The email fold line and inverted pyramid

Don’t worry, I’m not getting all woo woo on you. The fold line and the inverted pyramid sounds a little mystic, but it’s actually a simple and effective way to view your emails to see if they follow some basic email design principles.

The fold line

Let’s start with the fold line. This is the dividing line that separates the top half of your email from the bottom. The top half is the stuff people can see as soon as they open your email, whereas the bottom half is the stuff they can only see once they scroll down to view more. The best practice is to keep your most important message at the top above the line. The heading and the man CTA (button) ideally needs to be above the fold line.

The inverted pyramid

This is an upside-down pyramid, which starts at the top of your email where your logo sits and follows down to the point of the pyramid where your button sits. The idea is that you want to keep your pyramid as flat as possible, and not long and pointy like an arrow. Why is this important? Cos this is how your brain is hot-wired to view stuff, you start at the top, scan zip zag down to the CTA right in the middle of the email, near the top in a big, fat and colourful button with someone like Learn more, Click me, I want this etc. Plus, like the fold line, it gets you into the practice of keeping your main CTA towards the top of your email.

Another tip is this – send a test email to someone who knows very little about your brand or products, and get them to glance at the email for a few seconds and relay back to you what it was all about. If after 3-5 seconds of scanning the email and being able to concisely tell you what it was about AND what you want them to do next (click a link to buy, download or read something), then you’ve lost the battle before the email has been sent. Internal testing and feedback is vital, but finding someone who is a closer match to your subscribers will help you get some ‘real-world feedback.