Much like “above the fold,” “below the fold” is a term coined from the newspaper world where high-priority items were always placed on the front page to ensure maximum visibility. Lower priority items were permitted to be printed “below the fold” where they were less likely to be seen.
This phrase has translated to the web design world where it now refers to the area of a web page that’s below the primary portion of the page, requiring visitors to scroll down to see it. Below the scroll is also used to define the area on a landing page that requires users to scroll down to see additional content.
For digital marketers, placing promotional offers, sign-up forms, or calls-to-action above the fold doesn’t necessarily yield better results. In fact, the often deciding factor in inducing conversions is not the fold but rather the copy surrounding the proposition. The issue therefore, is whether your call to action is visible at the point where your prospect has become convinced to take action. Breaking down prospective customers using three assumptions can help determine above or below the fold placement:
1. Pre-sold customers already want what you’re offering when they arrive, thus leveraging your proposition high up on the page would be beneficial.
2. Interested customers require an offering that can be easily explained and the immediate value of which is apparent.
3. Uncertain customers need a more thorough explanation and can get turned off if asked to commit early without scrolling down for more information.
Truly determining the success of an offer’s page placement is a matter of continuous testing and experimentation. Running A/B or multivariate testing to optimize offers will inform the most beneficial page placement, context of the buying journey to present the offer, and language necessary to persuade each consumer persona.