Above the Digital Fold

Fast paced lives, filled with impatience, little time and shorter attention spans have changed marketing techniques to accommodate one technique known as Above the Fold. Four seconds is generally the time you have to grab the viewers’ attention to your email campaign. One successful technique in the digital and print world has been to show the reader/viewer everything they need to know “Above the Fold”. Meaning there is no scrolling or unfolding involved and presenting them all important Call-To-Actions (CTAs) within that viewable frame.

The moment an email is opened on your browser, desktop or smart phone your initial attention is gathered “above the fold”; what you can see before scrolling. According to Nielsen Norman Group, 84% of users spend their time looking at information above the fold. With such a marginal gap of subscribers only reading the top portion of emails, you might scramble to cram everything at the top of your email design for clear CTAs, resulting in a cluttered section that turns readers away instead of encouraging them to explore further.  What to do with that oh-so-valuable space? I’ll guide you through this process with a few examples below.

Details to include above the fold:

Subscribers are impatient today.  Asking them to scroll and skim through your entire email is now like pulling teeth; not everyone is signing up for the task. Besides the main Call-to-Action message, there are a few key details that should absolutely be kept above the fold:

1. Navigation Bar – Including a Nav bar at the top will not only give your emails a consistent look which strengthens your brand but most importantly, they generate traffic back to your website!

2. Web Version – Include a Trouble Viewing link so that subscribers can still see the email you spent time on, on any computer or mobile device. If you currently use a template this will automatically be included but is easy to add to any HTML email you design within our system!

3. Unsubscribe – I have colleagues who agree and disagree with me on including an unsubscribe link towards the top of your emails versus the bottom. In my opinion including one at the top will have a lesser chance of those marking your mail as spam and marking the unsubscribe button instead; which will be less harmful to your analytics and delivery than hitting the spam button in the end. The other side of the argument is to place the link at the very bottom of your email to require subscribers to scroll through your entire email before they are able to hit the unsubscribe button. The benefit is you’re not using prime above the fold real estate for the unsubscribe button.

4. Teaser TextA very valuable asset to include in your emails is Teaser Text. Teaser Text is a line of text at the very top of your email so that when subscribers see the email coming into their inbox, the first line of text the Email Client scans will be displayed to the right of the subject line. This can be a big determining factor if your subscriber isn’t sure if they want to open the email, a line of Teaser Text can help the subscriber see what the email is really about despite the subject line.

Before Images are downloaded:

When you receive an email into your inbox chances are you have to download images before they are viewable. This is the perfect situation to make sure you have a good Image to Ratio for spam filters. By having enough text in your emails to let the subscriber know what the images should be about, chances are they will go ahead and download images for your email. But BEFORE they download images, do you have enough copy above the fold to let the reader know your CTA? If you have a lot of content that might get pushed below the fold, this is your chance to show them before images have been downloaded.