Given the buzz around responsive design, it’s tempting to treat it as either an ‘extra paid service’ or ‘free bonus’ when quoting clients for an email newsletter or template. However, as Scott Riley pointed out in a post for Boagworld, the design process behind optimizing for the small screen deserves more consideration than simply calculating how long it takes to come up with a media query or two.
For a designer, building an email template from scratch can provide a truckload of power over things like layouts, copy, how to display a call-to-action and more… But with this, comes responsibility. As with most design decisions, the focus is always on what’s best for the client’s needs (over say, your idealistic wants), while staying within budget and deadlines, of course.
This responsibility to do what’s best is what Scott Riley focused on in his Boagworld piece. His argument against simply making responsive an additional line item on an invoice is that designing with mobile devices in mind has impacts on time and strategy that may extend further than the project brief. As it’s relates to email, some of these impacts may include:
- Extra time testing a responsive email across a range of mobile email clients (and money, if using automated tools)
- Extra support – are you willing to take into account how the email will display in upcoming email clients like Mailbox, alongside old foes like Gmail for iOS?
- Consideration on whether it fits in with the client’s overall mobile strategy (or lack of). For example, if the client wants a responsive email, but isn’t prepared to optimize their landing pages first, is the true benefit to be gained from an enhanced campaign really going to meet their expecations?
That said, Scott mentions that while testing (and planning) can eat up extra resources, implementing a responsive design doesn’t necessarily take longer… Especially if you’re using tools like our template builder to get started. Either way you look at it, whether or not you go down the responsive route shouldn’t be taken for granted or given the hard sell, when it’s really a decision to be made with your client, based on their circumstances.
The only thing that’s missing here is you – do you sell responsive design to your clients as an optional add-on? Or, have you ever decided it’s not worth making your email campaigns responsive? Let us know in the comments below.