Responsive email is likely to be a key priority for marketers in 2014 as the consumer shift towards smartphones and tablets continues apace.
It's not uncommon for as much as 50% of marketing email to be opened on a mobile device, so brands need to take action to ensure they are providing a smooth user experience.
The alternative is that recipients have to spend ages pinching and scrolling to read the content, which will inevitably impact on click-throughs and conversions.
To find out a bit more about the process of shifting marketing emails to a responsive template, I spoke to Missguided's affiliate and email marketing manager Cath Higgs.
Pretty sounding search algorithm updates (Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin...) have plunged many digital publishers into peril as their content plummets out of search engine results pages in consequence.
The decline in visitors impacts the performance of ads, which hits revenue. Under pressure from the publisher and ad sales team, the media title’s SEO and editorial teams try to reverse engineer Google’s update and work out new tactics that will improve their search engine performance.
In the main, quality publishers producing compelling shareable editorial need not worry too much about Google algorithm updates. Google’s focus has generally been to prioritise quality content.
However, a key objective of the Hummingbird update is to accommodate the fact that more searches are being conducted, and more content is being consumed, on smartphones.
As people are beginning to use their smartphone’s voice recognition functions to actually talk to Google search apps, Google has started to respond to search terms given in natural speech, a key part of the Hummingbird update.
'Big whoop', right? No. Massive whoop, especially for the 68% of the UK’s 175 top publishers do not have a digital site that displays effectively for mobile devices.
UK based online fashion store Fallen Hero recently launched a new responsive website and has experienced a 143% rise in revenue on tablets alone.
We humble lot at Econsultancy have been trumpeting responsive design as the key way for ecommerce to capture the fast increasing mobile and tablet owning market for a while now, and many brands are reaping the rewards already.
Let’s take a deeper look at one of the newest additions to the responsive design club, and then see if the rest of the stats back up our claims.
New research shows that one-in-five (19%) multichannel sales now comes from click-and-collect, up from 13% in the same period in 2012.
The figures are taken from sales data in Q3 2013 and show the importance of offering a click-and-collect service in the run up to Christmas.
Halfords and Argos have already proven the impact that the service can have on online sales, so it’s no wonder that small retailers also want to get in on the act.
A new service called StreetHub aims to make this possible in north London by creating ‘click-and-collect network of local boutiques with the best of design and fashion’.
The consumer shift towards mobile devices means that businesses should have a strategy in place to optimise their email marketing for smaller screens.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to find that up to 50% of their email messages are opened on mobile devices, however a recent Econsultancy report found that a large number of companies do not have a mobile email strategy in place, with 32% reporting this as ‘non-existent’ and 39% saying their strategy was ‘basic’.
One option for dealing with mobile email is responsive design, which uses one set of code that renders an email differently when viewed on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.
This means that the user experience is optimised regardless of where the recipient decides to open the email.
Carter’s has the only website out of 100 major US multichannel retailers to feature responsive design.
The Search Agency’s mobile experience scorecard published this week, highlights 100 ecommerce sites and rates them according to their mobile readiness.
Although over ninety companies operate effective dedicated mobiles sites, Carter’s was the only company to achieve full marks in the site format category because it operates an entirely responsive website.
Responsive web design means that the same website can be deployed for multiple screen sizes, and is the best way for ecommerce sites to increase conversion on mobile devices.
Before reading the The Search Agency's report I didn’t know much about the retailer Carter’s; it’s a USA based manufacturer of children’s clothes, however as this is posited as a leading example of responsive design, there must be some valuable lessons to learn from it.
A quarter of marketers are yet to execute campaigns across multiple screens, with tracking apparently the main issue that’s holding people back.
New research from Undertone found that 59% of marketers and 68% of agencies say that difficulty tracking people across devices is the main barrier to implementing a multiscreen campaign.
A lack of common performance metrics is also cited as a key barrier to deployment by 59% of marketers and agencies.
Responsive design is a potential remedy to this problem, however the research suggests that knowledge of the technology is still quite limited.
We publish a huge amount of content on the Econsultancy blog so it's understandably difficult to keep track of it all.
To help out, I've compiled a list of some of the most useful mobile posts and reports that we've written this year. You'll find best practice tips, stats, reviews, useful examples and more.
This article follows on similar round ups of our email, ecommerce, content marketing and social media posts.
Luxury furniture retailer Oka has become the latest ecommerce business to launch a responsive site.
For the uninitiated, responsive design is widely accepted as the future of web design as it involves deploying a site only once and using style sheets to reformat the content based primarily on screen width to fit the device.
This means that the same site is optimised for all different screen sizes, getting rid of the need to create a separate mobile site.
Responsive design is one of the hottest trends in web design at the moment as it’s seen as the most effective way of creating a consistent user experience across all devices.
For blogs that rely on social to promote their content it’s very important to have some sort of mobile optimised site as it’s inevitable that a large proportion of social referrals will come through mobile devices.
For small businesses or amateur bloggers a responsive WordPress theme is an excellent option as it allows the site owner to offer users a mobile experience without spending loads of money.
There are many responsive templates available either for free or for a very limited outlay, so I thought it would be useful to round up a few of the more impressive options.