47% of all people across demographics use a mobile application for checking their email. Meanwhile, 26.9% still prefer desktop. When it comes to mobile devices, a whopping 81% prefer to open emails on their smartphones while 21% open emails on their tablets.Campaign Monitor
I open most of my email on my mobile device to peruse, delete, and reply quickly. For detailed emails, I often move to the desktop where I respond. I’m honestly surprised at the number of emails that I receive that lack any kind of responsive design feature, though.
While responsive design in email is a must, most online editors lack any robust mobile responsive design and testing. Amazingly, there are some major email service providers (ESPs) that offer no mobile editing and previewing feature. I’m not trying to say that responsive email design is easy… and developing an editor that supports it is even more complex.
There are three challenges with responsive email:
- Email Service Provider – Many email providers still don’t have drag-and-drop email-building capabilities, so building out those templates requires a ton of development from your agency or internal development team.
- Email Clients – Not all email clients are the same, and most render emails different from each other. 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 quickly… but building in exceptions for every email client can be a nightmare. It requires working with great developers or using highly tested and modified templates.
There are 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.
Beefree Mobile Responsive Email Builder
As I reviewed some templates around the web that I liked, I happened across Beefree, a company that has developed a few fantastic tools:
Beefree Features Include
- Drag-and-drop HTML Editor – User-friendly drag-and-drop HTML editor.
- Template library – Access to a large collection of free email templates.
- Mobile-responsive email and page design.
- Real-time collaboration with teams and clients.
- Campaign creation process, design, and approval with customizable branding and design tools and real-time team collaboration.
- Connectors with effortless email exports to any sending platform or ESP including Mailchimp, Brevo, Gmail, HubSpot, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Klaviyo, Acumbamail, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Outlook Web, Amazon SES, ActiveCampaign, SendGrid, and MailUp.
- SDK – If you’re a SaaS provider, you can whitelabel and embed the Beefree editor directly into your platform.
Beefree and Martech Zone
Within an hour, I built my email, tweaked it for mobile devices, sent myself a test, and downloaded the code… all for free!
- I selected a blank template, built out the sections I wanted, and utilized placeholder images. I’ll replace it using Mailchimp’s RSS-to-Email substation strings once completed.
- I then previewed the email for desktop and made some minor modifications for spacing and padding.
- I previewed the email with their mobile preview and made some additional changes. The editor offers the opportunity to hide items for desktop or mobile so you can customize the mobile experience nicely.
- I then sent myself the email directly from BEE’s Editor:
The editor also has a transparent background option you can use 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 account.