How to Use Preview Text to Stand Out

The other day I was taking a walk downtown and saw a sign for a bakery. The bakery’s display case was full of freshly baked cupcakes and cookies. The pile of scrumptious treats made my mouth water and made me want to know what else they offered inside.

As an email marketer, you need a good subject line that acts as a sign outside a bakery…as well as something that draws people in like a plate of tasty cupcakes. A great way to give people a sneak peak of what will appear inside the email is preview text. Preview text is the short text that follows the subject line when an email is viewed in some email clients.

Preview Text Inbox

This preview text is automatically extracted from the message body, and is typically the first line of text in the message. Sometimes it’s easy to add a specific line of text to the beginning of a message, to make sure that the preview text gives subscribers a better idea what lies in the email content.

However, sometimes it’s not possible to add an extra text to the top of an email that begins with your company’s logo and maybe a view as web page link. With Critical Impact, you can easily customize the preview text without having to add a line of visible text to the top of your emails. Our preview text option is added to the top of the message, but is hidden when the email is opened.

When you set up a message send in Critical Impact, you’ll have the option to add this hidden preview text to the top of the message. Ask our team how to enable this option in your account!

Advantages of Using Preview Text

  1. Can place the most important information in the subscriber’s preview pane, so that they can see your key offer without opening the message.
  2. Can help increase open rates by letting your subscribers know why the message is relevant to them.
  3. Subscribers are less likely to mark your message as spam if they quickly understand why they’re being sent the message.

Tips to Write Compelling Preview Text

  1. Include your key offer or main point of the message campaign.
  2. Encourage them to open the message by giving teaser text that can only be fully understood by opening the message. For example, “One of our favorite breakfasts to make on Saturday morning is…”  This text leaves us wondering, what IS your favorite breakfast recipe??
  3. Don’t use the same text in the subject line. Instead, make sure the preview text works hand in hand with the subject line.
  4. Try personalizing the preview text with the subscriber’s first name.
  5. Make the preview text around 40-90 characters. The amount of characters shown will vary based on browser width and email client.

You’ll be surprised what a difference one line of text can make in the opens from your next email campaign!

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