Improve your preheader and ramp up your open rate!

When you create an email campaign and take a great deal of care and time on crafting the content, layout and landing page, you want to see results, you want to catch the attention of your target audience and you want them to perform the expected action.

Therefore, you need to stack the odds in your favor if you are first going to encourage recipients to open your message.

As you know, carefully choosing the subject for the campaign is mission-critical to its success. But do you actually spend any time on the preheader? Or are you like the many marketing professionals who do not give the preheader a second thought and simply allow the email program to fill it in automatically?

Why not take advantage of ALL the opportunities available for maximizing your campaign’s chances of success?

We are going to explain the reasons why you should not ignore the preheader and how you can ratchet up its performance.

What exactly is the preheader?

In case you are not aware of what a preheader is, it is the line of text that appears alongside or beneath the subject line of an email in the recipient’s inbox. The preheader offers a preview of the email’s content. It is displayed at the top of the message in the email’s header.

The display size of the preheader depends on the recipient’s email program and the device used to view the email (PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc.).

Why is it so important to enhance the preheader?

Since it can be seen alongside the email subject line, it represents an additional advantage for encouraging recipients to open your message.

It offers a preview of your email’s content, while supplementing and reinforcing the subject line.

Therefore, taking care over the preheader will have a direct impact on your campaign’s open rate, which in turn may influence the click-through rate.

You need to bear in mind that the people targeted by our campaigns receive several emails every day. Why not make the most of this extra space to improve your chances of success?

If you do not bother to optimize the preheader, it will automatically be filled in using the first few lines of your email. It would be a shame if your preheader featured “If you cannot view this email correctly, click here”, which often happens when the email content starts with a mirror page link.

How do you optimize it?

Just like the subject line, you only have a few characters to convince your recipients.

The length of the preheader depends on the email program used by your recipients, so you should count on an average length of 35 characters. If you go over this number, your sentence could be truncated. Therefore, you need to put the important information at the beginning.

To catch the recipients’ attention, the preheader must logically follow on from the subject line, which should encourage them to open the message and find out more.

Personalizing the preheader can also be a good way of catching the eye.

Giving the preheader that human touch will make recipients feel directly concerned, even before they have opened the message.

For example:

Subject: How to optimize your preheader

Preheader: Martin, boost your email campaigns!

Prompting recipients to take action can also help your emails stand out. By creating a sense of urgency, making a promise, offering an exclusive deal or unveiling a new product, you will catch your recipients’ attention and make them want to find out more!

To modify the preheader, simply place it just in front of the mirror page link. It should be the first content that recipients can see when they open the email.

As you know, the challenge facing marketing professionals designing email campaigns is taking full advantage of all the options and resources available for rising above the competition and attracting recipients.

Do not forget that the preheader and subject line go hand-in-hand. They complement one another and can improve your open rate. So do not miss out on this opportunity to turbocharge your performance!

Infographic - Anatomy of an effective email message

About the Author


TraceParts is one of the world’s leading CAD-content platforms for Engineering, Industrial Equipment and Machine Design. TraceParts brings highly targeted Lead Generation marketing services to hundreds of customers of all sizes and from all industries, via powerful cloud-based API and SaaS applications such as 3D part libraries, product catalogs and configurators.

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