If you worry that an email with a horizontal (left-to-right) scroll will confuse your subscribers, Dylan Boyd is prepared to disagree. Unless it tests well, he doesn't suggest using this type of scroll as a regular feature, but he does think it can serve as a useful interrupter that spurs engagement.
"Things get stale, people begin to get conditioned to your layouts, you need to mix it up once in a while," he says in a post at The Email Wars blog. "I am so conditioned that I actually find that I stop buying from brands where I am not enticed as the campaign look, layouts and offers are stale and consistent. I need some email shock-therapy from time to time to make me wake up and convert."
In his post, Boyd praises the horizontal scroll layouts for a trio of Abercrombie & Fitch emails—two featuring shirts and one touting jeans. And he has this advice for those who would like to try it for themselves:
Start with two or three panels of around 1,600 pixels in width, and use anchor tags to drive navigation to the right.
Keep the height under 600 pixels so the message won't also scroll up-and-down. "You want to only give one [directional] option," he says. "I would … try to stay around 550 [pixels] high if you can."
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