When you post content online, do you ever stop to think how it will look to the person reading it?

In an earlier article – Design a newsletter? Moi? – I highlighted this problem, and with good reason. One of the biggest challenges for anyone producing an email newsletter (apart from finding the right content) is ensuring that most recipients can see it with the layout its designer intended.

The problem…

…is that email browser programs are changing all the time, so a design that works perfectly well today may suddenly and inexpicably ‘break’ the very next time you use it.

That said, it’s worth remembering that you can’t (and shouldn’t try to) create an email that renders perfectly in every browser configuration on the internet. You just need to ensure that your design is acceptable in the majority of browsers in common use – and understand that some configurations will break it no matter what you do.

Fortunately there’s good, professional help out there. At Mill House Media we use a website called litmus.com which will test your email code in some 40 of the most commonly used browsers – and show you exactly how it looks in each of them. It can test your web pages, too, so we find it’s well worth the small monthly subscription.

So why is that important?

Statistics from top of the line marketing companies suggest that more than 50% of emails worldwide are first opened on smartphones.

And our own spot survey (unscientific but persuasive) suggested that among networkers mobile opens might be closer to 85%.

Which is bad news if your particular email can’t easily be read on a mobile phone.

All the evidence suggests that this figure will continue to rise – so although it’s time-consuming (and often frustrating), any efforts you make to create responsive emails should bring their own reward – now and later.

I’ll be looking at precisely how this can be done in a later article, so please watch this space.

And if you have any thoughts on the subject we’d love to hear from you!

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