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BizReport : Email Marketing : January 16, 2007


Email Templates May Need Revising

New web-based email clients, such as Yahoo Mail Beta and Microsoft’s Window Live Mail Beta, may require marketers to rethink the design of their email templates.

by Helen Leggatt

Both releases have email preview panes by default, enabling users to scan messages before opening them. But marketers will need to redesign their email templates to compensate for the shorter, and narrower, preview panes.

"B2C marketers who want big results had better start thinking small," said Stefan Pollard, director of consulting services, EmailLabs. "Many are completely unaware that preview panes and automatically blocked images can make their current design templates virtually unreadable. If they were to use a third-party rendering tool to actually test how their emails look in consumers' inboxes, they might be shocked."

According to EmailLabs, marketers can improve email readability by:

• Putting the most important call to action or the table of contents in the upper left-hand corner, so it can be seen in either horizontal or vertical preview panes.
• Making sure the most important call to action is spelled out in text and above the new fold line, not just encapsulated within an attractive image. Many email programs automatically disable all images in the preview pane – leaving a big red X or an empty space where the main idea should be.
• Adding text-based email navigation in case images are automatically blocked. For example, instead of relying solely on a "Shop Now" button that may never be seen (or clicked), also add a "Shop Now" text link.
• Reducing the size of masthead images and logos - or changing their placement - so that more of the upper-left corner is devoted to driving desired actions.






Tags: email, email marketing, EmailLabs, template








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