Email Preheader Best Practices Guaranteed to Boost Open Rates


An email preheader is the dark horse of your email marketing, and if you follow these best practices, you’ll see your open rates quickly go up.

Email marketing is a great way to reach your target market and connect with consumers. And when done right, it can effectively get the word out about your promotions and build brand awareness and loyalty. Did you know that email marketing generates $42 for every $1 spent in 2023? That makes it one of the most effective options available.

A well-crafted email will spark action in the reader, which will in turn lead to increased sales and visibility. However, if your email never gets opened, it doesn’t matter how brilliant and well-thought-out your content is.

That’s where your preheader comes in — a vital tool in enticing recipients to click on your email instead of scrolling past or deleting it, unread. It’s the text that appears just below, or next to, the subject line. 

These few words are your dangling carrot — so here are four best practices to help catch the eye of your reader and get them extra incentive to open your email.

Email Preheader Best Practices

1. Build on the subject line

Remember this is your presentation to those looking at your email, so do not merely repeat the subject line or introduce your company’s name again. Readers will know who you are by glancing at the ‘From:’ column. You need to excite them with your preheader: give them a clear offer, or get them curious about what’s beneath the fold. Ask yourself: What is it they want? What do they want to know? Give that to them.

2. Experiment with line breaks

If you can, create a cliffhanger of sorts. Break off your header at a point that leaves the reader in need of more information. For example, offering a free guide to fall style, travel tips, or a tasty new recipe.

3. Highlight an irresistible offer

Use this space to promote any exceptional discounts or promotions like free shipping. Make it irresistible! Introduce the offer, so they know what kind of savings or deals to expect, but make them click to get the bulk of the information. Add a time limit to create a sense of urgency, and let them know if there’s a limit to the products to develop a sense of scarcity.

4. Communicate your tagline

You don’t always want to push sales, as it appears, well, pushy. The preheader can also communicate your brand’s tagline, vision, or positive values. Email content shouldn’t always focus specifically on sales; sometimes, it merely should include updates or even enriching educational material to benefit the reader. Your preheader can reflect this type of content too.

Preheaders should use wit and creativity while giving readers a direct call to action and the nudge they need to find out the message contained inside. Use them wisely, and you will boost your open rates exponentially. Remember: 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email, so cater to all audiences.

Don’t let your emails end up in the trash, start optimizing your email marketing strategy and boosting conversion rates. Schedule a call with our NetSuite email marketing experts if you want to create a personalized email marketing campaign for your eCommerce business.

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