From Derek Gehl, internet marketing guru:
With that said, here are five tips for making the most of that critical top two to four inches of every e-mail you send:
1. Avoid placing a large image or banner ad at the top of your e-mail. Banners and images take up far too much space that should be spent getting your message across and encouraging readers to read the rest of your e-mail!
2. Include a table of contents or a brief contents summary. If your e-mail talks about more than one topic, include a break down of what you plan to cover. For example, if you’re sending a newsletter, you may want to include an “In this issue…” section at the top of your e-mail.
3. Write a “teaser” paragraph or attention-grabbing headline at the top of your e-mail that compels recipients to continue reading it.
4. Include the benefits that are most important to your target audience in the top section of your e-mail. Answer the question “What’s in it for me” as quickly as possible.
5. If you are including images, remember that some recipients may have their e-mail setting configured to block images… so include enough text that your message will make sense to them, too!
Yahoo Mail and Hotmail addresses make up large segments of many e-mail marketers’ lists, so I recommend you sign up now to get access to Yahoo Mail Beta and Windows Live Mail Beta … and start checking out what shows up in the preview panes!