Email marketing is now a mobile-first discipline, and mobile changes everything.

Responsive Design has been a useful technique for web designers and email marketers to reformat their content for mobile screens; two columns become one column, landscape becomes portrait, images become fluid and magically gain retina resolution.

However, responsive email design on mobile is too often a matter of “same content, different layout.” And there’s way too much scrolling for the average mobile snack-sized attention span.

Beyond tweaking content layouts based on the girth of an LED array, here at Playable we believe that email marketing content should be optimized for mobile consumption based on mobile context and the unique behavioural characteristics of a newly mobilized audience.


According to Adobe, 70% of us check email while watching TV, 52% from our beds. 42% while sitting on the toilet, and 18% of us check our email while driving.

So it’s no surprise that mobile email attention and engagement works differently to desktop email. Mobile email marketing needs to be more snackable, and more Playable.

The evidence for Responsive email design

  • MailChimp and Litmus found click-through rates for the first link in a responsive email to be significantly over-indexed on mobile devices – because mobile readers spend less time scrolling through each email.
  • Yahoo found that email replies sent from mobile devices are 60% shorter than those sent from desktops – because mobile readers spend less time on each email.
  • Hubspot found that 65% of users prefer emails to contain mostly images rather than text – because pictures are better to snack upon than words.

Playable believes that video content needs to be at the heart of mobile-first email marketing, to grab attention and drive engagement. Marketers who use Playable to add video to their email campaigns, enjoy dramatic increases in click through rates and post click engagement, as measured by time on site.

Here’s an example of how consumers are interacting with video email content on their mobiles:


We’ve written about 2016 being the first year in which the majority of email marketing is read on a mobile device.

By the year 2020, Playable believes the majority of email marketing will not be read on a mobile device, instead, the majority of email marketing will be watched on a mobile device. So how do you begin to include video content within your email campaigns? Until recently is was a technical minefield, one which we have navigated through, so start you video email journey with our tips and tricks on how to get started with video email.


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