A new web design era was born when technology made it possible to the mainstream users to own a mobile device from which they could access the Internet. It was not only the mobile phones manufacturers that had to make a shift, but also web designers. The users’ migration towards mobile devices has caused the emergence of new standards and requirements, since a website you can view properly from a desktop computer is hard to view from a smartphone. Even if responsive web design is no longer a caprice, but a must, we still come across un-responsive websites which you need to scroll and zoom in to read their contents. And who has the patience to do so? One of the hardest challenges that designers have encountered following this revolution was becoming able to create a responsive HTML email.
The responsive HTML email and its difficulties
A traditional email which is not responsive is the worst nightmare for the mobile user, because unless you zoom in and scroll, you cannot read anything. And when you do so, you can easily get lost and not find the last paragraph you were reading. But why is this happening, when so many other websites are responsive, even personal blogs? Since the email technology is outdated, you cannot apply to it modern responsive design tricks and you need an expert to get the job done properly.
What to look at when designing for mobile devices
A website which can be viewed optimally from a mobile device should respect a few rules: the contents should be organized in one column, you need to give up unnecessary details and be concise, and you should pay extra care to the call-to-action button, which needs to be large enough to be easily tapped. And these suggestions apply to responsive email design, too.
What to consider when designing a responsive email
HTML email designing is possible nowadays with the help of free-source software tools. Even if these boilerplates are for free, you still need to know that they are not for everyone. You need to have solid programming knowledge and take care of issues like inserting the doctype, adding media queries which will allow the email to respond to various browsers, designing marketing-effective and easy to reach call-to-action buttons.
The call-to-action buttons are crucial for marketing emails and they need to be easily tapped by finger, since modern mobile devices are equipped with touchscreen. This is one of the most difficult tasks when creating a responsive email. It is hard to obtain a button which can be displayed on any device, since they depend on padding, which some client do not support. Enclosing in your codes the right style declarations will ensure that your email will have attractive call-to-action buttons, on condition that the screen width does not exceed 600px. There is an alternative to the style declarations relying on images and you can use another type of styling which will make the link to stand out and be finger-friendly no matter what the size of the finger is.
When creating a responsive HTML email, designers deal with two problems at the same time: the fact that you can’t get something totally universal and that applying the rules of responsive web design to email makes the matters twice harder. It is truly a challenge.