Email marketing is one of the effective forms of advertising out there. This is no secret. But did you know that some marketers fail to make the most of their email campaigns?

I'm talking about subject lines and preheaders! They're great to advertise your business in a subtle yet powerful way. The key is making it personal.

This post will go over how email preheaders are a great way to generate more revenue for your business, increase email click-through rates, & increase sales.

What Is A Preheader?

Preheaders are extensions of subject lines. Also known as preview texts, the email preheader is the first thing a recipient sees when your prospect receives your email.

It's important to use a compelling, descriptive preheader so prospects are intrigued enough to open and read your message.

Difference Between Sub-header & Pre-header

Email preheader is a sentence or two of introductory text that precedes the email's subject and serves as an introduction to what you're about to read, with opportunities for creativity!

Email subheader is something you should put in your email's HTML code, while an email preheader can be created with a little bit of creativity!

Also Read: 7 Different Ways to Say "Thank You for Your Consideration" in an Email

Why Do I Need To Use Them & How Is It Useful For Sales?

Preheader supports the subject line and helps connect with your prospects. For example, Autoplicity saw almost an 8% increase in their open rates when using preheader text while WeddingWire saw a 30% increase in click-through rates.

A preheader can provide a preview of what the email contains, which makes it easier for your prospects to decide whether they want to open it or not.

  • It may contain an offer or some information that will entice prospects
  • If you have multiple email newsletters with different content and subject lines, you might use a preheader to help your email stand out from the rest
  • It's an opportunity for you and your subscribers to get a lot more personal with one another, which will create better engagement overall!
  • Email preheaders can help introduce you and your company/brand more personally
  • They provide an opportunity for creativity with sales email content
  • If you have multiple emails containing different subject lines, you can use email preheaders to help your email stand out from the rest
  • It's a great way to introduce yourself and give more insight into what's inside
  • Email preheaders help with open email rates, brand engagement, and more

How Do I Create a Preheader Text?

Different email clients like Gmail, Yahoo mail, outlook showcase preheader text differently. The same is the case with mobile clients.

How a preheader text is displayed depends on your inbox settings and your email client. Most email services display the first few lines of the body as preheader text.

Few services display text from the image ALT text or from the <a> tags code.

HTML Code For A Hidden Preheader Text:

Displaying a customized preheader that you want improves the open rates and creates a unique impression with your prospects. Then, with a bit of effort, you can get there.

You can type the below code in the HTML part of your email as the first element of code, to customize a preheader text.


Alternatively, you can also create a preheader in your email marketing software by writing some introductory text. Make sure it fits with the email subject line and other content of the email to avoid confusing your prospects.

For example, if you are sending out an email with the subject line: "How to write the best sales email?" don't use the preheader as same as it will make the preheader redundant.

Instead, pick an interesting angle to the subject line, an extender, like “Know from the best in the industry.”

When you are finally ready with that perfect text, type the text in the preheader segment provided by your email campaign tool.

It will automatically apply that to your emails. Remember, not all email marketing tools provide this facility.

When Not to Use Preheaders?

If your email is only about one topic or goal (e.g., product announcements), try to find a way to express that idea simply and quickly without using an email preheader.

Email preheaders are usually not necessary if the email already has a sub-header in its subject line, as some email marketing software will automatically insert an email preheader when it's created with HTML code.

What Is The Ideal Length For Your Email Preheader?

Email Preheader

Reports show that an email preheader should be less than 100 characters to ensure a high open rate.

There are no hard and fast rules on how long the preheader should be. However, email service providers recommend a range of 50-100 characters.

The characters displayed in the preheader are also dependent on mobile devices. Most of the devices won't display all 100 characters. So, limit the characters to 30-80.  

Also, a shorter preheader leaves some space to the email subject line in the cluttered inbox and helps you stand out from the rest.

Also Read: Learn How To "Put A Face To The Name" In This Virtual Selling Era!

Email Preheader Best Practices

1. Include A Teaser

A little glimpse of your newly launched product or the news that's going to be announced can pique the interest of your prospects if you give them a quick peek into it. Make your prospects feel special.

2. Provide A Quick Summary

Although the subject line is intended to cover the topic, preheader text can be an extension to give a quick summary to your prospect on what the mail is about.

3. Include Emojis

Don't hesitate to add that fun element to the preheader text. Add emojis wherever relevant to stand out from the crowd.

4. Try To Personalize As Much As Possible

Remember to always personalize. Use the prospect's first name or refer to the place you have met before. Make that personal connection.

5. Connect With Your Prospects By Humanizing The Content

Put yourself in your prospects shoes when crafting the preheader text. First, ask yourself what you would want to hear and give your prospects the same experience as you would want.

6. Include CTAs

The most important aspect of any email subject line or preheader is the call to action. Include it as often as possible to make an impact

7. Limit the Character Count

Keep your text precise and concise. Sharp sentences make their way and get your prospect’s attention.

How Email Preheaders Look in Different Mail Clients?

Desktop :

Preheader on Desktop

A lot of prospects check their emails on the go. So, a mobile device plays an important role.

Here’s how the preheader text is displayed on mobile devices:

Gmail on Android Devices:

Gmail On Android Devices

Gmail On iOS

Source: Gmail On iOS

iOS Native Mail

Source: iOS Native Mail

Preheader Text Ideas To Increase Your Email Effectiveness

A good preheader can entice people to take action or engage with you in some way.

Take these examples for inspiration on how to write a compelling, attention-grabbing email preheader.

For an effective subject line and preheader combo, think about your main idea and the call to action:

Example 1:
Subject line - Don't miss today’s seminar
Preheader - Mr.X is the keynote speaker!
Example 2:
Subject line - Subscribe to get a free upgrade!
Preheader - Offer ends tomorrow!

15 Email Preheader Examples To Get You Started

  1. "No matter what you're looking for, email is the fastest way to find it."
  2. "Tired of trying and failing?
  3. “We have everything you need!"
  4. "It's that time again.”
  5. “Limited period offer only.”
  6. “RSVP today”
  7. “This was just sent from someone who cares about you!"
  8. "Your inbox is going crazy! Check this out."
  9. "Don't miss out.”
  10. "Free trial coupon in the mail.”
  11. “Designed only for you.”
  12. “If you love sales, you'll love this.”
  13. “Get more for less.”
  14. “ ___ is on the email list.”
  15. “The wait is over.”

Tips To Increase Open Rates For Emails Using Pre-header

  • Succinctly summarize the email message
  • Provide more specific information to support or expand on the benefit presented in your subject line
  • Include a coupon code
  • Feature a call to action
  • Add a sense of urgency by adding deadlines
  • Include your organization’s value proposition
  • Don’t include an option to unsubscribe
  • Test and optimize your preheader copy
  • Remember that your prospect always looks for “what's in it for them” So, make a compelling offer!
  • Don’t forget to preview your preheader

Bonus Tip - Don't forget about the subject line! It makes or breaks your entire campaign, so put some extra effort into making it catchy and interesting!

Videoform helps sales teams accelerate their sales cycle by using video prospecting and email videos of product pitches instead of writing long, boring emails that take forever to read through.

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