Preheaders are a powerful marketing tool. They can influence your email marketing campaigns, as they increase your click through rates, which is every email marketer’s main goal. With some understanding, creativity, and ingenuity, you just may find yourself using them in your next email campaign.
What is an email preheader?
A preheader is usually a brief line or two of content, placed on the top of an email, newsletter, online publication, or website. When preheaders are used on a website, they are placed on top of a particular graphic, such as a logo, emblem, or brand name symbol. Usually, it is the very first thing that an email subscriber sees and notices. In many instances, aside from the subject line, it is the only text displayed in an email’s preview pane. With that said, you can easily see its power and potential.
There are two primary ways in which email marketers use preheaders. They are used as the call to action or as an additional text tease snippet. As you can see by the example below, this simple, but highly effective preheader is being used as a call to action.
More and more email marketers are utilizing preheaders. As with any email marketing campaign, there are so many different strategies when looking to target a specific market. However, there are general foundational principles that will work for all.
Maintain relevancy and clarity. Never overdo your preheaders. Keep them short. Do not use them as an additional paragraph for your content. A good preheader is emphasizing a promotion, sale, or an important announcement. Employ them to amplify your message with a link to your website for further reading. Like an arrow, they need to hit the mark quickly.
Why are preheaders successful? A picture stays in the recipient’s mind. This snippet builds interest and curiosity. You are giving enough information while making it worthwhile to find out more. A preheader cuts right to the chase. It is not wasting your recipient’s time with too many words and graphics. A preheader puts the value right up front. You know what the offer is without having to read any further.
Use preheaders to:
· Announce a special sale with a link to your landing page.
· Link to an online version of your e-mail.
· Ask subscribers to add your e-mail address to their address book and white lists
· Deliver a dynamic one-line summary of your content to provoke their curiosity to read further.
· Remind your subscribers why they are getting this email and who it is from.
· Provide coupon information for a promotion.
· Inform subscribers of a time-limited sale.
Do not forget to test your preheaders
Creating the right preheader is important. As with any email marketing campaign, testing is the only way to be sure you have your target’s interest. As you would do with any A/B testing, create a few preheaders, sending different ones to a segmented group on your list. Track the results, gathering your click-through rate stats. By doing this, you can see which one gets the best results.
Every part of your email marketing campaign needs to be optimized and tested. Using preheaders shows us that the top portion of our campaigns can really have a powerful impact on our click through rates, resulting in higher ROI returns. Every portion of your email campaign is a valuable piece of real estate. Build wisely.
About the Author
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+