5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Open Rates Using Irresistible Pre-header Text

Email Marketing Preheader


No doubt the battle for attention in the inbox is fierce.


People’s inboxes are bursting at the seams.


According to a DMR research the average person receives 121 business emails in a day as brands fight to gain people’s interest on the most profitable channel of all — email. Companies push everything from free trials to paid products or services through countless email campaigns.

Worse, recent studies show people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter by the day.


To get your email opened and read, you’ve got to go an extra mile.


That’s where the pre-header text comes in to rescue the situation. Arguably, pre-headers are the most underrated and underutilized aspect of email marketing. In this post, I’m going to show you five simple ways to increase your email open rates through crafting seductive pre-header text.


First, let’s get the basics out of the way.


What Is A Pre-header And Why Do You Need One?

Pre-header text is a bit of text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox.


It gives the recipient a chance to preview the content of a message and decide if it’s worthwhile to open it.



Source: Email Marketing Tipps


In a sense the pre-header is like a second subject line.  It’s another opportunity to give a user the final push to open an email.


Here’s how to write a compelling pre-header that entices readers to open your emails every time.




Let’s get started.


#1. Pose an intriguing question

By posing the right question to your readers, you take advantage of human nature.


Because human psychology demands an answer to a question.

A well-phrased relevant question forces readers to open the email to satisfy their curiosity and find out the answer to the nagging question.

Jacob McMillen, a top marketing copywriter certainly caught my attention by asking a searching question.


email marketing


Although this is a headline, the technique can easily be used on pre-headers as well. The urge to find out how a solopreneur beat $500 million dollar companies is almost unbearable.

That’s how powerful a question can be.


#2. Weave FOMO into your copy

Fear of missing out or FOMO as its popularly known is another powerful method of getting more opens.


FOMO is a mighty driving force — it pushes people to act fast.


Nobody wants to lose out on the good stuff other people are enjoying.

Waitrose Wine used FOMO to encourage users to make last minute purchases and clear their wine stock.


email marketing


        Source: Email Marketing Tipps


The pre-header fuels readers’ appetite for a drink by screaming ‘Don’t miss our wine clearance’. This makes it more likely for them to check out the message.


#3. Hook readers through WIIFM

People are selfish by nature.


They don’t give a hoot about your brand.


All they want to know when interacting with people and brands is: “What’s In It For Me” (WIIFM). What can I get from this? That’s all they care about. Give them that and they’ll eat from the palm of your hand all day long.


But how do you do that?


In a word: benefits.


Show them how they’ll benefit from opening your email. Giving readers a sneak peak of the juiciest benefit they’ll get can lure them to open your email.


One Kings Lane lead with the steep discounts they’re offering.


email marketing


Source: Email Acid


Who would pass up such a deal?


Certainly, most would be tempted to look into the message.


#4. Tantalize emotions through emoji

Emojis are all the rage in digital marketing right now and that for a good reason.


They add hard-to-ignore visual interest. Slip in a relevant emoji and your email instantly stands out from the pack.


Experian conducted a study on the use of emojis in the subject line of an email. According to the research, the open rate of emails with emojis in the subject line was 56% higher compared to bare ones.


Wayfair found an engaging way of making their message stand out of their subscribers’ inboxes by using the clapping hands emoji.


email marketing

Source: Ometria


Emojis are a fun way of attracting your audience. But use them rarely otherwise they lose their appeal.


#5. Personalize the opening

Another stupid-easy way of penning dynamic pre-header copy readers can’t resist is personalization.


According to the State of Digital Personalization report, 82% of marketers reported an increase in open rates through email personalization, while 75% believe it yields higher click-through rates.

Philips Chrysler enticed their subscriber by including her name in the pre-header.


email marketing


Source: Practical Ecommerce


It’s been said the sweetest sound in any language is one’s name. Certainly, Carolyn’s heart warms up to the email when she sees her name.


Pre-headers: The Secret Ingredient To More Opens


Don’t waste your precious pre-header space.


It’s prime marketing estate you should take full advantage of.


The pre-header text is a subtle weapon savvy marketers use to increase open rates and supercharge their marketing campaigns.


With a bit of creativity you too can come up with winning pre-headers that grow your business.



According to his cheeky wife’s baseless claims, Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy, is an irresistibly handsome dude. He helps SMBs rapidly grow their income and impact through actionable long-form content that ranks high, builds authority, and generates tons of leads. He is a contributor to top blogs like Crazy Egg, Search Engine People, Techwyse, AWAI, and more.

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