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Preheader : encourage your contacts to open your emails

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The preheader is often used incorrectly only to display the link to the web version of an email marketing campaign. If the web copy has to be included in your message, there is no need to display it in the inbox preview. This mention must be integrated further in the body of the message so that it does not appear in the pre-header. This would not bring any additional information to your recipient about the content of your newsletter and will therefore not encourage him/her to open your campaign. Repeating the subject line in the preheader is also inefficient but still is another common habit. You will need to find the right length and wording to catch the attention of your contacts.


Definitions and tips


What is an email preheader?


This is a short text that is displayed in the preview of an email in the recipients’ inbox, often next to or below the subject of the email.


Preheader preview


The preheader is displayed in the preview of your recipients inbox but will not appear in the body of your email campaign message.


Fill in the subject of the email


If the purpose of the subject line is to define the topic of your emailing campaign in a few words, the pre-header completes it by summarizing the content of the message or by arousing the readers’ attention with a teasing effect.


Keep your preheader short

The information you wish to communicate through your pre-header must be understandable in the first 30 characters. If your message is too long, it may be cut off and therefore incomprehensible. So make sure you include the heart of your message in the first characters of your pre-header.

Personalize your preheader

You can add the first name/name of your recipients in the preheader to catch their attention. You just have to insert the dynamic personalization fields available in Mailify to set up a personalized preheader in matter of seconds. However, be careful not to overuse personalization. It is useless to personalize the subject, the preheader and the body of your message. Find the right balance by personalizing only one of these three elements.


What is the ideal length for a preheader?

The main issue in writing a preheader is that the displayed length varies according to the inboxes and the reading media (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.) used by your recipients. Generally speaking, the ideal length recommended to display correctly in most inboxes is 30 to 35 characters.


Below are three tables presenting the number of characters displayed by some email clients, ISP (Internet Service Provider), webmails and reading media. Please note that these numbers may vary from one device to another depending on the settings of the inboxes (especially the width reserved for email previews) and the screen size.


Computer-based email clients


Email clients




Mobile messaging applications

Email App



How to create a preheader with Mailify?

No technical knowledge is required to add a preheader to your emailing campaigns with Mailify. You just have to fill in the «Pre-header» field in the «Edition» step of your campaign.


Mailify Preheader

An indicator helps you to determine the ideal length of your preheader.


Preheader si too long

If it is too long, the indicator will be yellow or red. This is a guideline based on an estimation of the readability of your pre-header in the most common inboxes. This indicator can in no way reveal the quality or relevance of the wording of your preheader.

Warning: If you forget to fill in a preheader for your emailing in the dedicated field, the first sentence of the body of your message will displayed by default as a preheader by webmails and other inboxes.


Not many companies use the preheader correctly in their emailing, even though it allows them to stand out and encourage their recipients to find out more about their products or services.

To write a good preheader, you should therefore keep it short, give additional information to the subject of your email and use catchy terms to arouse the curiosity of your recipients.


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