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 (click to view full size version)

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 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:

  • 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 Width 576-625px 626-675px 676-725px 726-775px 776px+
% 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)
HSN 580
RedEnvelope 585
Crabtree & Evelyn 590
Cabelas 592
SkyMall 593
Anna Scholz 600
Bonobos 600
FansEdge 600
Patagonia 600
Reebok 600
Zappos 600
AutoAnything 600
Soap.com 600
Bon-Ton 600
Conns 600
Dillard’s 600
Mothercare 600
Orvis 600
SmartBargains.com 600
Brookstone 600
IKEA 600
Linens-N-Things 600
Ashford 600
Blue Nile 600
Buy.com 600
Zazzle 600
HP 607
OfficeMax 607
Appleseed’s 608
Office Depot 612
Gettington 619
Ford 620
Starbucks 620
NorthernTool 622
Walmart 629
CafePress 630
JC Whitney 633
Sierra Trading Post 636
eForCity 640
figleaves.com 640
L.L.Bean 640
Kohl’s 640
Target 640
Micro Center 640
Sam’s Club 641
The Sharper Image 642
Ralph Lauren 646
Horchow 650
Aeropostale 650
Boden USA 650
Chadwicks 650
Crocs 650
Cusp 650
dressbarn 650
Frederick’s of Hollywood 650
Neiman Marcus 650
Sports Authority 650
Tommy Bahama 650
Diapers.com 650
Fingerhut 650
Hayneedle 650
Spiegel 650
Walgreens 650
World Market 650
CircuitCity 650
Dixons 650
Newegg.com 650
Pottery Barn 650
Harrods 654
eCOST.com 655
Petco 660
Kate Spade 660
Motorcycle Superstore 660
Overstock.com 660
CompUSA 660
Coldwater Creek 662
B&H Photo 664
Loft 670
1-800-Flowers.com 675
Baby Phat 680
TK Maxx 680
B&Q 681
The Home Depot 682
CDW 685
J.Crew 686
Nordstrom 687
H&M 690
J&R 690
CB2 690
Chapters.Indigo.ca 692
Bare Necessities 695
Charlotte Russe 696
Build.com 699
adidas 700
Ann Taylor 700
Athleta 700
Banana Republic 700
Bluefly 700
Converse 700
farfetch.com 700
Fred Perry 700
Gap 700
Next 700
Talbots 700
Topshop 700
Beauty.com 700
Sephora 700
Bass Pro Shops 700
Layla Grace 700
Lillian Vernon 700
Marks & Spencer 700
REI 700
RadioShack 700
UncommonGoods 700
Zales 700
J.C. Penney 704
Crutchfield 708
The Land of Nod 708
Bath & Body Works 709
Crate and Barrel 710
Anthropologie 718
Abercrombie & Fitch 720
aerie 720
Barneys New York 720
Express 720
Gilly Hicks 720
The Limited 720
Saks Fifth Avenue 720
The Container Store 720
Tiffany & Co. 720
Staples 720
77kids 725
Dell 728
Chico’s 730
Debenhams 732
Coach 737
American Eagle Outfitters 740
Dune Shoes 740
Lands’ End 740
Brooks Brothers 742
Apple 742
Eddie Bauer 748
Swatch 749
Hallmark 758
Victoria’s Secret 760
Anne Klein 770
Tory Burch 770
Currys 770
John Lewis 782
Restoration Hardware 784
Gymboree 800
Costco 800
Frys 820
Old Navy 836
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.

8 thoughts on “What is the Best Email Width?

  1. 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.

  2. As the % of the world using 800 x 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…..

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