11 Skinny emails

Many of our clients have between 10-25% of their subscribers reading email on an iPhone.  Shrinking email widths down from 650px to 450px, is one way to better serve the growing no. of smartphone users.

My main concern with using a skinny email, was how it would perform on a PC. It leaves a lot of empty space to the right. However, our stats over the last 4mths would indicate that PC users don’t mind.

If you need pro-skinny ammo or reassurance, check out these eleven skinny emails:

Click images to view emails.

1. AIDA {View}

{498px wide}

Narrow email template

 

One way to fill that dead space on a PC, is to use a background image. Just note that background images are not supported by Outlook 07, Gmail and Hotmail.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

2. Coudal partners {View}

{380px wide}

Narrow email template

 

I love how clean this Coudal design is. My only suggestion is to increase the font from 10px to 12px.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

3. Basecamp {View}

{420px wide }

Narrow email template

 

16px body font, great use of color and minimal images. All around 20K, which is the maximum size the W3C recommends for mobile emails.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

4. Silberpuls {View}

{450px wide}

Narrow email template

 

Rather than use a large background image, Silberpuls adds an accent image, keeping the file size down.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

5. CIB {View}

{490px wide}

Narrow email template

 

The visible area on the iPhone is 320 x 356px in portrait and 480 x 208 in Landscape. Your skinny email needs to be under 480px wide.

Unless you want your email flush left in the inbox, subtract 20px or so for a left margin.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

6. .NET {View}

{500px wide}

Narrow email template

 

Although .net is 500px wide, the two column skinny layout ensures the main content is visible. I’d increase the font size…

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

7. Design Week 2010 {View}

{Column of text 411px wide}

Narrow email template

 

The W/O logo forces the design right, pushing some of the copy of the screen. Though it’s easy enough to pan right, and read down the column of text:

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

 

 

8. STYLECampaign {View}

{370px wide }

Narrow email template

 

My skinny template, wish I’d made it 320px wide instead of 370px. Footer text is too small, going forward all my text will be at least 12px.

Still it’s been performing really well, giving me the confidence to move onto 320px templates.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

9. Threadless {View}

{480px wide}

Narrow email template

 

Interesting to see how Threadless was using a skinny template back in 05. They’ve since moved onto a 656px wide template.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

 

10. 37signals {View}

{440px wide}

Narrow email template

 

Like Threadless, 37signals now use a much wider template.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

11. Atari {View}

{490 pixels wide}

Narrow email template

 

A few of these templates were 10-40px off the 460px wide mark. I included this Atari example as its more image based than most of the examples I’ve seen.

 

How the skinny email looks on an iPhone

 

 

The Skinny/inspiration

Campaign Monitor reported iPhone email usage more than doubled in 09, it’s up 128.6%.

25.6% of Hugo Boss subscribers (LA stores) read the April email on their iPhone. It’s now their no.1 email client.

If you missed designing email for the iPhone (part 2 skinny) catch it here >>

Momkai’s narrow website gave me lots of great ideas. For more skinny inspiration, check out these websites designed for the iPhone.

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