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The Hidden Power of Email Preheaders – Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by Joel Platini on  August 10, 2020  in Email Marketing


Did you know that email preheaders contribute more to your email open rates than your email subject lines?

People often emphasize more on the subject lines and the email preheaders go unnoticed throughout their email campaign. And then they keep wondering why their email didn’t have better open rates.

You see, around 60 % of users access their emails through mobile devices. In mobiles, email preheaders are more crucial than subject lines and that’s why you must turn your attention to email preheader text.

If done right, Email preheaders alone can increase your email’s open and conversion rates. So, follow us as we show you how to properly bring out the power of preheader text using some of the email preheader best practices for 2021.

What is an Email Preheader?

Email preheader is the preview text that comes after the subject line in the subscriber’s inboxes.

Email subject line example

We all know that nowadays people access their mails form mobile devices than desktops. So, email preheaders are necessary to boost the open rates and conversions of your email.

The most important aspect of an email preheader text is the length, since it is more effective in mobile dives, it should be short enough to fit and entice the customers at the same time.

Including Email preheaders is one of the email marketing best practices that can help you increase your open rates and conversions. They can also help you recover your abandoned carts too.

What is the hidden power of Email preheaders?

The success of email depends on its open rates, subject lines and preheader text are the ones the influence open rates. If it can’t persuade the customer to open the mail, then it is of no use.

That’s why preheader texts are necessary because the first thing a customer sees when an email is received is the preheader text. If the preheader text is not enticing enough, then the customer will ignore the email without opening it.

So, the only way to make them open your emails is by making your mail stand out from the crowd, by using preheader text which is one of the email marekting best practices for 2021.

A recent study shows that most of the eCommerce stores don’t include email preheaders while sending newsletters. So, you should seize the opportunity as it gives you a competitive edge.

Email Preheader Best Practices for 2021

This article will show you what you should do and what you shouldn’t while writing email preheaders. Email marketing has become a crucial aspect for eCommerce store to engage with their customers. Having proper preheader text can increase the conversion rates of emails and these Email preheaders best practices for 2021 will help you create your ultimate preheader text.

Preheader Text – Do’s

Support the subject line

What we said earlier is true, you need email preheaders to boost your email open rates, but what do the customers see first when they open their email?

The subject line, right?

To engage with customers better, your email preheader text must always emphasize your email subject line.

But always remember, your preheader text must compliment the subject line it shouldn’t be an exact copy of it.

Look at the following email preheader example on how your email preheader should complement your subject line.

Email preheader

You see how the preheader text emphasizes the subject line, that’s how a good preheader should look like and it is one of the email marketing best practices.

Personalize the preheaders

Customers love it when an email has their name on it, it shows how much they matter to your business, it creates an emotional impact.

So, the best email marketing practice is to take advantage of the impact and personalize your preheader text in your Welcome, transactional and Thank you emails, it is one of the email marketing best practices for 2021. But always follow the ‘Any 1’ rule.

Either you personalize your subject line or preheader text, don’t personalize both, it will feel sketchy and you might probably end up as spam.

Preheader personalization

The statistics prove how true it is, it shows that the personalized emails had better open and conversion rates than other emails.

Remember, what we said about standing out from the crowd, well personalizing your emails is how you do it. Customers will be enticed to open an email that has their name on it thus making your emails succeed.

Use psychological triggers

When you are sending an email you want the customers to take action right?

You have to increase their curiosity, show them what they’re being offered in this deal and persuade them to open your email.

And how to do all that?

Using psychological triggers. Yes, the customer won’t be interested in your email unless you have a pretty sweet deal.

So, instead of revealing that deal in the message, employ one of the email marketing best practices for 2021 and tease them using the email preheader text.

FOMO preheaders

But be aware of the spam triggers, don’t reveal too much, keep it subtle and persuasive it will do the magic for you.

You can create a sense of urgency, sense of scarcity or FOMO using your preheader text.

Make use of emojis

As this is a email preheader, it is not possible to use images in them, that part can be fulfilled by using emojis.

Emojis are a great way to visually persuade your customers to open their emails. They are colorful and distinctive which can make your emails pop out from the cluster.

Emojis

In this image, you can clearly see how the emails that stand out are the ones with the emojis. Using emojis will grab customers’ attention to open it thus increasing your rate.

Most businesses don’t use emojis because they think that it will not give a professional look to their emails. But a recent study from Adobe found that, including emojis in your emails can make it look credible and likable.

So, why don’t you give a try on this email preheader best practices for 2021.

Use Call to action

The ultimate goal of adding preheader text is to make people open the email, then you should do it right. Add an attractive Call-to-action button to show why they should open their emails.

But in the case of your email preheaders, using the conventional ‘Read now’, ‘Buy now’ CTAs won’t be quite effective.

You might want to get creative in that.

Hotels email

You can see how they’ve used their CTA in a sentence, this will encourage customers to open your emails.

Here are some tips on how to use CTAs in preheaders,

  • Make it clear
  • Don’t write too much, keep it short.
  • It must talk directly to customers
  • Topic-specific
  • Keep it simple

You can use these tips to craft the best CTA which is one of the email marketing best practices for 2021 to increase your open rates.

Ask questions

A bit conventional but an effective one, your emails must always be ready to grab the customer’s attention at any possible time.

How do you get a customer’s attention effortlessly?

By asking them questions, not just any questions, you must ask them the questions that they are interested in and emotional about.

That will keep them curious, but make sure you have your buyer personas before asking them any questions. These buyer personas will show you, what to ask and whom you ask.

Grammarly email

Asking questions is one of the email marketing best practices as it will show them how you care for their presence in your business.

A/B test your preheaders

A/B testing your emails is a great way to find what your customers like and it helps you to know them better.

A/B test or split testing is an activity where you create two preheader text and send each to a set of customers and see which one has a better open rate.

A/B preheaders

Patience is the key, keep testing your emails until you get the perfect open rate and use them in your marketing campaigns.

A/B testing your emails is crucial and it helps you to create a better engagement with customers.

Preaheader Text – Don’ts

Using the same content as the subject line

Yes, the common mistake that most email marketers keep making is drafting the same content for both subject line and email preheader.

Using the same content for both will trigger spam and at the same time, it won’t look professional.

A recent study shows that around 58% of people read the subject line and preheader before opening their mail. That’s why it is essential to not draft the same line for both as it may look sketchy.

Like we said before, always draft the preheader text in a way that it complements the subject line as it is one of email preheader best practices.

Not including the email preheader

Probably the biggest mistake that you as an Email marketer shouldn’t make is ignoring the preheader.

There are a couple of reasons why it happens,

  • They might not know the true power of email preheaders.
  • They simply don’t know that preheader text exists.
Open rates statistics

These reasons might look strange but it’s the truth. Research shows that preheader text influences 7% of open rates, by omitting it they are missing a huge opportunity to increase their open rates.

We did an exercise ourselves where we sent two emails, one with a preheader and one without. The results showed that the email with a preheader had 109% of open rates than others.

So, it’s time you start including preheader text in your emails as it is one of the email marketing best practices.

Using the unsubscribe option in the preheader

Including an unsubscribe button in your email message is the best email marketing strategy, it shows that you have nothing to hide.

But displaying it in your email preheader is not a smart move.

Unsubscribe Option

This message is a clear example of it, you can see how the opt-out options are more clear than the subject line. When a customer sees it that’s the first thing he’s gonna click.

Always allow your customer to see the offer you’re trying to give and then let them decide their outcome.

Never give them a chance of moving out before they read your email.

Too many links

Adding links in your preheader text is one of the email preheader best practices to convert customers but adding too many of them can lead to frustration.

Yes, many people access their emails through mobile devices so when you add many links it will get cramped and chances are that you might click the wrong link.

Or in some cases, the reader might get frustrated with too many links and will end up not clicking any one of them, thus troubling your conversions.

So, avoid having too many links and keep the user experience simple to please the readers.

Long Preheader text

Last but not least is messing the length of your email preheader.

Too long preheader text might get cut off, like we said most of them access through mobile devices, so it is not a brilliant tactic to draft a lengthy preheader text.

The customer won’t be persuaded enough to open your emails when half of it is not visible. So, whatever the message is, keep it clean and short.

Conclusion

Email preheaders have hidden power, they boost the email open rates and conversions. That’s why we wanted to show you some of the email preheader best practices for 2021 so that you’ll get to know what you should do and shouldn’t.

Follow these best practices and you’ll see how the preheader text brings success to your email marketing campaigns.


Author Bio
Joel Platini 
Joel Platini
Joel is a content writer that loves to think outside the box. He has an immaculate experience on eCommerce platforms and written articles on customer retention strategies, Shopify app, WooCommerce plugins, etc. Joel is also a whizz in motion graphics as he has a great eye for elegance and finesse.

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