Newsletter design is, without doubt, the most important part of an email marketing campaign. The last few years have witnessed a challenge for newsletter designers. With the spread of mobile devices globally, it got harder to create responsive newsletter designs; because the screens vary significantly from a desktop machine to a smart-phone. However, as observed, the mobile era has started and what a designer has to do is to adopt to this era.
Today, approximately 60% of all emails sent are opened via mobile devices and the number is increasing rapidly. Yet, according to recent researches, only half of the designers create newsletters with a “mobile first” action. Therefore, most email campaigns don’t reach to the target audience properly due to responsivity problems.
In this article, you will find the most essential points to create the best responsive newsletters for your email marketing campaigns.
1. Be responsive, not scalable
“Responsive” design does not mean scaled newsletters that can fit into different screens. That is, it does not refer to a certain, optimized scale ratio. It is rather a smart feature, in which the newsletter optimizes itself according to the device it is opened.
Generally, a responsive newsletter is created with two versions: one for desktop, another for mobile. The right version is opened after a @media inquiry, once the subscriber wants to open the email.
With this type of responsiveness, designer can change almost everything for the two different versions. See our article on email marketing in mobile era for more tips on mobile optimization.
2. Reverse your design project. Consider “mobile first”
Most designers create newsletter projects for desktop optimization as a common and habitual practice. However, the times have changed… According to the chart shown below, the main version of a newsletter should be the mobile one; since the mobile open rates are much higher than the others.
What is the most important point when creating design is to make the call-to-action buttons as visible and clickable possible, without disrupting the whole project.
3) Don’t be drowned in detail
It is not possible to be perfectly responsive and it is not possible to attract all your subscribers with an email campaign. So, don’t waste your time to adjust every single detail.
Technically, no matter how much you try, your newsletter will have visible faults in some of the devices that your subscribers open them on. Let’s think about it: there are literally hundreds of different devices with dozens of different screen ratios, software and other technological differences. Therefore, you can’t be responsive perfectly.
However, it would be safe to assume that your newsletters will be opened on mostly Android and Apple devices on a 50/50 ratio. Below is a recent research for email opens according to email clients used by subscribers.
4) Pay attention to technical details
After these basics, what a designer should pay the most attention to is the design itself, obviously. The first thing to know here is that one column is better than two in the mobile era. Some more tips will definitely be useful for your newsletters.
Designs should not be wider than 500-600 pixels and the most responsive type size is 14, especially for iPhones. Smaller sizes will be adjusted funny.
You can read our article on adjusting your newsletters for Retina display screens. It has more technical details that would enhance your newsletter quality.
5) Don’t use a single image file as your newsletter
One of the biggest faults when sending an email marketing campaign is creating a design on a third-party software; such as Photoshop and then optimizing it with HTML coding. It doesn’t matter how good a designer is with HTML codes, a single image will not be optimized for each and every device. To recall the first point of this article, this would only be scalable, not responsive, at all.
Instead of single image work, a newsletter with both images and writing elements should be included in a project. If you have trouble in creating them or don’t have time for it, you can download free responsive templates or buy them.
Or, you can simply use INBOXBrush for responsive newsletters.