Using preheaders in your emails

Why preheaders are important and best practice for using them

Oskar Smith avatar
Written by Oskar Smith
Updated over a week ago

What is a preheader?

A preheader is that little bit of summary text that follows the subject line when viewing an email from the inbox. It’s mostly used to give the recipient some extra information to understand what the email includes and encourage you to open it. Here’s an example of how it displays in Gmail:

Why should you use one?

Various email service providers behave differently when it comes to formatting your emails. If you don’t use a preheader, you will be prone to end up with all sorts of unhelpful text populating this field for you, such as a repeated subject line or the option to view the email online. 

Above everything else, in a crowded market, you need to do everything in your power to stand out. Using a preheader gives you that extra opportunity to entice your recipient and keep those engagement levels high.

A couple of best-practice tips

Use personalisation

Inserting a first name tag into any part of your email is always good for engagement levels and the preheader is no different. Say your subject line is ‘You look hungry’, your preheader could be ‘Seriously Faye, you really need to see this.’ 

Questions can be powerful

Using questions is an effective way of encouraging high open and click rates. For us to respond to a question only seems natural, right? It’s also a good way of making the subject of the email clear to the recipient, for example, if you’re doing an email out around ‘World Cocktail Day’, in your preheader you could ask the reader ‘Do you like Piña Coladas?’. This should encourage the reader to open (and maybe burst into song, but that’s beside the point). 

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