Depending on your design needs, you can build mailing templates in two different ways: as mobile-optimized templates or as responsive templates. Let’s look at the differences between these two styles.
As their name suggests, mobile-optimized templates are designed to render correctly on mobile devices (such as cell phones or tablets). However, the name can be a bit misleading because mobile-optimized templates also work extremely well on desktop devices too!
Mobile-optimized templates are, essentially, static templates – their formatting will not change based on the viewing device (mobile devices or desktop computers). For example, if a mobile-optimized template contains one column of text, this column will be preserved across multiple devices, email clients, and so forth.
Responsive templates will respond to match their viewing environment’s screen size. Consider this: you want to have a story layout with two columns of text that will rearrange to a single column on a mobile device. A responsive template is your answer! By their nature, responsive templates are a bit more complicated than mobile-optimized/static templates, and they generally require a design-savvy user to create. For example, to build a responsive template, you will need to select the HTML5 DOCTYPE and you will need to make modifications to the HTML Head Tags.
It is critical to note that responsive design does not work across all email systems – some email clients will not support this function!
Style and Substance
Having both mobile-optimized and responsive templates at your command allows you to tailor your mailings to your organization’s style. Both can be powerful ways to reach your audience, communicate content to your subscribers, and help form a positive user experience with your mailings.