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BLOCKED! By the Preview Pane?

Posted on 11.15.2005
Menlo Park, California based EmailLabs released a study which indicated that the majority of subscribers to business-to-business email newsletters use the preview pane function of their email client and nearly half do not enable blocked-images. According to a company statement "The results of this study are expected to drive many publishers and B2B marketers to rethink the design of their email newsletters to better accommodate the significant adoption of preview panes and image blocking function.

More from the study: Survey data indicated that 49 percent of email readers only look at the first few lines in the preview pane to decide if they want to continue reading the message. Whether targeting respondents who use the horizontal format (75 percent) or the vertical format (25 percent), survey results suggest it is critical that marketers design emails that will maximize the preview pane's limited real estate -- which is typically set by users at 2-5 inches. If insufficient information is displayed in the preview pane -- due to blocked images, advertisements or poor design -- nearly 19 percent of respondents will simply delete the message. 

What this means for email marketing: The use of the preview pane and image blocking will drive B2B marketers to rethink their email newsletter design strategy.
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