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What is a Pre-header in an Email?
What is a Pre-header in an Email?

In this article, discover what a pre-header is in an email, its importance, how to craft effective pre-headers, and best practices.

Daria Kovalova avatar
Written by Daria Kovalova
Updated over a week ago

What is a Pre-header in an Email?

In the world of email marketing and communication, every element of an email serves a purpose. One such crucial element, often overlooked, is the pre-header text. This article will delve into the concept of a pre-header in an email, its importance, how to write effective pre-headers, and best practices for using them.

Understanding Pre-header Text in Emails

The pre-header, also known as the email preview text, is a snippet of text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. It usually offers a brief summary or a continuation of the subject line, giving recipients a sneak peek into the email content without opening it.

While the subject line captures the recipient's attention, the pre-header text provides additional context, reinforcing the subject line and increasing the likelihood of the email being opened. Given its potential impact on open rates, the pre-header text is a significant aspect of email marketing strategy.

Importance of Pre-header Text

The pre-header text plays several critical roles in email communication:

Enhances Open Rates

By providing a preview of the email content, the pre-header text can pique the recipient's curiosity, prompting them to open the email. This can lead to improved open rates.

Complements the Subject Line

The pre-header text can complement the subject line by providing additional information or clarifying the subject line's message, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the email.

Provides Value and Context

Even before opening the email, recipients can derive value and context from the pre-header text. This is particularly important as inboxes become more cluttered, and users look for reasons to open (or delete) emails.

Crafting Effective Pre-header Text

Creating impactful pre-header text requires careful consideration. Here are some tips:

Keep It Short and Concise

Pre-header text is typically between 40-90 characters, depending on the email client and device. Keep your message concise to ensure it's fully visible in the inbox.

Align with the Subject Line

The pre-header should support and expand upon the subject line, providing a coherent and engaging message.

Create Curiosity

Where possible, use the pre-header text to intrigue the recipient and encourage them to open the email.

Include a Call to Action

A clear call to action in the pre-header can encourage recipients to open the email and engage with its content.

Best Practices for Using Pre-header Text

When using pre-header text in your emails, consider the following best practices:

  1. Avoid Repeating the Subject Line: The pre-header text should complement, not repeat, the subject line. Use this space to provide new information or context.

  2. Personalize: Personalization can increase engagement. Consider using the recipient's name or other personal details in the pre-header text.

  3. Test and Optimize: Use A/B testing to determine what type of pre-header text resonates with your audience. Monitor open rates and adjust your strategy accordingly.


In conclusion, the pre-header text in an email is a powerful tool that, when used effectively, can enhance open rates and engagement. By understanding its importance and applying the tips and best practices for crafting effective pre-header text, marketers and communicators can significantly improve their email performance. Remember, the subject line may grab the recipient's attention, but a well-crafted pre-header could be the deciding factor that gets your email opened.

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