Optimizing Email Preheaders

There are three things that recipients will see when your email hits their inbox: the sender (the From Name), the Subject, and the preheader. The subject line is what grabs your readers’ attention but the preheader can really help you raise those opens and clicks. Take a look at your own inbox and see which emails you tend to open and which ones you tend to ignore. How many did you open because the preheader was enticing enough to really, truly grab your attention? Your recipients may be receiving your emails, but you’re competing for their attention against every other organization with a mailing list.

Let’s take this inbox, for example: 


Admittedly, my eyes probably glazed over some of those email preheaders which is really too bad for me, because they probably wrote some great stuff. There’s nothing wrong with a generic preheader, but making some small changes can push your emails from good to great.

Here’s another example where the preheaders are a little more interesting:


There’s a lot of hard work that goes into putting together an email, and it’s exciting for me to see more companies put a little extra work in those preheaders. In this example, however, bonus points go to Kroger for having that touch of personalization. Having that dynamic content display my name immediately pulled my attention and helped me zone in on that particular email amidst a folder full of other similar emails. Preheaders should also clearly and concisely convey the message of your email. Think of them as an extension of the subject line.

How can we apply this to ClickDimensions emails?

There are a few options to consider when it comes to preheaders and how inboxes display them:

1. No preheader- If there’s no set preheader, many email clients will instead use the first few words of your email body in lieu of the preheader text. A great opening line in your email can help you avoid the extra work and can make your email work for you instead! Pat yourself on the back for becoming one step closer to being an email marketing god.

2. Visible preheader- You probably fall under this category if you have a preheader in your email but you haven’t done a lot with it. All this means is that the preheader you see in the inbox is also visible in the template itself.

3. Hidden preheader- This allows you to have preheader text that follows the subject line but will be invisible in the template once the email is opened. If you need to supplement your subject line or include helpful information in your email that you don’t want to display in the body of your email, you can tweak your template to hide this text. Note that you’ll need to code this in the Source (HTML) part of your email template. Here’s an example of an email with hidden preheader text (code courtesy of Github user kbav):



Once you open the email:


Once you have your preheader set up, make sure to test it first. Use the Test function, Split Test, and regular Email Sends to see how different email clients interpret the preheader text. 

Happy Marketing!

Written by Louella Lugo, ClickDimensions Marketing Success Manager


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