PreheaderIn an email, the preheader text is the text that appears after your email’s sender information and subject. Generally, the preheader is used to give you some insight into an email’s content before you open it.

Preheader text is easy to add to your email and can be a powerful tool that will help drive higher open and click rates. When customers receive your email, the subject and preheader text will be the key elements they will use to determine if opening and interacting with your email is worth their time. The preheader text allows you to reinforce your subject to help encourage your customer that opening your email will be a valuable experience.


What are Some Different Ways to Utilize Preheader Text?

Be Aware of Character Display Limits

Preheader text is generally brief because of the limited space it displays in your customer’s inbox, and because email clients set a strict limit on the number of preheader text characters they will display. In general, 40-50 characters is a good length to stick with because this will be acceptable for most email clients. For a more in depth breakdown, Litmus provides the following average character display counts for various, popular email clients:


  • Outlook 2013: 35
  • Outlook for Mac 2015: 55
  • Apple Mail: 140


  • AOL: 75
  • Gmail: varies depending on subject length
  • Yahoo: varies depending on subject length


  • Android Native Mail App: 40
  • iOS Native Mail App: 90
  • iOS Yahoo and Gmail Apps: 50
  • Windows Phone: 40

Given these limitations, you want to make sure every character counts!

Use the Preheader as an Extension of Your Subject

Rather than using your subject line and preheader text to convey separate pieces of information, you may get better results by using your preheader text to build upon the message in your subject. A good example would be the use of a question as your subject.


The preheader question is useful line because it helps attract recipients by relating directly to the the subject line. However, it is possible that the question may not be relevant for many of your recipients. In this case, the preheader text can be utilized to indicate to this second group of recipients why it is still worth their time to open your email and see what you have to say.

Include a Call-to-Action

Another simple but effective use of preheader text is a call-to-action. Simply telling the recipient to “click here” in the preheader can help drive opens.


If you want to have a little fun with your emails, you could use the preheader text in conjunction with your subject to mimic the format of Buzzfeed lists and similar types of articles. You have probably seen these online, especially on social media. The lists generally have a title like “top 10 shocking facts about bananas; you’ll never believe number 7” to present information to you, but also remain vague enough that you can’t resist checking it out.


Doing this could pique your recipients’ interest enough to cause them to open the email, but you need to be sure to not sound so extravagant that you come across as spam.

How Do I Add Text to My Email Send?

As of ClickDimensions version 6.7.1, the email send record includes a field labeled “preheader”. The text specified in this field will be used as the preheader text when you send out emails.

Using preheader text in your email sends can give recipients more context and help drive higher opens rates. Try using the preheader in your next send and see how it affects your results.

Happy Marketing!