Email Pre-header Text: Don’t Overlook this Important Detail

February 6, 2018 | Email Marketing, Tips

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pre header examplesYou’ve written your newsletter, placed your graphics, gathered your email list, and are all ready to hit ‘send’—but have you checked your pre-header text?

Pre-header text (also known as preview text or a snippet) is the short text that displays below the sender’s name and subject line in your inbox.

This little bit of text is key in catching your recipient’s attention and is a huge deciding factor on whether or not your email gets opened and read. It’s often overlooked or not given as much consideration as the subject line, even though they’re usually viewed at the same time. In an email research survey, 24% of respondents look at the preview text first when deciding if they will open an email.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your pre-header text:

Don’t leave the pre-header empty!

If you leave this empty, some email readers will just pull in the first few words and make an awkward sentence. Other classics you’d like to avoid are “view this email in your browser”, “having trouble viewing this email?” or even worse, “not displaying correctly, click here.”

Create something that engages the recipient and makes them want to read more.

Don’t repeat the subject line

Frankly, repeating the subject line looks a bit lazy or as if a mistake was made.  More importantly, you’ve wasted a great opportunity to give your readers a taste of what’s inside. Your pre-header text is a way to build on your subject line with supporting information.

Are you covering multiple topics? You can detail some of them here. Or, reference a secondary offer you’ll be mentioning inside the email, “free shipping over $50” is a great example of that.

Test your pre-header text

You can send yourself a preview to see how much text displays and where it is cut off when opening it with different email clients. The number of characters that show can vary greatly, from as few as 35 characters in Outlook ’13 to 140 characters in Apple Mail.

And yes, some people have their email set so that the pre-header text doesn’t show at all—so if something is important, repeat it somewhere else in the email as well.

steal from the best

Go take a look at your email inbox. Chances are, like in our graphic above, there’s a wide range of copy in the preview text. Which ones pull you in? Which ones would pull your customer in? Are there any you find especially inspiring (or dispiriting)? Keep those in mind the next time you’re stuck on writing that copy.

The pre-header text is something that should help your readers know what to expect, and encourage them to open. It’s a little thing that can pay big dividends, a lot like your newsletter.

Are you overwhelmed with all the details that can make your newsletter a success? Reach out, we’d love to help.