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Email Preheader Text: What It Is & How To Use It To Maximize Your Open Rates

From the subject line to the email content, each component plays a vital role in capturing the attention of recipients and driving them to open your email. However, there is one often overlooked gem that holds tremendous potential to significantly impact your email open rates and overall campaign effectiveness – the preheader text.

The preheader text plays a substantial influence over the recipient’s decision to open or ignore your email. By strategically crafting and optimizing the preheader text, you can entice recipients, provide a sneak peek into the value you offer, and ultimately motivate them to engage further. In this article, we explore the best practices and insights from industry sources to unlock the power of preheader text, ensuring that your email campaign stand out amidst the competition, resonate with your audience, and drive higher engagement and conversions.

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What is The Preheader Text?

The preheader text, also known as the email preview text, is a crucial yet often overlooked component of an effective email marketing strategy. It’s the short snippet of text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. Email preheader text is what many mobile, desktop, and web email clients provide to give readers a brief glimpse into the content of the email without requiring the recipient to open it.

When it comes to the preheader text, you have flexibility in deciding its placement. You can choose to include it within your actual email or have it exclusively appear in the preview area of the recipient’s inbox. The choice allows you to customize how the preheader text is presented and optimize its impact on email engagement.

The preheader text serves multiple purposes. It allows recipients to preview the email’s content, is one of the ways to increase the email open rate, and reduces spam complaints. It’s one of the first things a recipient sees when they receive your email, and it can significantly influence whether they decide to open your email or ignore it.

How Long Should An Email Preheader Be?

The length of an email preheader is a critical factor that can significantly impact its effectiveness. It needs to be long enough to convey a meaningful message, yet short enough to be fully visible in the recipient’s inbox.

The recommended length for an email preheader is between 30 to 80 characters. This range is suggested to ensure that the preheader text is fully visible across various email clients and devices, including mobile devices, which often display fewer characters than desktop email clients.

For instance, Gmail, one of the most popular email providers, typically displays preheaders between 100-120 characters with spaces on desktop. However, on mobile devices, the preheader text is often truncated, displaying around 35-40 characters, including spaces. Therefore, it’s crucial to place the most important information within the first 30-40 characters to ensure it’s visible to all recipients, regardless of the device they’re using.

However, the exact length of your preheader may vary depending on the content of your email and the message you want to convey. If you’re asking an important question or providing a brief summary of some crucial news, you might want to make your preheader a bit longer, provided it remains within the recommended range. On the other hand, if you’re teasing the email content or offering an incentive, a shorter preheader might be more effective.

While the length of the preheader is important, it’s equally crucial to ensure that it’s meaningful and engaging. It should provide value to the recipient, summarizing the email’s content, building curiosity, or offering an incentive, all within a concise and impactful snippet of text.

How Do You Write An Effective Preheader?

The email subject line and preheader text play a collaborative role in generating interest and motivating readers to open your email.

The preheader text should be engaging, providing a hint or a teaser about the email content. It should complement the subject line and entice the recipient to delve deeper into the email. It’s also a good practice to differentiate the preheader from the subject line to provide a broader context to the recipient.

Let’s dive into the best practices for writing preheader text.

Best Practices For Preheader Text

Crafting an effective preheader text requires strategic thinking and a keen understanding of your audience’s needs and preferences. Here are some best practices that can guide you in creating impactful preheader texts:

1. Incorporate a Call to Action (CTA)

A CTA in the preheader can be a powerful motivator for recipients to open your email. It can be a prompt to take advantage of a sale, try a new product, or explore a piece of content. The CTA should be engaging and relevant to the content of the email, enticing recipients to delve deeper.

Use the preheader to provide an enticing CTA that complements the subject line. It can be a prompt to explore a limited-time offer, engage with a new product feature, or discover valuable content. The CTA should align with the overall goal of the email and entice recipients to delve deeper by opening the email.

Make it the CTA clear and relevant in the preheader to encourage recipients to take action. Whether it’s inviting them to sign up for a webinar, redeem a discount code, or access exclusive content, the CTA should be compelling and aligned with the email’s purpose. It should create a sense of urgency or highlight the benefits recipients can gain by engaging further.

It could also be a CTA to shop a sale, explore new arrivals, or read an informative article. The CTA should be engaging and entice recipients to open the email and engage further with your brand.

When incorporating a CTA in the preheader, it’s essential to make it concise, action-oriented, and compelling. It should create a sense of urgency, highlight the benefits or value recipients can gain, and be aligned with the email’s content and purpose. By leveraging a well-crafted CTA in the preheader, you can motivate recipients to open your email and take the desired action, ultimately driving engagement and conversions.

2. Use Personalization

Personalization is a powerful technique that can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your preheader text. By tailoring the preheader to each recipient, you can create a more engaging and relevant experience. Here’s an expansion on this best practice, referencing the provided sources:

Personalize the preheader to make it more appealing and relevant to each recipient. You can create a sense of individualisation by using dynamic tags, such as the recipient’s name or referencing their past interactions with your brand. This personal touch can make the recipient feel valued and increase their likelihood of opening the email.

By using the recipient’s name or including personalized recommendations based on their previous purchases or browsing behavior, you can create a more tailored experience. This personalization can capture the recipient’s attention and entice them to engage with the email further.

When using personalization in the preheader, it’s important to ensure that the data used is accurate and up-to-date. Personalization should go beyond just inserting the recipient’s name; it should be meaningful and relevant to the email’s content and purpose. By leveraging personalization effectively, you can create a more personalized and impactful preheader that resonates with each recipient.

3. Tease Incentives

Teasing incentives in the preheader is a proven strategy to capture recipients’ attention and entice them to open your email. By highlighting special offers, discount codes, or exclusive content, you can differentiate your email from the sea of marketing emails and provide a compelling reason for recipients to choose yours.

When teasing incentives in the preheader, it’s essential to be concise yet impactful. Use attention-grabbing words and phrases that create a sense of excitement and value. The goal is to pique recipients’ curiosity and generate enough interest for them to open the email and explore the incentives further.

By effectively teasing incentives in the preheader, you can differentiate your email, increase its relevance, and provide a compelling reason for recipients to choose your message over others in their crowded inbox. This strategy can lead to higher email opens, engagement, and ultimately, conversions for your email campaigns.

4. Summarize the Email Content

A well-crafted preheader summarizing the email’s content is a powerful tool to entice recipients to open and engage with your email. By providing a concise overview, the preheader gives recipients a clear idea of what to expect and helps them decide whether it’s worth their time to open and read the email. However, striking the right balance between providing enough information and piquing curiosity is crucial.

When summarizing the email content in the preheader, focus on the most enticing aspects, such as a key offer, an exciting announcement, or a valuable piece of information. Craft the summary to generate curiosity and convey the value recipients will gain by opening the email, while avoiding spoilers or giving away too much information.

By effectively summarizing the email’s content in the preheader, you provide recipients with a preview that captures their interest and motivates them to open the email to explore further. This strategy enhances the chances of engagement and encourages recipients to take the desired action within the email.

5. Consider Mobile Optimization

With a significant number of emails being opened on mobile devices, ensuring that your preheader is fully visible and impactful on these devices is crucial. Here’s an expansion on this best practice, referencing the provided sources:

When considering mobile optimization for the preheader text, it’s important to keep it concise and to the point. Aim for a preheader length that fits within the limited space available on mobile screens, ensuring that recipients can easily read the entire preheader without any truncation or scrolling.

By optimizing the preheader for mobile devices, you ensure that the recipient gets the full impact of your message, regardless of the device they’re using. This enhances the user experience, increases the chances of recipients opening your email, and ultimately boosts the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Remember, in the mobile era, optimizing the preheader for smaller screens is a crucial aspect of delivering a seamless and engaging experience to your recipients.

6. Test and Optimize Email Preheaders

Testing and optimizing your preheader text is a valuable practice that allows you to refine and improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns. By conducting A/B tests and analyzing open rates, you can gain insights into what resonates best with your audience. Here’s an expansion on this best practice:

When conducting A/B tests for your preheader text, consider testing variables such as wording, length, personalization, or the inclusion of incentives. Keep the rest of the email content consistent to isolate the impact of the preheader text on open and engagement rate metrics.

You can continually refine your email marketing strategy to better resonate with your audience by testing and optimizing your preheader text. Data-driven insights from A/B tests allow you to make informed decisions and implement improvements that increase the effectiveness of your preheader and, ultimately, drive better results for your email campaigns.

In conclusion, the preheader text is a powerful tool in your email marketing arsenal. When crafted and optimized correctly, it can significantly boost your email open rates and overall campaign effectiveness. It’s a small element that can make a big difference, making it an essential component of any successful email marketing strategy.

Five Email Preheader Examples

By rephrasing the examples while maintaining their essence, you can create unique preheaders that resonate with your audience and align with your brand’s voice and messaging. Experiment with different wording variations to find the most compelling and effective preheaders for your email campaigns. Remember to analyze the impact of each variation to continually refine and optimize your preheader strategies.

“Unlock a limited-time opportunity: Enjoy 30% off our top-selling products!”

This preheader example creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency by offering a time-limited discount. It entices recipients to open the email and discover how they can take advantage of the special offer.

“Discover what’s new: Supercharge your sales with our latest CRM update!”

This preheader captures recipients’ curiosity by highlighting the introduction of a new feature. It sparks their interest to open the email and explore how the latest CRM update can enhance their sales efforts.

“Exclusive access awaits: Unveil the secrets to email marketing success”

This preheader entices recipients with the promise of exclusive access to valuable insights. It creates intrigue and motivates them to open the email and discover the secrets that can help them achieve email marketing success.

“Save big on must-have summer essentials using our exclusive discount code!”

This preheader combines the appeal of savings and exclusivity by offering a discount code. It encourages recipients to open the email and explore the exclusive savings available on summer essentials.

“Join our upcoming webinar and boost your social media engagement!”

This preheader creates a sense of anticipation by inviting recipients to join an upcoming webinar. It intrigues them to open the email and learn how they can enhance their social media engagement through valuable insights and strategies.

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