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Email Marketing Best Practices: What to Include Above the Fold

Sep 3, 2013   |   3 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

above the fold emailThink back to the days before grabbing your smartphone in bed and before scrolling through Flipboard while preparing your coffee and breakfast. Think of the days where you had to hit the newsstand for your fix of the latest headlines. What made you pick up USA Today instead of the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal instead of The New York Times?

Maybe you chose one over the other out of habit, maybe out of brand loyalty-or maybe you chose a newspaper because you couldn’t tear your eyes from the startling headline and striking photograph. Maybe you were pulled in by the components “above the fold.”

In journalism, above the fold refers to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper. Because newspapers are often folded when displayed on newsstands, editors traditionally place top stories above the fold to entice readers to buy their papers.

Now fast-forward to the digital age. Placing important and eye-catching items above the fold is still a popular technique for the web, especially in email marketing. In email, above the fold is anything that appears on a device without scrolling. And because the items above the fold are the first things subscribers see when they open your messages, it’s vital to show the most important items.

What are the most important items to include above the fold in email? See them below!

A Word About Mobile Email Marketing

While email marketers should strive to include some or all of the abovementioned items above the fold, it’s important to note that what works well on a desktop does not always lend itself well to a tablet or mobile screen. If you aren’t using mobile aware or responsive design in your email marketing campaigns, it’s important to optimize the space above the fold for the growing percentage of subscribers opening email on mobile devices.

“When opening an email on a mobile device, the preheader should provide a clear, targeted message that invites the reader to view the full message,” says ExactTarget. “Avoid showing common language first, moving ‘View email with images,’ ‘Add to address book’ or ‘Click to unsubscribe’ messages to either the footer or a secondary position in the preheader.” See the blog “4 Tips for Better Mobile Email Marketing Design” for even more tips!

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Photo Credit: The Hamster Factor

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