of your audience reading your personalized message.

10. Affordable responsive email builder solutions

Designing a responsive email template doesn’t have to be challenging! There are several email builders in the market that you can use to create responsive email templates without writing a single line of code.

Most email service providers (ESPs) have some kind of built-in email editors as well. The quality of the responsive email code varies greatly but most of them obey the standard email width.

EDMdesigner has always been the only email builder with a published supported email clients list. Chamaileon is going to be the new, improved version of EDMdesigner it is going to support at least the same set of email clients.

On top of it we already designed and built over 200 responsive email templates with our software, which will be available for you for free of charge!

Subscribe below to become a beta tester, and help us truly nail the UX and features of Chamaileon.

11. Adapt to the changing environment of email marketing

In recent years, the rate of using responsive email designs has been on the increase. In 2014, only 26% of B2C brands used responsive design and the focus was still on desktop compatible email design.

Now just two years later in 2016, it is estimated that half of all B2C brands create responsive email templates. As this trend is expected to stay, the numbers will continue to rise!

percentage of mobile friendly emails

Source: Email Monday

12. Emails are the best way to generate conversions

According to Experion, each $1 invested in email marketing produces $44.25 in return for marketers. Clearly, email marketing can be very effective when used correctly. If your email can’t be read on your user’s mobile devices, the possibility of conversions and generating new leads are very unlikely.

13. Email users outnumber social media users

When comparing the number of users for email and for various social media websites, it is important to look beyond the number of accounts and find the number of active users. This is exactly what the following two companies did to find a clear winner.

According to Email is not dead, there were 2.586 billion active email users in 2015.

As of April 2016, Statista reports that there are: 1.59 billion active Facebook users, 1 billion active WhatsApp users, 400 million active Instagram users, and 320 million active Instagram users, just to name a few of marketer’s most popular networks. The following image shows additional social networks that you may currently use, or might be interested in.

leading social networks worldwide

Clearly, email still serves as the best way to reach as many people as possible!

14. Mobile users are more engaged than their desktop counterparts

In addition to the number of mobile users that surpass desktop users (as mentioned in #6), mobile users are also more engaged with companies that provide mobile-friendly emails and content. When we say engagement, we are referring to the average time spent on an article, key strokes, scrolls, and mouse movements.

In a case study done by Takeda, the subscribers using mobile devices viewed on average 55% more web pages and spent 20% more time viewing the center’s content than desktop users.

A separate study done by Litmus measured engagement among mobile and desktop users. To measure engagement, Litmus gathered the time each user spent on an article. The results showed that mobile users and desktop users were engaged, but in different ways.

As 53.3% of mobile users read the article, compared to 44.9% of desktop users, mobile users were more likely to spend more time reading an article. Desktop users were more likely to skim read an article compared to mobile users, 40.3% and 20.6% respectively.

For the following infographic, Read refers 8 or more seconds, Skim read refers to 2 or more seconds, but less than 8 seconds, and Glanced / Deleted is less than 2 seconds.

email marketing statistics by devices

15. Smartphone usage is dominant throughout the day

While users are more likely to use certain devices throughout the day, smartphone usage is fairly consistent according to an article from Marketing Today. You may notice that smartphone use peaks in the early morning, but its’ usage remains steady throughout the day unlike the other devices. Smartphone use is well above desktop and tablet use, regardless of the time of day.

Usage of devices by time

Source: Marketing Today

16. Emails that aren’t mobile-friendly will be marked as spam

According to Litmus, 34% of consumers have marked a brand’s promotional emails as spam because they didn’t display or work well on their smartphone. If this happens, all of your future emails will automatically be placed in the spam folder.

Additionally, in a recent survey from Adobe that assessed the emailing habits of professional working Europeans, they found that 22% of respondents said their biggest annoyance with emails was the lack of a mobile-friendly version.

17. Surpass your competitors

Despite the high rates of mobile users and mobile opens, many companies still have not followed suit. There are still many businesses that do not take advantage of mobile-friendly email templates.

As of June 2016, the percentage of brands with mobile-friendly emails and websites rose to 72%, up from only 48% just one year ago. Yet, it is evident that there is still a lot of room for companies to adapt because only 50% of emails sent by businesses had a responsive design. This is up from 41% in June 2015.

The following image presents an example of an Econsultancy newsletter that was made without responsive design. Notice how the email copy requires horizontal scrolling because it was not optimized for mobile. This is what annoys your audience!

disadvantages of static newsletter design

disadvantages of static newsletter design

As the trends are leaning towards mobile-friendly emails and websites, the benefits of adopting responsive email template designs far outweigh the risks.

18. A rising number of mobile users rely exclusively on their mobile devices

According to a study done by eMarketer in 2016, 11.2% of mobile users rely exclusively on their mobile devices to go online. In 2016, mobile only users accounted for 31.1 million people. With eMarketer’s projected forecast for internet users up to the year 2020, the number of desktop only users will steadily decline, while mobile only users and dual desktop and mobile users will both rise.

US internet users by device

Nearly half of your audience is using only their mobile device to collect research, and if your emails are not compatible, then you have the potential to miss out on a huge group of users.

19. Still not convinced that mobile-friendly email templates are the way to go?

Check out the following case studies from three different companies that tested responsive email designs with their audiences and learn from them:

  • Career Builder: By implementing responsive email design through ExactTarget’s platform, the company CareerBuilder saw a 15%-17% increase in their email open rates and a 21%-24% increase in click through rates.
  • Deckers: After learning that 37% of their subscribers open their email on mobile devices, the company Deckers conducted A/B tests to compare how successful responsive email designs were with non-responsive designs. To no surprise, the results of these A/B tests leaned in favor of the use of responsive email designs. The emails that used media queries saw a 10% increase in click-through rates and a 9% increase in mobile open rates.
    In turn, Deckers now uses responsive design for several of its’ brands.
  • Buckle: After Buckle adopted responsive email designs, the company saw a 146% increase in email campaign conversion. By implementing a simple, yet responsive, email design to collect reviews for their products, Buckle had a lot of success. For every 100 emails sent, 25 users opened it, 3 users clicked a call-to-action button, and 1 user wrote a review.

When it comes to using mobile-friendly designs, the results simply speak for themselves!

In conclusion

These reasons are generalized and may differ from industry to industry. However, as long as the pattern of rising mobile users and mobile open rates continues to increase, offering mobile-friendly emails can only be an asset to your company and your subscribers.

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