The preview pane is that portion of many email programs such as Microsoft’s Outlook that shows a "preview" of the full message, i.e. the first lines of the text of the email message.
The EmailLabs survey revealed that 90% of business-to-business e-mail newsletter subscribers have the preview pane function available to them and that 70% frequently or always use it. Half of these respondents read just the first few lines in the preview pane to determine whether they should read the rest of the email; a third read all of the contents of the preview pane even if they have to scroll or expand the preview pane to do so; and 15% will read as much as the preview pane allows but won’t scroll to read the rest, if necessary.
Further, 45% rarely or never allow images to be downloaded into the preview pane portion of their email messages. Lastly, only 31% of B2B e-mail newsletter subscribers add those addresses to their "safe senders" list.
All of these statistics point to the importance of creating compelling content specifically for recipients to read in the preview pane of their email programs.