Definition of Email Preview Pane

The Email Preview Pane, also known as the email preheader, is a small section of an email that provides recipients a brief summary or introduction of the email content, visible before opening the email. It is typically displayed in the email client’s inbox, alongside the subject line, allowing users to grasp the main message or purpose of the email at a glance. This feature helps improve open rates and engagement as it entices the recipient to read the full email by giving them a glimpse of the content.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Email Preview Pane” is ‘iːmeɪl ‘priːvjuː peɪn’ or in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), /ˈiːmeɪl ˈpriːvjuː peɪn/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Email preview pane allows users to quickly glance at the content of an email without opening it fully.
  2. It improves efficiency and saves time by allowing users to manage their inbox more effectively and decide if an email is worth reading or not.
  3. Designing emails with preview panes in mind is important for optimal readability and engagement, as users are more likely to read emails that look visually appealing in the preview pane.

Importance of Email Preview Pane

The Email Preview Pane is a crucial aspect of digital marketing because it significantly impacts the customer’s initial interaction with an email campaign.

It refers to the small window displaying a portion of an email’s content when a user clicks on it, or hovers over it, without fully opening the email.

This feature determines whether recipients will fully open and engage with the email or simply disregard it, making it a determining factor in an email’s overall success.

Thus, crafting a compelling and relevant preview pane content, which includes an attention-grabbing subject line, preheader text, and captivating visuals, is essential for marketers to create a positive first impression, increase open rates, and ultimately, enhance the email campaign’s efficacy.


The Email Preview Pane serves as an essential tool in digital marketing and aims to improve user engagement and overall campaign performance. Its purpose lies in offering marketers a way to provide an appealing overview of their email content in the limited viewing area that email clients allocate to message previews.

With the ever-increasing number of emails that users receive daily, having an eye-catching and helpful preview of an email’s content encourages users to open the email and interact with the message. More user engagement with an email directly correlates to better open and click-through rates, ultimately leading to more successful digital marketing campaigns.

Furthermore, the Email Preview Pane enables marketers to optimize their email content by considering various factors such as subject line, pre-header text, and the email layout or design. Marketers have the opportunity to strategically curate the initial content that users will see when browsing their inboxes, and design the email so that the most critical information is evident and visually appealing.

By putting the utmost importance on the most engaging and relevant content for the user, digital marketers can effectively increase the likelihood that their target audience will not only open their emails but also further engage with their brand. This, in turn, brings businesses one step closer to achieving their digital marketing goals.

Examples of Email Preview Pane

Outlook Email Client Preview Pane: Microsoft Outlook, a widely used email client, provides email preview pane functionality, allowing users to preview and skim through their mails without opening them completely. In the context of digital marketing, marketers need to optimize their email campaigns so that the subject lines, pre-header text, and the first few lines of the email content are engaging and attention-grabbing, increasing the chances of recipients fully opening and interacting with the email.

Gmail Desktop Preview Pane: Google’s Gmail email service has a feature called “Preview Pane” that can be enabled through the settings menu. This feature splits the inbox view horizontally or vertically, with a list of emails on one side and a preview of the selected email on the other side. Digital marketers should design their emails to render correctly and capture the recipient’s attention within this preview pane, ensuring important information and call-to-action are visible.

Yahoo Mail Preview Pane: Yahoo Mail also offers a preview pane feature to its users, allowing them to view and browse their emails while still maintaining their inbox view. As with the other examples, digital marketers need to optimize email content, design, and layout to account for this limited viewing space, ensuring that the most critical information and calls-to-action are visible and compelling within the preview pane.

Email Preview Pane

What is an email preview pane?

An email preview pane, also known as a reading pane, is a feature in many email clients that allows users to view the content of an email message without actually opening it. It displays a portion of the email, giving the user a quick overview of its content prior to opening.

How can I enable the email preview pane in my email client?

Enabling the email preview pane may vary slightly depending on which email client you are using. In most cases, you can find this option by navigating to your email client’s settings menu, then selecting the option for the preview pane or reading pane from the available viewing options.

Can I customize the email preview pane to my preference?

Yes, in most email clients, you can customize the appearance and functionality of the email preview pane. You can adjust settings such as where the preview pane is located (on the side or bottom of the inbox), how much information is displayed, and whether certain features (such as images or attachments) are automatically shown in the preview pane.

Is there a downside to using the email preview pane?

There are some potential downsides to using the email preview pane. One is that it can make your inbox look cluttered, especially if you have a large number of unread messages. Another downside is that certain types of malware can be activated by previewing an email, although most modern email clients have built-in security measures to reduce this risk.

How does the email preview pane affect email open rates?

Email preview panes may cause inconsistencies in email open rate tracking. Since opens are generally tracked through a tiny pixel image embedded in the email, viewing a message in the preview pane can trigger an open without the user actually opening the email. This can result in inaccurately high open rates. However, many email service providers have improved their tracking methods to accommodate the widespread use of preview panes.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Email client compatibility
  • Subject line optimization
  • Preheader text
  • Email layout and design
  • Mobile email viewing

Sources for More Information

  • Mailchimp –
  • Campaign Monitor –
  • SendinBlue –
  • GetResponse –
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