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Your ‘Responsive’ Emails, actually aren’t.

Pierce Ujjainwalla

By Pierce Ujjainwalla

·

Updated Jan 31, 2024

Published Oct 8, 2015

Why email marketers need to think mobile-first

Summary - Discover why many 'responsive' emails fail on mobile and learn about the fluid hybrid method for truly adaptable email designs.

Yeah yeah, we all know now. 50% of your emails are opened on mobile. Yadda yadda yadda. It’s getting old.

Even though a lot of marketers have adopted ‘responsive’ emails, most of them are not actually responsive… about 50% of the time.

Why? Well most developers code their emails using media queries. This is a CSS technique that resizes the content according to the size of recipient’s screen. The problem is that neither Gmail OR Outlook support media queries.

That’s a whole lot of ‘No’, no?

So, what do you do? Well, there is a solution. It’s called the fluid hybrid development method. And, it allows email developers to achieve responsive email without the use of media queries.

The best emails are coded using the fluid hybrid method. This method enables Marketers to ensure that their emails will look good regardless of the device they are being viewed on.

If you are a technical person and you would like to learn more about the fluid hybrid method, we would encourage you to read ‘Creating a Future-Proof Responsive Email Without Media Queries’ a blog post by Nicole Merlin, one of the creators of this type of email development and a good friend of Knak’s.

Nicole outlines the steps required to code using this method, in gory detail. If you don’t know HTML/CSS, be warned, this will be like reading a foreign language.

We asked Nicole to break how she accomplishes responsive design without media queries in layman’s terms, and this is what she told us:

“I’d say that fluid-hybrid is essentially a way of reverse-engineering emails to be responsive. They are made up of lots of stackable blocks that are held in place by a larger outer wrapper. As soon as that outer wrapper gets narrower, as when viewed on a small screen, the blocks start stacking… I think that’s probably the simplest way to describe it without getting technical.”

Simple, right? Well – bottom line, you need your emails to be developed with the fluid hybrid method… unless you don’t care about 50% of the internet.


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Pierce Ujjainwalla

Author

Pierce Ujjainwalla

Co-Founder & CEO, Knak

Pierce is a career marketer who has lived in the marketing trenches at companies like IBM, SAP, NVIDIA, and Marketo. He launched Knak in 2015 as a platform designed to help Marketers simplify email creation. He is also the founder of Revenue Pulse, a marketing operations consultancy.

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