Responsive email is going to be big for 2014. I see no way around it. Marketers are going to wake up and realize that most of their email marketing is now headed for a mobile device (not by their choice, but by consumer default), and the mails are not ready for this. People are still having to pinch and scroll, squint and suffer when sifting through marketing email messages. And even the subject lines (a key tool, repeat, a key tool) are not shortened or adjusted for mobile. What you have is email #fail. So, we’re going to have to change this all in 2014.

Most savvy marketing folks have already woken up to mobile ready web. Their sites are responsive – meaning, they are built to auto adjust to  any screen – all the way down to mobile. So, how come, with the resurgence of email marketing  and this new buzz about how subject lines can dramatically alter ‘open rates’ no one’s considered the formatting of emails to auto adjust to mobile?

Once we understand who our customers are, and here in this region, it’s ok religion to believe that most are on mobile, it’s a given that we need to go responsive asap. It’s not an easy one step process, because one needs to create and develop simplified responsive templates. But once that’s done, it’s really about making it a habit. Usually, a good developer will develop dynamic modules that will deliver auto-adjust mails across all platforms – tablets inclusive.

Then, we ‘ll need to reset KPIs – meaning our ‘open-rate’, ‘click through’ and ‘conversion’ rate goals really will change – for the better. And they will be achievable.

Keep a couple of things in perspective. If you are really going to go responsive, make sure your subject line is also geared for mobile. And the snippet text (if you use that) should ideally be contextual and relevant – and interesting. And clicking through? Well, if you send a responsive email which doesn’t lead to a responsive, mobile ready site, why bother? So, do get all your responsive ducks in a row.

When one sees genuine improvement and impact via the new ready-for-2014 emails, we can then go back and justify going responsive to our CFOs. Via email of course.

Here is a link to a well done responsive email from retailer Missguided. Drag the ends down on your laptop/desktop to mobile size and see it adjust. Or, if you are reading this post on a mobile, you know already…

from a blogpost by Tom Roychoudhury, Chief Innovations Officer, MCN