This post is Part 2 of a blog series based on insights from Sailthru ebook “The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Increasing Mobile Purchase Conversion” available for free download now.

For any marketer focused on increasing purchase conversion (trick statement – that should be all marketers) the bottom line is that with today’s increasing adoption of a wide range of mobile devices, converting customers begins with making your mobile experience completely frictionless. At Marigold Engage by Sailthru, we’re coaching clients through the implementation of responsive design across their entire marketing ecosystem, but there is much discussion among marketers as to whether or not responsive design drives the results advocates claim.

We believe that responsive design – for web and email – are critical for ecommerce success, yet only 3% of top online retailers have embraced the approach. In our experience, the rationale for not implementing responsive is tied to misalignment in marketing goals: when short-term response rates out-weight long-term revenue generation. Yes, users must open a communication in order to then convert; however, open rates and clickthrough rates are not the metric that matters. It’s revenue that is the metric that truly matters and this is where responsive design reigns supreme. When marketers shift from analyzing short-term data to performing longitudinal analysis, they’ll see the value that responsive delivers.

Sailthru client,, tested responsive design when they saw that more than 60% of their email opens were coming from mobile devices. By adopting a 2×2 offer responsive layout, this growing leader in home delivery has seen material improvements in clickthroughs, conversions and overall revenue per buyer. They’ve seen further success by including content most pertinent to their users, geolocation and ordering radius. It sounds simple in practice, but takes repeated testing and optimization to find the structure and content mix that optimizes responsive design for conversion.

We recommend that marketers start by testing this approach in email delivered to a small, but statistically significant cohort of new customers. By providing the test group with a responsive template with results measured over 3, 6 and 12 month increments. What you’ll most likely see is a very short-term dip in response rates and conversion rates. Do not be dismayed! As you continue to measure over the year, what most brands will see is increased conversion, purchase frequency and lifetime value.

By Cassie Lancellotti-Young, EVP of Customer Success

(Results based email performance by via Sailthru analytics.)