In a September survey of The Intevation Report readers, the question was asked whether their email client has preview-pane and/or image-blocking features. They also asked whether and how they use either or both of these functions.
Here is what they found (click links to view graphs of results):
- More than 9 of 10 email users have access to a preview pane, and 7 of 10 say they frequently or always use it.
- More than half of those who read email in a business-oriented client such as Outlook or Lotus Notes do not see images in email because their clients block them.
- However, 3 of 10 readers have manually changed their email settings to allow downloading of images and graphics.
- Sixty percent of survey respondents read messages in either Outlook 2003 or Lotus Notes, the two clients that block or mangle images by default. Add in the earlier versions of Outlook, which have the preview pane but lack image blocking, and the market share for B2B readers rises to 87%.
- 75% of email readers who use the preview pane use it in a horizontal format and most often see either 4-5 inches deep of content (44%) or 2 to 3 inches (41%).
- Vertical-pane users see more content, but there are fewer of them (25% of all preview-pane users). Pane widths used most often by this group are 4-5 inches (46.9%) and 6+ inches (26.5%).
- Nearly half of email readers look at just the first few lines they see in the preview pane to decide if they want to continue reading the message, but 32.9% will read the whole message, even if they have to scroll through it.
- The sender's name and/or address remains the most important factor readers look for in the preview pane when deciding whether to read further or open the email (60%), followed by the subject line (54.3%), the headline (53%) and any teaser copy (30.3%).
- Preview-pane users are less likely to download blocked images and graphics when reading an email in the pane. Half of those who open email messages said they always download blocked images, but only 34% do in the preview pane.
- Email users are most likely to download blocked images in order to make the email easier to read (80%) or to view images, charts and graphics than to view advertisements (10.1%).
- Only 31% of email users say they always or frequently add the B2B newsletters they asked to receive to their safe-senders list or address books in order to avoid losing them in bulk or junk folders.
The full article provides tips, recommendations and action steps to make your email more preview pane/disabled image friendly. It's definitely worth reading!