Pre-header text

What is pre-header text in an email:

A pre-header text in an email is the short summary text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox.  When a customer looks at their mobile, desktop and web email it tips them off on what the email's content will be before they open it. 

Why is it important:

  • When your email subscribers look at their inbox they are deciding whether or not to open your email.  The subscriber is using the preheader text is used as a prescreening tool to determine whether or not to open it.  
  • The subject line is your attention grabber, but the preheader text allows for more context of what the email is about. 
  • Without preheader text, it will take the body text of the email and use that text were the preheader should be. 
  • The preheader text should not be longer than a sentence that summarizes what the email is about.

Best practices using pre-header text:

  • Make sure to focus on the key content in the first portion of the preheader text.
  • Even though some might only display 30-40 characters, web devices like Gmail display around 100 characters, including spaces.  Take advantage of all the available character space.
  • Include a call to action to further emphasize the customer to open the email in their inbox.  
  • Be careful of any words that can be flagged as spam.
  • Try to personalize the messaging. 

Which email apps display pre-header text:

According to Litmus, not all email apps support preheader text.  Below is a list provided by Litmus showing which email apps support preheader text.  (Source: Litmus)