Want to increase your email open rate? Use preview text!
In this post we’re going to explore why compelling email preview text is a critical component of email open rate optimisation.
What is email preview text?
If unspecified by the email creator, preview text will default to show the first line of your email — or worse, a scramble of HTML code!
Conversely, well-crafted preview text can dramatically boost the open rate of your emails. In the Litmus joint survey with Fluent, they found that 24% of respondents look at the preview text first when deciding whether to open an email. While WeddingWire saw a 30% increase in click-through rates by testing preview text. Yes… it’s that important!
How to optimize it
Keep it short and friendly. The perfect character limit for a preview text is 35 — as software like Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 only support up to 35 characters. However, it is important to note that older versions of Outlook (such as 2003, 2007 and 2010) do not support preview text.
Android native email app supports only 40 characters for the preview text, while iOS email app supports up to 90 characters (this limit can be changed by the phone owner), and the iOS Gmail app allows 45 characters. (Note: These figures are the average number of characters able to be displayed on these apps/platforms.)
So, if you want the best chance of making your preview text cross-platform friendly, stick to 35 characters max.
Examples of preview text
Preview text in Gmail (highlighted in green):
Preview text on iPhone (highlighted in green):
As highlighted above, if you don’t optimise your emails by adding email preview text, your emails could end up like the one below. Not a great look, and it’s unlikely to instill trust or win you any clients or customers!
How to create email preview text?
You can create your email preview text by adding the code below to the top your email’s html code (if you have the body element in your html, add the code beneath your email’s body element).
Don’t forget to change
ADD YOUR EMAIL PREVIEW TEXT HERE with your email preview text!
<div style="display: none; max-height: 0; mso-hide: all; height: 0; visibility: hidden; overflow: hidden;"> ADD YOUR EMAIL PREVIEW TEXT HERE </div>
<!-- do not show the rest of email in the preview -->
<div style="display: none; max-height: 0; mso-hide: all; height: 0; visibility: hidden; overflow: hidden;"> ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ </div>