Optimizing For The Preview Pane

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_This is Day Three of *5 Days To Optimize Your E-mail Messages*, here’s “part one”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/05/5-days-to-optimize-your-email-messages and here’s “part two”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/06/optimizing-for-different-email-clients.­_
In a recent “DM News”:http://www.dmnews.com article, “Study: B2B Readers Don’t Open Emails”:http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artprevbot.cgi?article_id=34779&dest=article, we find out that most B2B newsletter subscribers use the preview pane to view emails.
* 69% of B2B newsletter subscribers “frequently” or “always” use the preview pane to view emails
* 49% said they only look at the first few lines of the preview pane
* 19% said they delete messages if insufficient information is displayed
B2B email recipients use their preview panes. Many also check their personal email at the office and likely apply the same preview pane to their POP3 ISP-based email.
How does your marketing email look in the preview panes of the most common email clients?


If you don’t know you better check it out. And since many web clients and preview pane views are based on the text content in an email it is important to ensure the text version of your multi-part emails are optimized. Furthermore, if you are optimizing your preview pane appearance you will need to consider the size of most of these and work “above the fold” within this view. Each of the main email clients deal with this a little differently. Gmail and other email solutions actually block HTML and images so optimizing for the preview pane can also have a positive impact in this situation, too.
The main factors affecting how your email looks in preview panes is how the text version is set up and how your HTML email loads. It’s important to see what your text email look like. It is equally important review how the HTML templates are created, including how they load and in what sequence. If your preview pane shows a bunch of links calling for images or banner ads you will quickly loose the recipient’s interest. If they can clearly see who the email is from, what it is about and that it is relevant, they are much more likely to read on or save it for later.
Did you know that a lot of people use their portable device to scan email and determine what they will be reading later on? These people will often delete spam and other junk mail, irrelevant info and email that doesn’t render properly. That’s what I have done for years with a Blackberry. And when I polled a few people recently, that’s what they do.
Read about “Optimizing For Different Devices” tomorrow in part 4 of *5 Days To Optimize Your E-mail Messages*.

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