The Times, They are a Changin’ Part 3: Single File

Look out! We’re back.

In previous installments of this series, we took a look at changing subscriber trends as they relate to subject lines interacting with pre-headers, and where to place your most valuable information. As indicated in those posts, the way in which consumers engage email newsletters is shifting in a variety of ways, and one of the underlying causes behind all of those changes is the rise of mobile viewing.

I know, I know. I yell (write) about mobile compatibility all the time. But, that’s because it’s super important in the world of email marketing. Mobile viewing is absolutely changing the way readers view email newsletters. And as such, creating a product that’s equally comfortable on multiple viewing platforms should be a major element in your design.

The reason that I’m rehashing all of this info for today’s post is because we’re going to dissect the reasons to switch to a single column layout. Again, something we’ve mentioned before, but it’s a subject important enough to warrant its own post.

Multi-column layouts have long been valued among email marketers for presenting information in a familiar format (usually newspaper style), as well as offering a comfortable slot for relevant, non-feature items, like contact information, coupons and event listings.

However, mobile email clients have turned most multi-column email newsletters into clunky, cumbersome reads that force subscribers to spend too much time scrolling left to right and back again. Conversely, single-column layouts with a natural flow of information and media encourage readers to spend more time exploring your content. Remember, you want your readers to view you as a source of valuable, relevant information, so make sure you’re making it easy for them to want to read every email newsletter you send.

So, with that, I think it’s time we bid a sad farewell to the multi-column newsletters of yesteryear. They served us well, but it’s time we sent them off with a 21-click salute. It’s been a fun ride, but we need to move on. May you be Recycled in Peace.