What is the Best Email Width?

With the wide range of devices on which people now read their email, I wondered if this had caused retailers to adjust their email templates — my assumption would be to make them narrower. So I thought I would review some of the retail emails to which I subscribe in order to see if there was an ideal email width or any kind of recommended standard.

I reviewed the width of emails from 155 retailers, which ranged in width from HSN with the narrowest at 580px to Harry & David with the widest email at a whopping 894px!

To be fair, Harry & David recently redesigned their email template and it looks narrower, but for some reason they have stopped sending me emails so I have yet to receive one with the new design.

Here's how the retail email widths compare in chart form. The average email width is 675px.

Comparison of retail email widths

Comparison of retail email widths

Digging a little deeper into the data, we can see that:

  • 17% of the retail emails are 600px wide or less
  • 44% of emails are 650px wide or less
  • Almost 75% of all the emails reviewed are less than or equal to 700px wide
Email Width< 601px< 651px< 701px< 751px< 801px
% of Emails17%44%74%92%98%

Interestingly, although the ideal email width has for many years been recommended at between 550-600px, only 17% of retailers are following this guideline. On the other end of the scale, only 8% of retailers opted to make their emails wider than 750px.

As far as the 'ideal' email width is concerned, three widths stood out as being preferred, which can be seen by the plateaus in the chart above:

  • 600px
  • 650px
  • 700px

Each of these widths was used equally by 14% of retailers, and as a group they accounted for 42% of the retail emails studied.

Looking at the data in terms of ranges gives a more general idea of where email width preferences fall:

Email Width576-625px626-675px676-725px726-775px776px+
% of Emails22%29%34%10%5%

I was surprised that not one of the ranges stood out clearly as the most popular, which shows that when it comes to ideal email width there is not a great deal of consensus among online retailers.

Finally, here's the full table of results (click on a header to sort the data):


RetailerEmail Width (px)
HSN580
RedEnvelope 585
Crabtree & Evelyn590
Cabelas 592
SkyMall 593
Anna Scholz600
Bonobos600
FansEdge600
Patagonia 600
Reebok 600
Zappos600
AutoAnything600
Soap.com600
Bon-Ton600
Conns600
Dillard's600
Mothercare600
Orvis600
SmartBargains.com600
Brookstone600
IKEA600
Linens-N-Things600
Ashford600
Blue Nile600
Buy.com600
Zazzle600
HP607
OfficeMax 607
Appleseed's608
Office Depot612
Gettington619
Ford620
Starbucks620
NorthernTool622
Walmart 629
CafePress630
JC Whitney633
Sierra Trading Post636
eForCity 640
figleaves.com640
L.L.Bean640
Kohl's640
Target640
Micro Center640
Sam's Club641
The Sharper Image642
Ralph Lauren646
Horchow 650
Aeropostale650
Boden USA650
Chadwicks650
Crocs650
Cusp650
dressbarn650
Frederick's of Hollywood650
Neiman Marcus650
Sports Authority650
Tommy Bahama650
Diapers.com650
Fingerhut650
Hayneedle650
Spiegel 650
Walgreens 650
World Market650
CircuitCity650
Dixons650
Newegg.com650
Pottery Barn650
Harrods654
eCOST.com655
Petco660
Kate Spade660
Motorcycle Superstore660
Overstock.com660
CompUSA660
Coldwater Creek662
B&H Photo664
Loft670
1-800-Flowers.com675
Baby Phat680
TK Maxx680
B&Q681
The Home Depot682
CDW685
J.Crew686
Nordstrom687
H&M690
J&R690
CB2 690
Chapters.Indigo.ca692
Bare Necessities695
Charlotte Russe696
Build.com699
adidas700
Ann Taylor700
Athleta700
Banana Republic700
Bluefly700
Converse700
farfetch.com700
Fred Perry700
Gap700
Next 700
Talbots700
Topshop 700
Beauty.com700
Sephora700
Bass Pro Shops700
Layla Grace700
Lillian Vernon700
Marks & Spencer700
REI700
RadioShack 700
UncommonGoods 700
Zales 700
J.C. Penney704
Crutchfield 708
The Land of Nod708
Bath & Body Works709
Crate and Barrel710
Anthropologie718
Abercrombie & Fitch720
aerie720
Barneys New York720
Express720
Gilly Hicks720
The Limited720
Saks Fifth Avenue720
The Container Store720
Tiffany & Co.720
Staples 720
77kids725
Dell728
Chico's730
Debenhams732
Coach737
American Eagle Outfitters740
Dune Shoes740
Lands' End740
Brooks Brothers742
Apple742
Eddie Bauer748
Swatch 749
Hallmark 758
Victoria's Secret760
Anne Klein770
Tory Burch770
Currys 770
John Lewis782
Restoration Hardware784
Gymboree 800
Costco800
Frys820
Old Navy836
Harry & David894

It's worth noting that almost all of the emails reviewed were graphically heavy and virtually none were of the newsletter format, a study of which may produce very different results.

Note: Thanks to Tableizer for making it a snap to convert these tables from Excel into HTML.

Posted on: October 16, 2011 | 3 Comments

Recent Entries in "Email"

3 Comments Posted

It is a good idea to keep your emails to a fixed width of no more than 550-600 pixels. This should ensure that in the majority of cases, your subscribers can view your email as you intended.

As the % of the world using 800 × 600 resolution for browsing is now very small it makes you wonder why the email widths have not moved up in the same way as website widths. I suppose the reason why not is that emails are always viewed in a box within the email client and therefore occupy significantly less width than the whole screen.

Historically, I've always gone for between 600-700 px wide.

Very useful info...thnks for it:)

@vern — you should also take into account the increasing number of people who will be viewing your email on a mobile device.

informative blog.. 550-650 pixels is a good width for emails.
this blog consist of very helpful stuff. thanks for sharing.

I would recommend making sure that the email is readable no matter what the width is by keeping it simple. It's a shame it is not possible to have multipul css designs for various email clients and devices.

That's Really Good Idea I really help full this. It is good to fix the size of Email width........... We offer Web designing Services, web development, and ecommerce web design services so we really help full your Idea and we also apply.....

Thanks...........

600. The only way to go!

TOP STORES

Categories

Subscribe

Subscribe to my RSS FeedSubscribe to my Web Design Blog RSS Feed

Proud member of 9rules network