Increase Your Open Rate with the Right Preheader Text

Posted by Jamie Cain on

Preheader text is a great way to help customers understand your message quickly. It is the first line of copy a customer will see after the from name and subject line, so you will want to make sure that it is compelling. Preheaders may prompt increased interest in your message and give subscribers more incentive to open your emails, which can increase sales.

Here is a Gmail inbox on both a mobile device and desktop. In the mobile version, the preheader is the text in light grey shown directly underneath the subject line. In the desktop version, it is the text directly above the logo.






Your subject line might not be enough to secure an open, but by utilizing the preheader text, you can paint a better picture of what will be featured in the email.

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Your Preheader Text:

1. Promote a sale: As shown in the J.Crew example below, the subject line doesn’t mention the sale; it only is letting the customer know that the products in the email are new arrivals. The preheader text is introducing the sale which gives the customer an incentive to open the email.

gmailjcrew (1).

2. Make it different: Repeating the subject line or only stating “view in browser” are not efficient ways to make the most out of this space. If your subject line doesn’t interest your customer, repeating it won’t get them to open.

3. Reinforce the subject line: In the Kate Spade example, the preheader text is used to better explain what the subject line is referring to. The subject line is a playful way to tease at what the email’s focus is, while the preheader texts appropriately sets expectations for what the customer will see once they open.


4. Beware of the character count: Remember that the number of characters displayed differs between various email clients. Keep it short and to the point. You want to make sure that whether your customer is viewing your email on their phone, tablet or desktop, what they see isn’t being cut off.

5. Don’t forget to test: You don’t want to limit your testing to just the subject line. The preheader text is equally as important. Since not all of your audience will respond in the same way, test out different versions of your pre header text first to see which resonates best with your customers.

If it’s not already part of your checklist in strategizing your email campaigns, add preheader text to your list! After following the above tips, review your open and click through rates to see what type of uplift there was. Not only will this keep your email campaigns intriguing, but it will also make you stand out from other brands that aren’t properly using their preheader text.

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About Jamie Cain

Jamie Cain is a Technical Account Manager at Return Path. She brings six years of email marketing experience, having worked on both client and agency sides. In her spare time, you'll find Jamie traveling, even if it's just to the beach to soak up some sun and read a thrilling mystery! Connect with her on LinkedIn:

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