Over 60% of all emails are opened on a mobile device according to Constant Contact. It’s pretty startling that some companies still struggle with building out responsive emails. There are 3 challenges with responsive email:
- Email Service Provider – Many email providers still don’t have drag & drop email building capabilities, so it requires a ton of development on the part of your agency or internal development team to build out those templates.
- Email Clients – Not all email clients are the same and most of them render emails different from others. As a result, testing across email clients and devices is an industry in and of itself.
- Development – If you know HTML and CSS, you can build out a pretty sweet responsive web page quite easily… but building in exceptions for every email client can truly be a nightmare. It requires working with great developers, or working with highly tested and modified templates.
There are now plenty of places online where you can find and download free email templates that are fully responsive. If you’re pretty good at development, you can typically swap out the elements and build yourself a pretty nice email. Editing raw code behind an email still isn’t fun, though… forget a style or a class and your email will look terrible.
I’ve been wanting to tune-up the newsletter on Martech Zone for a while now and we actually have our own email service running on our own server that costs pennies on the dollar compared to other providers. With over 30,000 subscribers, I just can’t justify the expense of most email service providers so we built our own!
BEE Mobile Responsive Email Builder
As I reviewed some templates around the web that I liked, I happened across BEE, a company that has developed a few fantastic tools:
- BEE Plugin – a fully embeddable email page editor for SaaS companies to incorporate into their platforms.
- BEE Pro – an email design workflow for professional email designers to collaborate and develop on.
- BEE Free – a stunning free mobile-responsive email builder which you can develop templates from scratch on or import any one of hundreds of free responsive email templates.
Within an hour, I was able to build my email, tweak it for mobile devices, send myself a test, and download the code… all for free!
First, I selected a blank template then built out the sections that I wanted and utilized placeholder images. I’ll be coding this into Martech Zone’s template once it’s exactly where I want it.
I then previewed the email for desktop and made some minor modifications for spacing and padding.
I previewed in Mobile and made some additional changes. The editor offers the opportunity to hide items for desktop or mobile, so you can truly customize the mobile experience nicely.
I then sent myself the email directly from BEE’s Editor:
The editor also enables you to have transparent backgrounds which look great if you’re using Dark Mode on your email client.
Once everything was perfect, I was able to download the full HTML file and any social images that were included with their interface. They have quite a few options at this point, though, if you sign up for the paid BEE Pro account.
BEE on the lookout for an updated newsletter from Martech Zone!
Disclosure: I’m using our BEE affiliate link in this article.