Congratulations! Your lead sees your email in his or her inbox and is currently viewing it from the preview window. You now have 3½ seconds to engage this person with your email. Can they see your call to action? Most email clients give roughly 300 to 500 pixels of vertical space to preview an email. Any content that can be viewed within this space is considered "above the fold." As this is prime real estate for your email, you should ensure that your call to action is visible in this space. Most organizations use this space for branding; however, there are a few tricks to consider:
- Include text before the header banner. This text typically says "Click here to view this email in your Web browser." Use this precious space to summarize your email in a few words, for example stating: "In this email: Video—Four Reasons Your Company Needs a Subscription Management Center, conference discounts and more." Text before any graphic will help you avoid being marked as spam by most email clients.
- Make sure your email banner isn't too big. It should be no more than 200 pixels wide. Any taller and you lose copy real estate to highlight the call to action. Some email designers split the 600-pixel-wide banner, for example using a 300-pixel-wide block of space for a graphic on one side and the remaining width for the main call to action in text form.
- Use a text title as well as a graphic image. This is in case your recipient has images turned off for email. Remember, 75% to 80% of Microsoft Outlook users default to email images turned off. Text titles ensure that your message will reach those inboxes.
- Add social and forward-to-a-friend capabilities in simple text. You want these to be visible, but they shouldn't be the main item that draws the eye. You can list these links before your logo banner. Keep text simple and small. Use small social icons that can be contained in a single line of text.