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The difference between mobile-friendly and responsive emails

Mobile responsive

This refers to a framework that alters the layout and appearance of an email to ensure the best possible user experience when viewing on a mobile or tablet device. This effectively means there are 2 versions of the email, desktop and mobile view.

Responsive also means it adapts when viewed on tablet and converts to an enlarged version of the mobile layout. Generally, all columns stack to just a single column allowing for easy reading and scrolling.

  • Desktop represents 16% of all email opens, webmail 30% and mobile 54%. – Litmus ”State of Email” (March 2017)
  • The iPhone is the most popular platform in the mobile email space (60%) followed by Apple iPad (21%) and Google Android (18%) Litmus “Email Analytics” (March 2016)
  • Responsive design results in a nearly 15% increase in unique clicks for mobile users from a 2.7% average to 3.3%. – Litmus and MailChimp “The Science of Email Clicks: The Impact of Responsive Design & Inbox Testing” (December 2014)

Mobile friendly

This refers to a framework that scales down in size when viewing on a mobile device whilst keeping the same layout. It does not appear any different than if it was viewed on desktop just half the size. This may require the user to zoom and pan to be able to read the text easier.

It will work for mobile users but it is designed for desktop users which will be more specifically B2B clients.

  • B2C emails get 57.4% more opens on mobile than B2B email, ranking 42.78% opens on mobile for B2C compared to 27.18% for B2B. – DDMA “Nationale email benchmark 2015” (2015)
  • Financial Service customers stick to desktop to convert. Only 15% of financial service customers—the lowest rate of all industries—used mobile devices to buy products and services in Q1. Travel and hospitality emails had the second highest desktop conversion rate at 70%. – Movable Ink “Consumer Device Preference Report Q1 2016” (2016)