Preview Panes and Email Stationery

Many email pundits claim the subject line is the most important factor in getting your email read and I wrote a blog post entitled Getting Your Email Read – Start With a Better Subject Line which points out the importance of effective subject lines.

But as many subject lines are so weak and uninformative many people use the information displayed in their email preview pane to determine if they will read on further.

A typical preview pane is a few inches of space at the top of your email. It is prime real estate and can help you increase the chances of your email being read.

How prevalent is the use of preview panes?

There was a study done in 2007 by Marketing Sherpa that found the following:

  • 64% of people who are offered preview panes start using them as their default.
  • 80% of at-work users in the U.S. rely on Outlook, which offers preview panes.
  • 38% of online consumers now use email clients that offer preview panes.

Other email clients also offer preview panes including Lotus Notes, Mozilla Thunderbird, Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Mail.

So what is the secret to capturing the readers attention with a compelling reason to read on?

inboxFX Email Stationery

Here is an example of how my Outlook displays emails. (Your Outlook may be set up with the preview pane at the right or no preview pane at all. You can change this by going to View – Reading Pane – Bottom.)

The email on the left is a plain text email and the one on the right is a simple email stationery design. You can see how the one on the right stands out with the color and the simple image.

Click on the image for a better look.

If you would like to see more samples of email stationery from inboxFX click here.

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