What’s the first thing you see when you look at an email in your inbox? If it’s not the sender or subject line, chances are it’s the preheader.
A preheader (sometimes called a “snippet”) is the short summary text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. Many mobile, desktop and web email clients provide them to tip users off on what the email contains, before they open it. They’re helpful to the end-user and, therefore, important to the marketer and email programmer.
Most of the time, the only preheader we see is “Don’t Miss Our Emails…” or “View Online.” Important information but not vital marketing information.
Use a preheader to summarize the email, provide a call-to-action, generate interest or give your users a reason to click.
First, let’s look at the programming side. Here’s how code for a preheader should look:
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Second, think about how you want your preheader to work. There are three ways to make a preheader work for your email. Which one you choose depends on your brand, the email you’re sending and, most importantly, your audience.
- Call to action
Provide a call to action, just like a button in the email.Here’s a good example that a B2C marketer might use.
Example: 20% Off – This Week Only
Give users something intriguing so they open the email rather than delete it.Here’s a recent preheader from McSweeney’s, a publisher and literary magazine:
Example: Feel better Chelsea!
Provide a summary, so that users know that this is an important email from a trusted brand. Your reader should recognize your brand from sender name and should see something they know, something that resonates, in the preheader.
Example: Custom bikes, updated cyclist maps, accessories
That’s all there is to it. Get the snippet code right, combine an action-oriented, specific preheader with a winning subject line, and you could significantly increase open rates.