You have refined the object, content and design of your email, your list is ready, but did you think of the Pre-Header? Often forgotten or wrongly neglected, the header of your message is greatly participating in the opening rate. Today we look at this key to better understand its importance, and how to optimize it to give your emails to be open by their recipients.

What is the Pre-Header?

In emailing, the pre-header, designates the visible text extract appearing after the sender’s name and the line of object of email when viewing the messages in your inbox. It is generally grayed and can, depending on the device and the e-mail service used, appear next door or below the object line.

Why is it important?

The preheader is an important element because it occupies a strategic place for the look of the one who consulted its emails. It is indeed on him that the eyes of the reader arises after the name of the sender and the object of the message. Even if the person does not open the message, it will read the Pre-Header anyway. It allows the reader to give the reader an overview of what the email contains and to convince him that the latter contains interesting information, that it is worthwhile to be read in relation to the quantity of other emails received.

The Pre-Header is a key element for the opening rate (30% increase after several studies conducted) and may be a real competitive advantage.

If you do not work your Pre-Header, your subscribers will meet with a generalized line of text with no connection with your communication, for example “you encounter difficulties to display this e-mail? Click here to view it in your web browser“. Admit that this gives immediate desire to click to read.

How many characters for the header?

The Pre-Header can not exceed a certain length, it is a factor to consider before you start in your text reflection. Indeed, you will have the best possible header, if it is half-coupe, its impact may be rather disappointing. Start by informing you about Pre-Header’s characters in the most common mail providers. Also know that the header shares his space with the object, which means that their lengths influence each other. You must therefore find the right balance and stay concise.

The size of the pre-header varies according to the email provider and the device used. On a computer, count on average 35 characters. On a smartphone, count on average 40 to 50 characters.

Some tools provide an overview of the object line and the header, for example: Omnisend, CoSchedule, Zurb, Test Subject, etc.

How to optimize your email preheader ?

Best practices for optimizing your pre-header

1# differentiate the pre-header of the object

You do not have a lot of space, do not waste it by repeating the object in the Pre-Header. Both must be completed and followed harmoniously. They must tell a story together and summarize the content of the email.

The information can in itself be the same, but they must be expressed in a rather different way so as not to give a repeat impression to the reader. For example, you can put a little more detail to develop the object, summarize the contents of the email, etc.

2# Prove curiosity

Give some information, but stay just what it takes a wave for teaser, create a suspense. Let a slight mystery, ask an intriguing question that makes the recipient want to open the email to learn more.

Examples: Need of sun? / Do you want to relax?

3# Stay concise

You can give some details, but these should be chosen strategically to avoid expanding and exceeding the ideal number of characters for a good reading. In addition, the timeliness of the subscriber is very short, so it is necessary to quickly hang.

4# Customize the preheader

The personalization of the preheader is a great way to make it more attractive and relevant, to effectively attract the recipient’s attention. Today’s consumers are becoming more and more sensitive to human aspect and want to talk directly about them, their needs. For this, you can use the name of the person, but also his tastes, his centers of interest collected by building your personas, etc.

Examples: You who love… / Want to…

5# Play on the lack and feeling of rarity

You probably know the term “fomo” (“Fear of Missing Out”), designating the fear of missing something, the fear of missing. This phenomenon, largely amplified by the digitization of daily life, causes in people a sudden and almost imperative desire to get a product if it is rare or limited. It is an excellent motivation factor and action often used in marketing. In your Pre-Header, make your readers understand in a few words and subtle that the offer is special, temporary, limited, etc.

Examples: Limited stocks / Limited places / More than x days to enjoy…

6# Integrate a CTA

Place a simple and attractive Call-to-Action in the Pre-Header is an excellent practice to encourage the recipient to open your email.

Examples: Open quickly to discover… / More crispy details by clicking…

7# Use emojis

Emojis are a great way to draw the attention of your subscribers, caring more clearly and efficiently than mere words (fun, joy, mystery, excitement, etc.). If you use them, do it sparingly and make sure they are in line with your message. However, keep in mind that emojis are not suitable for all brands or types of offers.

Think about the A/B test

A/B testing is essential to optimize the efficiency of your pre-header. Try different techniques and combinations for your header and object display to see what works best. By integrating this into your routine, you increase your chances of getting the best possible opening rate for your email.

Everything is important in your marketing email campaign, including the smallest details. This also applies to the header who, although sometimes she may seem insignificant, is actually a major element to take into account since it is largely he who will lead or not to open your valuable email.