How to Increase Email Open Rates – Email Preview Text

You want your next email marketing campaign to succeed? The first step is to get it delivered to your prospective and current customers’ inbox. The next, is to get them to open it.

With typical email open rates of only 20-30%, there is lots of room for improvement! Once you spend countless hours crafting the perfect subject line, you have done all you can... right? Not quite. Adding email preview text can increase the open rate.

So, what is email preview text?

Email preview text is the short line of text that displays beside or underneath the email’s subject line. Sometimes it is referred to as preheaders or snippets. Regardless of what you call it, it is one more piece of a successful email marketing strategy.

Here's an example of the default iPhone Mail display:


Most email clients (such as Gmail, iPhone Mail, and Outlook) will pull the first line of text from the body of the email and use it as preview text. This may be better than nothing. But to take full advantage of this, you must write a unique line of text that reinforces your subject line.

How to use email preview text?

The exact way to implement this will depend on the service you use for email marketing. We most often use MailChimp (we’re MailChimp experts by the way) and add the ability to customize preview text to each template we create.

If your email template does not already have the option for preview text your options may be limited. In a pinch, you may be able to get by with adding a line of text to the very top of each email. Yet, it is best to have email preview text built directly into the template.

Whatever option is chosen, it is essential to write a custom line of text to be used for each email campaign.

Wrapping it up

You spend countless hours (hopefully a slight exaggeration) creating your email campaigns. Why wouldn't you put a little extra time into increasing the number of recipients opening it? Email preview text works alongside the subject line to encourage them to open the email.

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