Posted by Dave McCue on October 18th, 2010
Emails viewed in preview pane windows—or those that extend below the fold when viewed in full—often see a lack of reader engagement with content closer to the bottom of the message. Many recipients make the decision to stay or go based on what they see near the top of a message without scrolling further, thereby missing out on potentially valuable content.
If your email messages tend to be on the longer side, including a table of contents near the top of each message is a good way to present recipients with all of the available options in your message. Through the use of HTML anchor tags, clickable items in a table of contents can lead recipients to the point in the message where the content appears, eliminating the need for any scrolling.
For example, if I have “Summer Sweepstakes” listed among my table of contents, I would link that item like this:
<a href=”#Sweepstakes”>Summer Sweepstakes</a>.
Further down in my message code, I would insert an anchor with a name attribute at the point where my Sweepstakes content begins, like this: <a name=”Sweepstakes”></a>.
This second anchor would serve as the destination point for users who click on the Sweepstakes link in my table of contents. Using this approach, recipients who don’t scroll down in the message will at least get an idea of what lies below, and may decide to engage with content they otherwise might not have seen at all.