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.
Digging a little deeper into the data, we can see that:
|Email Width||< 601px||< 651px||< 701px||< 751px||< 801px|
|% of Emails||17%||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:
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:
|% of Emails||22%||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):
|Retailer||Email Width (px)|
|Crabtree & Evelyn||590|
|Sierra Trading Post||636|
|The Sharper Image||642|
|Frederick's of Hollywood||650|
|The Home Depot||682|
|Bass Pro Shops||700|
|Marks & Spencer||700|
|The Land of Nod||708|
|Bath & Body Works||709|
|Crate and Barrel||710|
|Abercrombie & Fitch||720|
|Barneys New York||720|
|Saks Fifth Avenue||720|
|The Container Store||720|
|Tiffany & Co.||720|
|American Eagle Outfitters||740|
|Harry & David||894|
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 | 9 Comments