There’s no doubt that design is an important element of the marketing emails that you send. It is your design that will give your recipients a first impression of your company. It can determine how professional they view your company as, and even whether or not they read your email in the first place.
Currently, a lot is said about responsive design; ensuring that your email’s design is clear and attractive whatever device it’s being viewed on. However, this is only one element of email design you need to consider. In this age of emails being viewed on a variety of different devices, ‘the fold’ is often seen as a bit of an outdated concept in email design. However, as you will see, it can still form an important part of the design of the marketing emails you send out.
What is ‘The Fold’?
‘The fold’ is a term traditionally used to describe printed newspapers. It is the area of the newspaper can can be seen when it is folded in half and put on display. When talking about email, ‘above the fold’ refers to the content that you can see on your screen without having to scroll down. Everything you can see in this email is above the fold:
Anything that’s placed above the fold in your emails will be the first things that your subscribers see when they open them. This content should work towards encouraging your customers to read the rest of your email or click on a link. It should also reflect what was advertised in your subject line: your customers won’t want to have to search for what was promised to them in the email. In general, subscribers only scan emails, and spend around 80% of their time looking at content above the fold. If you don’t take full advantage of this space, you could be missing out on click throughs and sales.
What Should You Put Above The Fold?
There are various design elements that are integral to the success of a marketing email, and you are likely to notice the most success if you include the following elements above the fold:
This might sound obvious, but it’s surprising the amount of companies that don’t consistently place their logo at the top of their marketing emails. Having your logo above the fold will mean that your email is instantly recognisable to your subscribers, and help you create a consistency with your branding. It will also help you avoid the spam folder.
As you can see, Aphrodite Clothing consistently place their logo above the fold in their emails:
No matter how good your responsive design is, there may be some devices that your emails fail to display correctly on. You should, therefore, give your readers to opportunity to view your email in their web browser. Place this link in your pre-header text clearly above the fold so your subscribers don’t miss out on the opportunity to view your email correctly.
Your pre-header text can also be used to expand upon your subject lines. This can give your emails extra context, and may include something else can could encourage your subscribers to read on. Kurt Geiger use their pre-header text for both these purposes:
This is probably the most important element of your email design that you should include above the fold. Your customers may have been so enticed by what they read in your subject line and pre-header text that they want to click through straight away. You should therefore make it as simple as possible for them to find your call to action. It should be clearly visible above the fold when your subscriber opens your email. If they have to search for it, they may change their mind about clicking through.
Lulu Guinness have taken care to ensure that their ‘SHOP NOW’ call to action falls above the fold in their email:
The fold can still play an important role in email design. It can help improve navigability and ensure your customers have the best experience possible. It’s something that should still be considered when putting together your marketing emails.