A note from the Dealer Digest Daily Editors about why these email composition tips work, and who wrote and structured them…
John Brissette, IMN’s Graphics and Production Specialist, oversees all visual media and design projects for IMN’s marketing, automotive and vertical solutions groups so he knows what it takes to get an email read.
Here is an extract from a series of articles he wrote on Email Design Principles This is a portion of Part 4 of the series.
“Above the Fold”
“Above the fold” is a newspaper term that means just what it sounds like… articles above the fold get the most attention, and so the most important message you’re trying to convey needs to be there. Anything else should simply fall below the fold. The printed newspaper may be dying a slow, painful death, but this concept is alive and kicking in digital media. Emails too, have an “above the fold” area.
The Bad News: The size of this area varies greatly, depending on the device being used to view the email, the resolution of the display, and the software client. If you are reading email on your desktop or laptop computer, most email readers (whether browser-based, or installed on your computer) have a “preview pane” that will show you a small section of email. The preview pane is the clearest example of what it means to have an “above the fold” area. Having a pretty graphic or masthead that occupies the first 300 pixels of your website may look great, but if there is no offer, messaging, or call-to-action, then you haven’t captured the reader’s attention, and they’ve very likely already clicked into another email.
The Good News: If your email has a clear message, then you shouldn’t need much space at the top to convey it quickly and impactfully. Your main Call-To-Action (what action you ultimately want your reader to take) should be completely conveyed within the first 300 pixels of your email. Avoid the urge to try to get everything above the fold, and focus on the most important message. Attempting to multiple messages above the fold can lead to visual confusion and the reader feeling overwhelmed.
Next in the Series: Interactive Elements
Read this and other posts by John Brissette on IMN’s Content Counts blog…