Is it still relevant to have this bit of copy or words to that effect, at the top of an HTML email, given that the recipient will receive a perfectly readable plain text version of the email, if their client doesn't support the HTML version?
A subscriber doesn't always have a readable copy actually. They could be viewing via a mobile client like some versions of Blackberrys that could decide to show the code rather than the plain text version or it could be that something is broken in the HTML display and they can't easily view the email. Or perhaps they'd rather view the HTML copy rather than a plain text copy, you never know.
However, if you include a link or where you decide to put it is really up to you. If you've been including one you might want to look through your click history, if it hasn't really seen any activity you could decide to move it to a less prominent spot or delete it all together, perhaps your audience simply doesn't need it (they're all using email clients that are capable of viewing your emails for example), or you may find that it's being used more than you think.
I'd advise you add some 'preview text' before this standard 'view online' as many web mail clients (even Outlook's email pop-up alert) will show the first line used in the email.
You'd be surprised how effective a line of text can be here, and personally I'm sick of getting emails like this that say 'Please click to view this email online'.
Here's a classic example by Jetstar:
Subject Line:Friday Fare Frenzy!
Preview Text:Jetstar logo Please click here if you cannot read this email Follow us on Twitter Twitter Friday …
Definitely! Mobile client's especially and some clients like Gmail and such take the first few human readable words as a preview. I like putting a table of contents as the first thing, it's a great preview of what's to come. It's also a great opportunity for some a/b testing, see what grabs your subscriber's attention.
Good advice fyredefyre...
I'd like to revive this post with regard to the iPhone email preview. Currently it shows the URL of the first image, not the text version. In my case it's this:
asdf/asdf/logo.gif] First bit of text here ...
Does anyone have an idea how I can avoid this? It's wasting 70% of the preview on the first image, which can't be seen anyway.
Hi jonathan, could you kindly post the code here? I'd love to reproduce this and get to the bottom of it.
Here I am again (sorry about the delay).
I had tried unsuccessfuly to reproduce this error, and now I have (success! ;-().
It's weird. When I read the email on my iPhone via my Gmail account, the first few lines of the *text version* are displayed as a preview. That's great. When I read the exact same message on the same iPhone but via my company Exchange account, I don't see the text version clip, but the text I've added above (which is neither the text version nor is it the beginning of the HTML - which would include the whole table tags etc.).
It seems that Exchange is the culprit, not you! (How could I have thought so?), and that it's (badly) building its own preview lines.
I can't imagine how to workaround this. I wonder if there's a genius or two out there ...