As a marketer I use the "view online" or "view in your browser" links quite a lot and assumed it was still best practice to include it. However, I notice lots of companies have stopped including it.
Issues with using a "view in web browser" link
By placing the link first in the hierarchy (the traditional position) means that it will appear in the preview text in in-boxes, which doesn't really provide a good experience.
- To combat this, some companies are making use of super subject lines. A super subject line, also known as pre-header text, is a small line of text that appears immediately underneath the subject line. See an example below, taken from my mobile, with the super subject line highlighted. However, as you can see the "View this in your browser" text is still present.
- Other companies are simply removing the link altogether or moving it to the bottom of the email.
The email marketing company Litmus Software, discussed whether it was still relevant in a recent podcast and concluded that it depends on the audience. For example, for Litmus Software's audience this feature is still important.
They advised to conduct a review of your analytics to see if anyone is clicking on it and also to do some A/B testing before removing it altogether.