August’s Best Email Ever! Is Mobile a Must?

Over the last decade the email world, marketers included, seems to have shifted their focus to mobile audiences. The amount of emails opened on mobile devices grows year after year; some estimate that the number may now be as high as 55%. It’s almost standard operating procedure to have a mobile-optimized option for email layouts today. So when I came across this month’s BCE! candidate, my creative spidey-senses went crazy! We’ll get to that in a minute.

This month’s Best Creative Ever! comes from Grammarly, the world’s leading automated proofreader. It apparently checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations. When I first opened the email on my desktop, I was impressed by this simplistic, well-organized welcome message. The first thing that caught my eye was the Grammarly logo. The circular arrow that forms the G is a great example of elegant design in simple form; it also balances well with the lowercase rounded logotype. I also got a kick out of the clever graphic that tied into the main headline beautimously… I’d better have Grammarly check that one. The logo isn’t relevant to the email necessarily, but when a logo is that well designed, there are expectations that the email and it’s content will also be well-crafted. Grammarly has aced their welcome email so far.

Using the first and last name of the subscriber in the introduction is a nice touch. Personalization has been shown to improve many metrics, and makes the content seem much more relevant to the consumer. The copy is short, simple and easy to understand –  everything you want in your welcome copy. Setting expectations and clearly stating your message’s purpose is exactly what you want to do. Most subscribers spend seconds reading an email; you need to get to the point as fast as possible and make it clear what you are asking from them.

The main body of the email does a nice job of alternating the content to keep the reader’s eyes moving in the ideal “Z” pattern. The simple, preview-like thumbnail images do a nice job of balancing out the small amount of adjacent copy. Again, with short and sweet headers, Grammarly makes it easy for the reader to quickly scan the content. By using color to highlight the CTA links, as well as adding the circle/arrow graphic, the email is perfectly clear about where to click. And the coup de grace is the large rounded button at the bottom of the message along with its straightforward call to action. And everyone knows… I like big buttons and I cannot lie.

After reviewing a message in the desktop environment, I will typically check to see what the same message looks like on a mobile device. When I checked this email from Grammarly on my smartphone, what I saw caught me off guard. At first glance I thought I was receiving an error message, but upon closer inspection the email was populating a dynamic banner with critical information.

Grammarly Mobile

As you can tell from the preview image, the first thing that appears at the top of the email is an alert message that states, “ATTN: Grammarly only works on desktop computers (not smartphones or tablet devices). Please re-open this email on a supported device to use the features mentioned here.” Upon further inspection, I also noticed that all CTA links and messages were hidden from the layout making it virtually unusable in a mobile environment. The fact that the layout wasn’t responsive, and that they were making it obvious that you should view this message on a desktop client, goes against everything email marketers have been pushing for over the years. It’s not necessarily the wrong approach; in fact, I think it’s a great way to make it perfectly clear to their audience as to how they should interact with their messages. In this day and age where the mobile layout is so heavily focused on, you don’t see many examples like this. However, their well-designed layout for desktop browsers makes up for their lack of functionality in mobile environments.

Overall Grammarly gets an A- on their welcome message. It does a great job of introducing the subscribers to the product features but gets points off for their non-functional mobile layout. Given the limitations of their product’s functionality, Grammarly is doing a good job of presenting subscribers with the information they need to get the most out of their product and their emails. However, Grammarly could get back on the Dean’s List if they simply made their layouts responsive, or at the very least the alert message section. This would prevent the reader from having to zoom in to read the small text. Grammarly has a solid email foundation and will grow up to be a shining example for email marketers everywhere. My cap is off to Grammarly for a job well done.

If you’re looking to improve your writing (we always are!), visit

Did you miss last month’s Best Email Ever! Check it out the entire series here.

Email Monetization Solution Guide

Corey serves as PostUp’s Interactive Creative Director, where he manages and designs all creative development for the Professional Services department. He is responsible for designing, implementing and tracking everything from email, web banners, websites, social media and SMS while adhering to digital marketing best practices.