Smartphones are the most popular way to get online – but what does that mean for email marketing?

We use them every day; many of us won’t leave the house without them; they spend most of their time in our pockets; and now, what many of us have thought for years has now been proved true – Kleenex tissues ARE the softest.

Only joshing – of course we’re talking about our beloved smartphones, and the recent Ofcom report which shows that smartphones are now the most popular way for people in the UK to browse the internet. A third of all internet access now happens through a smartphone, up from 23 per cent in 2014, and a whopping two-thirds of adults now own a smartphone.

Hardly surprising is it? Most of us sleep right next to them! Indeed, more than a third (34 per cent) of all UK adults gets online on their mobile device within five minutes of waking up. When it comes to younger people (aged 18-24), that figure rises to almost half (49 per cent).

What’s behind the increase in smartphone internet access?

A quick swipe through your apps will show why this is. First off, there’s Facebook and Twitter – which many people use as communication tools, calendars, and to get their morning news. Then there’s the increased appetite for video content among commuters via apps such as YouTube, Vine, BBC iPlayer and Netflix, driven by high-speed 4G networks.

Now, as any smartphone-owning adult can attest, we use them a lot throughout the day too. Whether it’s to check our emails, get directions, book train tickets or send text messages, these devices have become invaluable to our daily lives. The Ofcom report proves this; almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of 4G phone owners said that they “couldn’t live without” their phone.

But let’s get back to emails for a second. Recent research shows that 32 per cent of all adults check their emails two to four times a day, while a further 26 per cent check their emails five to nine times a day. This is also one of the major contributing factors to the increase of internet access on smartphones, and it means that email marketers need to sit up and pay attention.

What should email marketers do to keep up?

The days of designing emails intended to be viewed on desktop computers only are now well and truly buried under a pile of old mobile phones. Most designers have known this for years, but for the marketers who have their eggs spread over many baskets it could now be harder to adjust.

Responsive email design means creating emails that will look great regardless of the device they’re viewed on, including smartphones, desktops, laptops and tablets. It sounds complicated, and it used to be. But not anymore.

Email design tools created for the marketer rather than the designer, such as our Drag and Drop Editor, have made life far easier for anyone struggling to keep up with responsive email production. The tool lets you create email templates easily that are automatically tailored for every device.

Modern email marketing needs to be designed for the modern recipient. For more information, download our free guide: The Simplified Guide to Modern Email Design.