Get opened by showing recipients a sample of your message
Eight out of 10 businesspeople and more than half of consumers use preview panes to decide whether to open an email, according to Lyris Technologies.
That makes the preview pane one of the four elements desktop and laptop recipients consider when deciding whether to open or delete your email message. (If you’re just crafting your subject line, you’re ignoring 75% of these elements.)
Feel the pane.
But the preview pane can be a pain to email communicators. According to a survey by EmailLabs:
- More than half of email recipients don’t see images in the preview pane because their companies or email programs block them. Counting on an image to get their attention? Chances are, you won’t get through.
- Three-quarters of email recipients who use a preview pane use it in a horizontal format. That means they can only see four inches or so of your message. However, one-quarter use a vertical pane, so you can’t count on that four-inch horizontal bar of real estate being seen by all your recipients.
- Nearly half look at just the first few lines to decide whether they want to read your message.
Overcome the pane barrier.
How do you make the preview pane work for you?
- Sell your content in the top left corner. That two- to four-inch space is where horizontal and vertical panes intersect — and it’s all you can count on previewers viewing.
- Think horizontal. Your second most valuable real estate is the top two to four inches of your message.
- Tweet your key message. Most email systems preview the first 50-75 characters of a message. So write your opening sentence as a tweet — or more like half a tweet, suggests Steve Rubel.
- Focus on text, not graphics. Most people don’t see graphics in the preview pane, so make flags, logos and other images smaller and move them out of the upper-left corner.
- Move administrative information to an administrative center at the bottom of the message.
A world of pane.
“The from and subject lines become the top two points of a triangle, with the third point being the top of your newsletter,” writes Loren McDonald, chief marketing officer of J.L. Halsey, a marketing technology and services firm. “All three have to work together to snag a reader’s eye.”
Have you crafted a preview pane that gets your email message opened?
How can you get your emails opened?
Your subject line is only one of four elements recipients consider before deciding whether to open or click.
Learn to address all four elements of “the envelope” at Think Inside the Inbox, our email-newsletter- and email-marketing-writing workshop that begins Nov. 15.
Plus: Learn how to write email subject lines that get clicked, how to increase campaign revenue by 760% by going beyond personalized emails, and how one organization multiplied campaign success by 1,000% by adding one more data point to tailored emails.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.