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Introducing a Breakthrough: True Gmail Mobile Support for All Your Emails

STIG MORTEN MYRE - JUL 12, 2016

We’ve waited a long time to be able to tell you this: Email campaigns created and sent with the Campaign Monitor Email Builder now render beautifully across all major mobile devices and clients, including the Gmail and Yahoo! Mail apps on Android and iOS.

In today’s mobile-driven world, 53% of email marketing campaigns are opened on mobile devices. Your subscribers expect your emails to look great wherever they open them. As a marketer, you need a way to build an email campaign once and have it display beautifully on both desktop and mobile. And now, with our Email Builder, you finally do.

But wasn’t this always the case?

The templates we offer in our Email Builder have always been responsive, strictly speaking.

When they’re viewed on small screens, we use what’s known as media queries to change how the emails look, making them fit nicely on the screen as a single column mobile version. And any images you add have fluid sizes, so they’re never too big to fit in their column. Open your email in the iPhone Mail app, and you will behold a perfectly mobile optimized design.

The trouble with Gmail

Many popular email clients lack support for the media queries and other features needed for the responsive techniques used by ourselves and other email service providers. So when an email is opened in mobile apps like Gmail, Inbox, or Yahoo! Mail, the subscriber doesn’t see the intended mobile version.

5 common email problems on mobile

Instead, these email clients find their own ways to fit the desktop version onto the mobile screen. Either by shrinking the desktop version until the text is so microscopic you have to perform finger gymnastics to zoom and scroll to the part you want to read. Or by squeezing and packing the columns like skinny sardines, so only a couple words fit on each line.

In turn, this creates five distinct issues for your audience when they open your emails:

  1. The need to pinch & zoom. We’ve all been there. The simple act of reading an email becomes a challenge, and we often give up and delete the email altogether. Needless to say, that’s not what you have in mind when you send an email campaign!
  2. Buttons are too small. Buttons become nearly useless – so those valuable CTAs you’ve created are never seen or clicked on.
  3. Text lines are too short. Reading lines of just one or two words each gets tiring very quickly. Some subscribers might hang in there – but others will give up.
  4. Multi-columns don’t render properly. Content shrunk down to fit a third of the mobile screen width, sometimes even with a different column width ratio than the original design. This impacts both the hierarchy and aesthetics of your presentation.
  5. Photos & images shrink. Because the whole email shrinks down, so does any beautiful photography or rich imagery making your beautiful email not so beautiful anymore.

Although you could say these issues are email client problems, not email template problems, we’re always searching to enhance our templates to improve your subscribers’ email reading experience.

Our mobile-first solution

So to solve this, we turned the problem on its head. We asked ourselves if we can’t get mobile styles to render on the desktop version across all mobile clients, can we instead start by coding for mobile first, and optimize for desktop second? So that’s exactly what we did.

For recipients opening an email in a window big enough to fit the desktop version, we wanted to present the campaign with desktop specific styles.

We achieved this using a combination of hacks. If you’re curious about the technical details, check out this behind the scenes post where we break down exactly how we pulled this off across all major desktop and webmail clients.

A better experience for your subscribers

What this all means is that all of the email marketing campaigns you create using the Campaign Monitor Email Builder are optimized for every major mobile email client, including the Gmail app, Inbox app, and Mail on Android. This means your subscribers will have an easier time reading your messages, seeing your images, and clicking your call to action buttons. This all results in additional conversions and revenue for your business.

Try it out today

Create a new campaign using the drag-and-drop email builder today and deliver the benefits of mobile first rendering to your subscribers – ensuring your message looks great on any device, every time.

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