Preheaders: A Key element of your email

    A preheader is the section of text that appears after your subject line in your inbox to give the recipient a brief summary of what the email contains. Here’s a few examples:


    It works by taking the first section of text from your HTML code. If not taken into consideration this could be “View in browser” or perhaps sections of your social sharing. Neither of these gives an accurate description of the emails content and is unlikely to encourage a positive action.

    Selecting the appropriate copy to reinforce your subject line is as important as the subject line itself. Repeating your subject line in your preheader or leaving it blank so it naturally selects the first available text is an adequate solution. However, being able to influence what the customer sees gives you the possibility of utilising this text as an additional encouragement to interact with your email. We would suggest preheaders which summarise the content of your email to entice your audience by expanding on your subject line. There’s the possibility to make it personalised, promoting an offer or cross selling, if the subject line references a particular product, i.e.

    "Do you like your new top?
    These jeans go amazingly with them...."

    Depending on your preference, preheaders can be visible or hidden from view in your email creative once opened.

    This is an example where the preheader has been defined but is exposed in the copy when the recipient opens the email. This text has been selected to summarise the email’s content in various browsers where preheaders are shown:


    Preheader: “Flippin’ Marvellous View The Online Version Pancake…”

    The benefits of hiding the preheader copy from view in your email are to remove any repetitiveness and allow for a different, targeted message to be viewed before opening. Here’s an example where the preheader is hidden within the HTML email:


    Preheader: “Know someone who has got engaged? Forward them this email”

    To hide your preheader, we would suggest using the below example of code to your email, situated immediately after the opening <body> tag:

    <!--<table width="100%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"

                              <td style="font-size:1px; color: #ffffff;">
                                     Your Preheader Text Here...
    </table> -->

    The length of your preheader will also need to be taken into consideration. Its visibility is dependent on the customer’s device, browser and the length of your subject line. Not all browsers and isp’s show preheaders as standard. However, as a guideline, for desktop recipients about 100 characters are in view. For mobile devices the view could be limited to about 50 characters. Keeping it short can be beneficial as it suits both devices.

    Using preheaders helps persuade customers to open up your email from the moment it arrives in their inbox. It can improve your open rate on all types of sends and potentially increase your ROI. This small piece of HTML can influence your open rate and increase your chances of interaction! Whether you choose to have exposed or hidden preheaders, this is an invaluable feature to add to your campaigns and shouldn’t be neglected.