By Posted in - Email & Mobile on May 28th, 2015

Having a “mobile friendly” website is no longer an option, it’s practically a necessity given the recent changes adopted by Google’s search ranking algorithm.

In April Google announced it would begin to rank “mobile friendly” sites higher for web searches conducted on a mobile device. With around 30% of all web traffic in Australia now using a mobile device this means being web-friendly is no longer just an option, but a mandatory requirement for any successful website.

Amazingly it is estimated that 66% of all Australian websites are not currently “mobile friendly”, meaning many businesses will now need to focus on upgrading their website to ensure their search traffic is not being sacrificed.

The big opportunity here is to not only review your website but make sure that your entire online experience is catering to the significant (and growing) mobile audience. As a key traffic driver for many organisations, your email marketing campaigns should also ensure they provide the user with the best possible experience on every device.

We have worked hard over that past few years to educate our team and our clients on the importance of mobile friendly email marketing campaigns and we know from first hand experience that engagement rates WILL improve if you adopt a mobile friendly approach to your email creative. We also know that some of our clients report email readership on smartphones of up to 60% of all emails opened.

With numbers like these it’s now critical to ensure every online touchpoint is providing an easily navigable experience – from your EDM campaign, to your data capture form, your landing and to all of your online web content.


One of the things we have learnt in the email space over the past few years is that not all responsive emails are created equal.

For a fully responsive mobile email design using advanced CSS media queries, we can perform some impressive email acrobatics – shifting, hiding and swapping out content to provide amazing control over campaigns on mobile devices.


This kind of build is the most labour intensive, requiring advanced HTML coding techniques as well as thorough planning in the design stage to foresee possible layout issues.

A simple campaign such as a single column invitation with a hero image, copy and a call-to-action button does not require heavy handed coding techniques to ensure it looks great on any device. In this instance we may go for a fluid build approach and focus on content & copy rather than layout.


Then we have the Adaptive approach which does not use any CSS. Instead we focus on a mobile email design that we know will “collapse” gracefully on any screen size and is generally limited to very simple layout complemented by large, legible copy and clear call-to-actions.


The Adaptive approach allows for greater compatibility across viewing environments, including Android’s Gmail App, which does not render CSS properly and doesn’t recognise optimisation code for Responsive coded emails.

The sheer number of email clients people use to read emails has always made email design a challenging medium, so the growth of the mobile audience has only made this task even more difficult.

At The Orchard our approach has been to tackle all email design projects from a user first perspective. We need to think about who our audience is, how they are accessing their emails, and we need to decide the best way to then strike a balance between design aesthetics, legibility, usability and overall goals of each campaign.

Every database and email list has very different needs and it’s important to understand exactly how this list is made up before deciding on your best approach for creating a compelling email design.

B2B emails may have a much larger proportion of recipients reading their emails on a desktop when compared to an B2C e-commerce store. Likewise a university or educational organization with a high proportion of young students may see a much larger mobile audience compared to a banking organization.

Once you know who your audience is and how they are accessing their emails you can make more informed decisions in your approach to create your own best practice mobile email design.

Need help to create a great mobile user experience for your email marketing database but not sure where to start? Contact us at