Blog | The Case for Responsive Design

10th October 2013

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By now you have probably considered whether making your digital offering ‘responsive’ is worth the investment. Do people really use mobiles and tablets that much for your website?

By making the content of your website and emails automatically alter according to the device it is being viewed on is seen by many industry commentators as vital for maintaining conversion rates and customer engagment – who enjoys seeing a tiny website on your iPhone?

Given the amount of fads the web world has seen, our clients are naturally hesitant. Spending money to redesign the website, alter its structure and content has to be a worthwhile investment. Aside of mobile devices being unlikely to ever disappear, we decided to put a case in point to our clients and let them decide for themselves. Now its your turn.

Small steps – responsive mobile email campaigns

Email has changed. Gone are the days when everyone had to login to their desktop computer, open Outlook and read their raft of personal, promotional and work emails. Approx 47% of worldwide email opens are on a mobile device which makes it a great place to start testing.

Indeed, one of our clients were blowing those stats away. Katys Cosmetics’ younger demographic has 73% of users opening their email newsletters on mobile devices – which made a powerful case for going responsive with email design. This meant making the images nice and big, the discount prices easy to read and basically ‘cutting to the chase’.

Before Responsive email design After Responsive email design

An increase in open rates, click rates

Comparing the 2 campaigns above – September 2012 and September 2013 – produced some interesting results:

Campaign % of opens on a mobile % of mobile opens that clicked through % of clickthroughs that bought
Sept 2012 standard email 47% 16.1% 6.3%
Sept 2013 responsive email 73% 24.8% 7.3%

Firstly it was clear that more of our email subscribers were using their mobile devices to open our messages. Secondly we had gained a better response – the clearer designs improving clickthroughs from 16.1% to 24.8% (an increase of 54%).

An increase in sales too

Proud though we are of our responsive designs, all our clients ever really care about is results so it was especially pleasing to see that – by providing a better experience – people were more inclined to actually make a purchase. The increase wasn’t as high because the main website is still not responsive, but by changing our message according to consumer preferences they clearly felt more inclined to continue the buying process.

So should you go responsive?

The simple answer is yes – mobiles and tablets are not going away anytime soon, and your customers are using them daily. The more complex answer lies in the work we undertook for our client here; improved responsive email marketing campaigns, careful analysis into conversions, and the continuance of strong sales messages can result in improvements in sales.

Adam Pritchard

Founder of this agency and Shopit, Adam has nearly 20 years of digital experience, from the days of getting 3M and Pioneer UK web-friendly, to leading project teams on development and marketing projects for the likes of Tesco, Royal College of Nursing and National Tyres. Secretary of junior football club Winton Wanderers, most of the weekend is spent coaching kids, or reading the Sunday papers with coffee and cake.