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Why do I need to fill out a pre-header?
Why do I need to fill out a pre-header?

In this article you will read what a pre-header is and why it is smart to fill it out.

Carola avatar
Written by Carola
Updated over a week ago

In Reloadify it is possible to fill in a pre-header. Your pre-header is very important to boost your open rate and conversion. In this article you will read how and why a pre-header is so important. You will also find some best practices for your pre-header.

1. What is a pre-header?

A pre-header - also called an e-mail preview - is the text that e-mail providers display as a short summary of your newsletter.

Email providers normally automatically display the first paragraph of text from the HTML of an email, both on desktop and mobile. The length of this preheader displayed depends on the screen size, the device being used and the email provider. Pfff, does it make sense to set this for every email? Yes, it does!

For example, this could look like this:

Subject line: You forgot something...
Pre-header: Now free shipping for 24 hours! Be quick!

Preheader je bent wat vergeten

This is actually an extra piece of text to entice your customer to open the email. Your pre-header is visible after your subject line, as you can see above.

This is where you can pique the reader's interest. It is a missed opportunity not to fill in this text. The way it works is that when you don't fill in any text, the e-mail client that reads your e-mail will take a pre-header from your e-mail. Most likely the first text will be visible, like this:

Je bent wat vergeten Pre-header

Which email do you find more inciting to action? πŸ€”

2. Why is a pre-header so important?

A pre-header is important because it gives you a chance to use your copy to persuade customers to open the email, proceed to purchase and so on. If you don't take advantage of this opportunity it's actually a bit of a waste. Research has even shown that your open rate is many times higher when you have a good pre-header. But of course you already expected that when you see the examples above!

Besides the fact that a better pre-header ensures a higher open rate, it has two other important advantages:

  • Better (mobile) usability

  • Less spam alerts

By optimizing your preheader you take into account both your desktop and mobile users. Your mobile users simply have a smaller screen, in which the pre-header is sometimes even more prominent. Therefore, the rule for your pre-header is: make it as direct as possible.

πŸ‘‰ The ideal pre-header text is between 40 and 130 characters long. This way you take into account your mobile and desktop users. Spaces count with these characters!

In addition, it's immediately clear to the recipient what the email is about, so they won't mark it as spam or refer it to the trash as quickly.

3. Best practices for your pre-header

Here are four best practices for email pre-header:

  • Add a call-to-action

  • Make your subject line and pre-header text work together

  • Don't repeat the subject line

  • Use the pre-header to generate curiosity (so don't just summarize)

It sounds so simple! And. the longer you think about it, the more it makes sense.

3.1 Add a call-to-action

Don't have a call to action in your subject line yet? Then it makes sense to add a call to action to the pre-header. Asking for action from your customer is sometimes all you need to do. Some great examples are:

  • Open fast and find out!

  • Open this mail before it's too late

  • Order now and receive your package tomorrow!

  • Free shipping, only now!

  • Try now, you're not tied to anything

As you can see, I try to put the most important words up front. People love the word free. Free shipping, free gift, free return. You name it.

3.2 Make your subject line and pre-header text work together

Open door? Yes and no. We often see that the subject line and pre-header text have nothing to do with each other. And yet they can reinforce each other very well.

A few examples:

In these three examples, you almost read through from your subject line to your pre-header, as it were. They work together πŸ™Œ

3.3 Don't repeat your subject line

What you don't want is to repeat yourself. Sometimes the power of repetition is very good. In this case, not at all. Take a look at the example below:

Why would you want to say the same thing twice? This is irritating and a waste of the pre-header. Because what exactly do you want to say?

3.4 Use the pre-header to arouse curiosity

George Loewenstein, behavioral economist, published an article back in 1994 on the best way to make your customers curious. He suggested five ways:

  1. Ask a curiosity-inducing question

  2. Start a series of events, but don't finish them (e.g., an unfinished story)

  3. Fail to meet expectations

  4. Imply that you have information they don't have

  5. Imply that they used to know something, something they have since forgotten

Make smart use of these questions when creating your pre-header. Some examples:

  • How much of a discount are you scoring today? (way 1)

  • Imagine... 70% off with a little extra.... (way 2)

  • Are you sure you want to leave your shopping cart? (way 3)

  • This is how you score 70% off today! (method 4)

  • Last chance: 70% off until today! (method 5)

Of course these five ways can be combined with each other. Be careful that you don't want to combine them all. In that way you might create unfair pre-headers and pre-headers that look like clickbate. You want to avoid that.

So, now to apply the pre-headers in your emails! Good luck! πŸ™Œ

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