Preview Text

In the competitive landscape of email marketing, catching the recipient’s attention quickly is essential. One key element that helps achieve this is “preview text.” Often referred to as preheader text, this snippet of text follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. It serves as a secondary headline, offering additional context and enticing the recipient to open the email.

Implementation Examples

  1. Complementing Subject Lines: Preview text can be used to expand or complement the subject line. For instance, if your subject line is “Exclusive Offer Inside!”, your preview text could be “Get 20% off your next purchase today.”
  2. Creating Urgency: To capture immediate attention, businesses can include a sense of urgency. An example could be, “Sale ends tonight! Don’t miss out on great savings.”
  3. Personalization: Utilizing personalization techniques, preview texts can mention the recipient’s name or tailor the message based on their previous behavior. For example, “Jane, we have new arrivals just for you!”

Interesting Facts

  • Read Rates: According to a study by Litmus, 24% of people decide whether to open an email based on the preview text alone. This underscores its importance in driving open rates.
  • Industry Usage: Research shows that well-crafted preview texts can increase email open rates by up to 10%, making it a powerful tool for email marketers.
  • Mobile Influence: With more than 50% of emails being opened on mobile devices, concise and compelling preview text becomes even more crucial, as mobile email clients often display less of the subject line.

Other Relevant Information

Best Practices:

  • Length Considerations: Preview text typically displays between 40-140 characters, depending on the email client and device. Keeping it succinct and punchy is vital.
  • Relevance: Ensure that the preview text aligns well with the content of the email. Misleading preview texts can harm credibility and increase unsubscribe rates.
  • Testing: A/B testing different variations of preview text can help determine what resonates best with your audience. This insight can be invaluable for optimizing future campaigns.

Technical Setup:

  • HTML Emails: In HTML emails, the preview text is usually set using the <meta> tag or placed within the email’s header. Ensuring the correct implementation is vital for its effective display.

SEO Insights:

  • Keyword Usage: Including relevant keywords in your preview text can improve searchability in the inbox and make your email stand out among others.

Avoiding Pitfalls:

  • Repetitive Text: Avoid repeating the subject line in the preview text. This redundancy wastes valuable space that could be used to add more enticing information.
  • Filler Text: Ensure that the preview text doesn’t include irrelevant or placeholder text like “Click here to read more.” It should be engaging and deliver immediate value.

Advanced Techniques:

  • Emojis and Symbols: While the use of emojis and symbols in the subject line has become popular, they can also be effectively used in preview text to draw attention.
  • Lifecycle Emails: In lifecycle emails such as welcome campaigns or re-engagement emails, using tailored preview text can make the message more relatable and timely.


Preview text in email marketing serves as a pivotal element that can significantly impact open rates and overall campaign success. By complementing the subject line, creating a sense of urgency, and leveraging personalization, marketers can effectively engage recipients right from the inbox. Understanding best practices, technical implementation, and advanced techniques for utilizing preview text is crucial for any email marketing strategy. As consumer behavior continues to evolve, optimizing this small but mighty snippet can lead to substantial gains in engagement and conversion.

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