Making more of your emails with pre-headers

16th November 2012 By Louis Simpson in Deliverability

First of all, what are pre-headers?

A pre-header is the text blurb that appears after your subject line within an email client. By default, it is made up of the first line of readable text within an email so you will usually see a pre-header for the most part as being "Email not looking right? Click here to view in your browser" as this is usually the first readable line of text.

Pre-headers in Gmail

What's the benefit of using a custom pre-header?

When you are competing for attention in your recipient's inbox, using a custom pre-header may be the deciding factor for opening your email. iPhones, being one of the most used devices for checking emails, shows pre-headers underneath the subject line of an email.

Utilising pre-headers offers more explanation of what the email is about without the recipient having to open the email, and when we know that recipients usually have a limited time frame looking at emails, this can be a good advantage.

Should you be using pre-headers?

This is the million dollar question – but the best approach to finding out whether you need to make use of pre-headers or not is to look at your current open rates.

If you are getting good results each time, then you may not have to worry about custom pre-headers. However if you find yourself looking at opens that aren't what you are expecting, then making use of custom pre-headers is definitely something to try - test your pre-headers and find out if you get an increase in opens.

How do you start using custom pre-headers?

There are a few different ways to use start using custom pre-headers – all ranging from simple use to more advanced HTML skills.

The easiest method is to create a section at the top of your email which starts with the text you want to appear as a pre-header.

Comic Relief using pre-headers

What you can see from this example is that it is visible once the email has been opened, but this allows you to easily update it across multiple email campaigns.

Give custom pre-headers a go and see if it makes a different to your opens. If you get some interesting results then feel free to share what you find out.

Louis Simpson
About the Author

Louis Simpson

Louis is a support advisor for little green plane, answering client queries and assisting on a range of technical issues. Louis and the rest of the support team ensure the customer service you experience with little green plane is second-to-none; guiding you through the email marketing process from start to finish in a business language that you understand.