A quick follow-up to my last post on making email more effective: I just read a helpful blog post from Email Critic Monica Sims about the concept of “above the fold.”

What does this term mean? As Ms. Sims writes, “In the newspaper world, above the fold is anything that is on the top half of the newspaper—it’s prime real estate for articles. You put your best and most compelling articles above the fold because they are the hook to getting people to buy your paper.”

“Above the fold” in email means everything that appears on a screen without having to scroll. What’s above the fold is different for every email system and on each device.

“For viewing emails on a computer, a good rule of thumb is the top 400 pixels will display in most email clients above the fold. On mobile phones, the only thing that will show up is your header. On the iPad and other readers, it will vary.”

The significance of this is simple, writes Ms. Sims: “Put the most important stuff at the top of your email.”

Her post goes on to provide the “four and a half” things to include. These are mostly geared to marketing emails, but one is essential in employee communication: the call to action.

Too often, I see emails where the call is action only appears after a lengthy preamble, based on the assumption that employees will read the whole email. Quite simply, they won’t. If your call to action is not upfront, you’ve missed an opportunity to make sure employees know what they need to do.

Hope this helps. Have a great weekend.

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