4 things we really want from mobile responsive email

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 12:07 pm Written by

What are the most important things when an email loads on your phone?

Loads fast, Right size, Legible, Clickable

I want this thing to appear instantly at exactly the right size for my phone and have buttons the right size for my fingers and text the right size for my eyes. I also want a gold-plated Rolls-Royce (but I don’t want to pay for it).

Newsflash: The world isn’t perfect, but it’s OK

Emails look really great across a huge variety of devices if you have a little know-how… or you know someone who knows someone, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, Bob’s your Uncle, etc, etc.

Fortunately for you, we are your Uncle Bob. We know a man who knows a man who has to see a man about a horse whose Uncle Robert might just have the code for making cells stack like tables and images expand to 100% of their containers. For all you neigh-sayers, check out our code stable.

As for the gold Roller, nobody’s doing those anymore, but we can wrap your Punto in tin foil for a monkey.
Let’s wind back and expand:

  1. Loads fast
    No supersize images please, I just want to see what you’re offering.

    We’ve got your back, Jack. The NewZapp Editor automatically resizes your images down to the size of the image block you drop them into. This means your recipients only download the pixels they absolutely need.

  2. The right size
    Size matters. But no pinch-zoom or sideways scrolling please, we’re British.

    Loading an email then realising the text goes off to the side is irritating for your recipients… but them not realising and missing half your content is irritating for you!

    In the old days of mobile responsive email it was normal to see a tiny desktop version and have to zoom in, but in these heady days of the Media Query, readers that still do this are few and far between. In fact it’s just been the Gmail App and ancient Blackberries for ages. Now Google say Gmail will support Media Queries from the end of September (i.e. now!), but our testing hasn’t revealed this update to be ready… yet.

    The ancient Blackberries are sadly below dog-safe height and most likely will never be touched again – even Blackberry themselves are switching to Android rather than further develop their own software.

  3. Legible
    Mahoosive titles are just as bad as miniscule small print. Having to scroll through a screen-worth of title is probably too much.
    Great big font size on mobile responsive email
    Big text can look great and really grab the eye – when used sparingly in a desktop environment. Similarly, there is a case for small print – smallprint being the case! You have to say this stuff for legal reasons, but you don’t want it getting in the way of your pitch – we hear ya!
    viewing distances for mobile responsive email
    For mobile the best results are garnered when you bring the really big text down a bit and the really small text up a bit. Don’t forget that it’s a much narrower screen being held a bit closer to the recipient’s face. If in doubt, do a test send to your own phone.
  4. Clickable
    No-one’s saying I’ve got fat fingers but I think I just hit 3 links at once.

    When you use a mouse you can be accurate to within a few pixels, but when you’re on your phone you’ll be trying to click the same links with a big smeary poker that, depending on if you’ve had your coffee, is being guided quite vaguely by a brain only just interested enough to try once before going back to Facebook and cat pictures.
    cat cat email cat
    With this in mind, it’s always worth spacing out links for mobiles. This is most important for your main call to action, but the worst offenders are often contact details in headers and footers.

In Concludium (the last Roman settlement built or a board game about finishing your sentences?)
We can’t always get what we want, but we might just get what we need. There are an amazing range of mobile devices in common usage, so it’s a relief to think that with a little know-how your emails can look pretty much perfect on almost all of them. We code graceful fallbacks to ensure that older devices and weird readers still load your content in most of its glory.

Tom Scott




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