Around 80% of business-to-business (b2b) users and 50% of business-to-consumer users first see your emails in the preview pane. If you are not formatting your emails to display correctly in the preview pane than you are getting fewer responses than you should.
Here are some general guidelines:
- If your Subject Line or From field does not make it immediately obvious to the reader who you are then you need to have your company name, logo (see next point) or any other obvious indication of who you are in the first few lines of the email.
- Have something COMPELLING at the top of the email that makes the reader interested in scrolling or opening your email to read the rest.
- Unless absolutely necessary, try not to have large images at the top of your email. (Outlook actually does not show graphics by default so many recipients may just be seeing a blank space).
- Avoid having links at the top of your email message (unless the aim of your email was to send readers to a particular web page). Otherwise they could click away from your email and never read your message properly.
Design your emails to display properly in the Preview Pane and you should see an improvement in your response rates.
(All the professionally designed templates that come with the new version of Email Merge for Outlook addin have been designed with the Preview Pane used in all the major emails clients in mind)