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Email – first impressions count

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday December 23, 2005 )

Stumbled across this gem during my forays today – a report from Email Labs regarding the use of preview panes in email software; it’s very interesting information that may help you get more out of your email marketing.

Much to my surprise, it turns out that the majority of b2b subscribers do use preview panes. In my case, I don’t – mainly for security reasons. Preview panes can also be a headache when I’m away from my high speed connection. Anyway, back to EmailLab’s survey.

Key findings of the report:

  • 69% of respondents frequently or always utilized their email software preview pane
  • 45% rarely or never download images within the preview pane.
  • 49% review first few lines in the preview pane in order to ascertain if they wish to read further
  • 19% will delete the email if there are too many blocked images or the design of the email that’s viewable in the preview pane is poor.
  • 60% of respondents use Outlook 2003 or Lotus Notes, both of which block images by default.

Some advice for marketers offered by EmailLabs based on their research:

Emails should be designed to take into account the limited area offered by email software preview panes – around 2-5 inches high on average. This means that the first 2 – 3 inches should be HTML and text only.

If you really need to use images, Email Labs recommends limiting their height to 2 – 3 inches.

Non-marketing type text, such as phone numbers, contact information etc, should be removed from the top of emails and placed further down.

Personalization is very important, but so is identifying who you are. According to EmailLabs, it’s the most important factor reported by respondents, which determines whether they would decide to continue reading an email. The next most important factors reported were email subject lines and headlines.

You can download a free copy of the Strategies for Addressing the Challenges of Preview Panes and Disabled Images report.

Learn more about email marketing solutions.


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