Even if you don’t know what an email preheader is, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen them before. The email preheader is that little line of text that pops up at the top of your inbox just under the email subject line.
The idea of an email preheader might be new to you, and you might not know why you should be using one, but you’ll definitely have experienced the impact they can have on emails.
There’s always a lot of talk about creating the perfect email subject line, but very little mention of the email preheader.
This article will discuss what an email preheader is, how to create one and why it can make a big difference in terms of open rates for any business sending out marketing campaigns via email.
What is an Email Preheader?
The email preheader is the text that appears above the email body, and it’s usually a sentence or two long. It can be used to give additional context to the subject line, or to tease the content of the email.
It’s an important part of any marketing campaign because it’s one of the first things people see when they open their inbox.
It’s also worth mentioning that it differs from the email header, which is usually displayed at the top of your browser window and contains details such as sender name, time sent and subject line (although these can vary depending on your email client).
Why Use an Email Preheader?
The first thing to understand about preheaders is that they can be really useful for increasing open rates on your emails.
People often scan the subject lines and preheaders of their inbox, so use this to your advantage by creating one that accurately reflects the content of the email itself.
In order to do this, it’s important to know what works well as a preheader – here are some top tips:
Keep Your Preheader Short
Somewhere around 50 characters or 6-10 words is the sweet-spot. You’ve only got a matter of seconds to catch someone’s attention as hundreds of emails fight for eyeballs in their inbox. You should craft your preheader the same way you would craft the headline of an ad.
If its too long though, it will get cut off anyway. A little less or a little more than 50 characters is usually fine but do your best to keep them short and impactful.
Make it Interesting & Intriguing
The preheader is a great opportunity to tease the content of an email and make people want to read more. If you can persuade someone to open your email, there’s a good chance they’ll also be interested in what you have to say inside.
This email is from Jarvis, the artificial intelligence copywriting tool. They’ve done a great job with this preheader by touching on one of the main benefits of using their software. Saving time. This is a click-worthy preheader that is paired well with the subject line.
Reflect the Tone of the Email
If your email is light and humorous, then use a light and humorous preheader. The same goes for serious emails – match the tone of the preheader with that of the email content for best results.
Pair it With Your Subject Line, But Don’t Repeat it!
This one probably seems quite obvious, but don’t just repeat your email subject line in your preheader text. Make sure they are complimentary to each other. Whatever you do though, at least write SOMETHING!
Here’s a great example I found inbox just today. One is from a print-on-demand company and the other is from Russell Brunson of ClickFunnels. You can see Artsadd wrote nothing and just seems pretty amateurish, but Russell Brunson actually used the preheader to prompt me to finish my order. Not only is Russell’s preheader well paired with the sbject line, but it’s a great way to execute an abandoned cart email too.
How to Write the Perfect Email Preheader
Now that we know what an email preheader is and why it’s important, let’s take a look at how you can go about creating one for your own marketing campaigns.
There are a number of different ways you can do this. For example, there are some simple preheader generators online that make it easy to create one quickly and easily.
However, we recommend trying a few methods until you find the approach that works best for your email marketing strategy.
Here’s our top tips to write a great email preheader text:
Use an Email Subject Line Generator
If you’re sending out a lot of emails then its a good idea to batch your subject and preheader ideas so you can just pick one and roll with it. One way to do this in bulk is to use an email subject line generator.
You’ll notice though that they only do email subject lines, so you will have to get creative a suitable preheader to match.
Write Them Yourself
Well, this is an obvious one, but another option is simply writing your preheaders yourself. This gives you more control over the tone of your preheader text, but it can be time consuming if you’re sending out a lot of emails or if you experience writers block, which takes us on to the next tip.
Use an AI Copywriting Tool
Love it or hate it, artificial intelligence is becoming part of our daily life at a rapid rate. I personally love the Jarvis AI copywriting tool, and you can use it for more than just email subject or preheader ideas.
Test and Measure
The best way to find out what works well as a preheader is to test different methods and see which generate the most opens. Use analytical tools such as email tracking software or A/B testing to help you make an informed decision about what’s working well for your campaigns.
How To Create an Email Preheader
I’m fortunate enough to use ActiveCampaign, like all the top email marketers do 😉 , and they have a simple way to enter the preheader text in the settings when composing your email in their editor.
If you’re using another popular email service like Aweber or GetResponse, they also give you the option to add an email preheader in their preferences when composing your email.
There’s also a way to add email preheader text using html code, you also risk messing things up if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Seriously though, if your autoresponder doesn’t have an easy way to create your email preheader text then you might need to consider a change!
The Final Word on Email Preheader Text
It’s pretty obvious that email preheaders are often overlooked but can be a really powerful tool when used correctly in your email marketing strategy.
They’re one of the first things people see when they open their inbox, so use this to your advantage by creating one that accurately reflects the content of the email itself and drives more opens.
So next time you’re writing an email for your list, have a think about what little snippet of preheader text might make someone stop scrolling their inbox and open your email.
Have you ever experimented with email preheaders? Did you see an increase in open rates? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!
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