One of the most ubiquitous benchmarks tracked by email marketers is the percentage open rates. As a marketer, you know how important nailing the right subject line is. But there is more you could be doing to ensure the success of your next email marketing campaign.
What is email preview text?
Something a lot of companies don’t realize is that many email clients will display a short snippet of text next to the subject line which shows a preview of what’s inside the email.
This helps people get a quick glimpse of the content of the email without having to click through.
Here are two examples. In one, the email preview text has been optimized and contains a strong call to action to encourage people to open it. In the other, the preview text was just auto-generated and tells the person nothing about what’s inside
How can I control what gets displayed?
Email clients that show preview text (such as Gmail) will automatically generate this text by pulling it straight from the first few lines of text that appear in your email.
So all you need to do to control what text appears in the email preview is make sure that the very first words in your email are what you want to show up in the preview.
Here’s what I mean. In the example below, the very first words that appear in the email are what show up in the preview area of the email in the optimized example above.
You can still include your standard header links like “Mobile version”, “Web version”, “Forward to a friend”, “Not displaying correctly? View in browser”, or whatever you normally include at the top of your emails. Just make sure that preview text appears before it (and make sure it also appears above the header image!)
The bottom line
People use preview text to determine whether an email is relevant enough to be worth opening, or if it should just be checked off to go straight to the trash.
Make sure to optimize your preview text for every email marketing campaign you run.