You might well have noticed a certain lack of professionalism regarding the use of pre-headers in email marketing being shown by the giants in the business. Yet their effective use can, and probably will, increase open rates dramatically. If you don’t plan your pre-headers carefully you are losing sales and therefore profits.
I know I should not let it irritate me, but every time I see ‘Having problems viewing this email?’ as pre-header text I almost give in to the urge to reply to it. We should be able to use them as an example. There are other common errors. One company uses the same text for every marketing email, which shows a singular lack of thought, and one that is inexcusable.
There’s lots of advice regarding what should be included, the universal one being that pre-header text should explain or expand whatever was mentioned in the Subject Line. It’s hard to argue against. One well thought-out pre-header will capture the attention of subscribers. If you’ve included the word Sale! in the Subject Line, for reasons I might not agree with, a flourish of the percentage reduction, especially if it includes ‘All Lines’, it’s just the sort of thing which will encourage anyone to open it.
Personalise your pre-header. Someone who opened your previous marketing email might react to ‘Even more bargains than last week’. If they completed in the previous campaign, and the item can be used with it, then ‘Increases productivity of a [whatever] by around 10%’ writes itself.
It is not written in stone that you should build on whatever is in the Subject Line; you must even test consensus, If it said, ‘The next best tablet‘, telling them, ‘To discover what this is, open the email’ might well intrigue them further. If they trust you, they’ll probably follow your instructions.
It can be useful to be chatty. For a holiday on an exclusive beach with lots of activities, how about ‘Very few people will see you when you wipe out’? It enhances the exclusivity, as well as the promise of fun.
Whatever else you do, get everything you can from the pre-header.