What is a preheader?
I like to think of it as an additional headline or subject line. It gives me a little more room to introduce what my email is about.
According to AWeber, it is a “A preheader is a short line of summary text that accompanies the subject line when viewing a message in your inbox.” It appears different in various email readers.
Here’s what a preheader looks like in Gmail. The preheaders in Gmail are a lighter grey and appear next to the subject line.
Here’s what a preheader looks like in Outlook. The preheaders are underneath the subject line. Both are noticeable and easily read.
When you use a preheader, you are given the opportunity to expand on the subject line and ultimately the content of the email, with a fresh short sentence.
That means you can increase your open rates because preheaders entice the reader with more content therefore creating a more engaging email.
They are especially helpful if you’re trying to cram in a lot of info into fewer words for a subject line. This can easily happen when you have a few sections in your newsletter that you want to bring the reader’s attention to.
For example, if you have a feature article, a sale on your products and a question of the month you can use your preheader to help provide that additional information to the reader when they first preview the email as 2 statements not 1.
What happens when you don’t use a preheader?
Depending on the email reader your subscribers use it could display as:
- Links and the alternate text of the header image following the subject line in the email reader’s preview.
- A blank space.
- An automated preheader that says “Not displaying correctly? View this email in your browser.”
Basically, a waste of online marketing space that has likely been overlooked. So the next time you send out an email, make use of the preheader!