You know how in old movies some menacing messenger will unroll a long scroll to read a prophecy or curse? We’ve moved way beyond paper and papyrus into phones and phablets, which—ironically—brings us back to scrolling as responsive email design becomes more popular.
Beware the scrolling you ask people to do.
Responsive design, which adapting your emails and websites to the user’s screen, is all the rage, as it should. Responsive email design enables an optimal user experience in most ways, but it also requires more scrolling rather and that’s something to consider when designing your email template and writing your copy.
Your email might be two or even three times longer using responsive design. Can you safely assume your recipients will scroll all the way to the end to find your call to action? Probably not. To help, try these four tricks to make sure your clicks don’t disappear, forevvvvverrrrrrr…
1) Elevate your call to action.
Simply put, put your call to action above-the-fold that is it’s visible without having to scroll. You could even put the call to action very near the top, and still include it later in the template. You won’t have built your case for it yet when the CTA is near the top, but it’s easy to find when a user wants it.
2) Focus on getting your point across in an instant.
What is the most important takeaway from your email, the one thing you need a user to see/note/realize/learn? Make sure that happens right away and isn’t buried. Perhaps give your headline that job, and put a lot of effort into getting that headline right. That way, if someone deserts the long scroll, they will still have gotten your main message. Better yet, just cut all that copy.
3) Shorten the body copy.
Responsive design is likely going to mean our to-the-point emails must get even tighter and to the point. If you can say less, do. You can always offer a link to more information. Just make sure you design the button or link to be clickable for fat fingers on tiny screens! But as for the copy, cut it as if you’re a serial killer.
4) Make your images wider vs. taller.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ll want to use the best, most compelling pictures possible when using responsive design, especially if you’re truncating copy. Go for wider rather than taller images, however, to make sure you aren’t pushing important content even farther down and making it less likely to get scrolled to.
It all turns out well in the end.
As more time is spent mobile, users appreciate the experience responsive design gives them, and content is definitely more consumable when it renders well no matter the device being used. Only keep in mind the possible shortcomings of the long scroll and tackle them in your template design, and see if your subscribers are more responsive to your responsive design as a result.
Thanks for reading!
Scott Hardigree is the Founder of Email Industries, the folks behind Indiemark and BlackBox.