How to Raise Open Rates by Using Email Preheaders


The first line of text that appears next to the subject line is the email preheaders.

Especially on mobile devices, email preheader is more eminent than the subject line in most cases. Therefore, preheaders that are created with high care can make your emails distinguished. 

According to our data, most campaigns are including email preheaders.

Subscribers will be selective regarding what they are going to open or not in terms of their emails.

When it comes to email preheaders and their functions such as combining them with your subject lines, let’s get into it more deeply.

Definition of email preheaders

The email preheader shows a brief description of your email. Those fragment of text is taken from your email or newsletter and is shown on most mobile phones that are running on iOS, Android, and also Gmail, and Outlook.

The significance of email preheaders is regarded as a chance to demonstrate insight and persuade the receivers to read the email by making them have a glance at its content.

How effective email preheaders are on email open rates?

Receivers of your emails are most likely to see the subject line and the preheader text before they decide whether to open it or not. Therefore, you need to stand out and differ from the others. Forming a promising preheader text and a subject line is crucial to catch the attention of your customers. Thereby, your open rates will rise after you select more promising email preheaders.

How long should it be?

The common suggestion for the preheader text is between 100-140 characters. However, it depends on your campaign and also the receivers’ email client (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) and device (desktop, mobile, etc.).

Also, keep in mind that the length of your email subject line on many desktop clients can dictate the length of your preheader. So keep subject lines below the recommended 40-50 characters to be safe.

Key Points for forming the most promising email preheaders

There are some key points regarding forming eye-catching preheaders to drive your receivers to read your emails.

First things first, you need to think about what might be the best fitting words while you’re wrapping up your ideas and content within the frame of a limited number of words. Thus, it should be very plain and highly related to the content.

1- Emphasize your email’s point

What’s the matter with your email on the customer’s end? It should point out a purpose such as promoting special deals or selling products.

Make the best of your preheader while reaching out to your customers and audience regarding the communication between you and your customers.

2– Use call to actions

Asking your contacts is not a thing to be ashamed of unless you’re performing a false or tricky marketing effort. Adding a precise call to action (CTA) into your preheader can lead your contacts to open your emails. CTAs could include “Join us now! Get your reward now!” etc.

3- Link your preheader with the subject line

As your subject line appears together with the preheader, they both need to be in harmony and compliance. It’s on your creativity and approach to creating attracting subject lines that are compliant with the preheaders.

4- Personalize the email preheaders

All of us want to feel a bit special when a company emails us right? They usually come up with “Hey mr.X We have a special offer just for you!” That sounds nice and attractive but sometimes, it may sound too salesy, therefore the balance should be adjusted carefully.  

5- Use emojis

Using emojis in your preheaders might look nice and pleasing to your contacts as they are considered highly eye-catching. By doing that, you can sharply stand out from the other text-based emails by just including an emoji. However, the frequency of using them is also important for your contacts to not make them evaluate your emails as spam or junk.

6- Perform A/B tests with your email preheaders

INBOX’s A/B testing tool is an extremely beneficial method of learning about the selection of email preheaders. You’ll be able to monitor the results of your two separate campaigns at the end of your sendings. By evaluating your results statistically, you can decide whether to go on with the first version or the second version in terms of email preheaders.

Adding preheader text to an email campaign

You can add or edit your preheader text in our drag & drop editor by creating a new email or switching to edit mode on a current email. By clicking on the block at the top of your email, you can easily add or edit your preheader text – you do not need HTML or programming skills.

You also have the option to include the preheader text in your actual email, or just have it appear in the preview area of the inbox. With the second option, readers will be able to see the text in their inbox, but it will not appear anywhere in the body of your email.


Email preheaders are a much-underused benefit that can help you get more open! If most other recipients are not using headers, you have an opportunity to break through the clutter in your inbox.

Use your subject lines and preheaders to make it clear why your email needs to be opened. Try it out and let us know if you see an increase in your open rates.

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