Email is a vital marketing tool – a way of reaching out to your target market and directly speaking to current and potential customers. You can do a lot with email, from fantastic branding and design to launching new products and building brand loyalty with exclusive offers and discounts for your core customers. However, making the most of these valuable opportunities depends on your customers actually being able to actually read your emails.

Despite the fact that late last year, 51 percent of emails were opened via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, many brands have still not taken steps to optimize their emails for mobile. A painstakingly crafted email can end up mangled, squashed, and warped when viewed on a smartphone screen, with links not working, some content being blocked, and images failing to show up at all. This is any marketer’s nightmare, but there is something you can do about it.

Responsive design techniques

A designer experienced in creating mobile responsive emails will be able to revolutionize the way your email campaigns and newsletters are viewed on screens of all sizes. Your designer can tinker with layout and hierarchy, colors, padding, image scaling, navigation, and fonts – all to make your email scan properly, first and foremost, but also to be just as effective as a communication opened on a full size screen.

By far the most popular method of reading emails on mobile devices is through a client or app. Of course, there are so many that it would be very difficult to optimize your emails for every single one, and it would not be cost-effective to do so. However, you can focus your efforts on the most popular email clients. The researchers at Litmus have identified the most widely used clients as of October 2014, which includes as its top five:

  1. Apple iPhone
  2. Gmail
  3. Apple iPad
  4. Outlook
  5. Apple mail

If you’re new to the world of mobile responsive email, optimizing for these clients would be a useful place to start.

Email opens via mobile will only increase as smartphones and tablets start to replace laptops and desktops, so now is most definitely the time to put the work in and optimize your campaigns. Fail to do so and a large part of your email marketing efforts will be wasted, and you’ll also find it increasingly tough to track the devices on which your customers are reading your emails and clicking through to your website.