Mastering Email Preview Text: Tips and Top Examples

Table of Contents

Email preview text is the short snippet that appears next to or below the subject line of your email marketing campaign in the inbox. It provides a brief overview of the email content, helping to capture attention. This article will cover what email preview text is, its importance, best practices, and how to effectively use it to increase your email open rates.

Key Takeaways

  • Email preview text gives a snapshot of the email’s content and boosts open rates by complementing the subject line.
  • Effective preview text should be concise, create urgency or curiosity, and align with the subject line without completing it.
  • Personalizing preview text and optimizing it for different email clients can significantly improve engagement and user experience.

Understanding Email Preview Text

Email preview text, appearing adjacent to the subject line in an email inbox, offers a snapshot of the email’s content and lures recipients into opening it. The email subject line announces what the email is about, while the preview text builds anticipation and sets expectations for the email content of the email campaign. The email subject line and preview text are some of the most important elements in email. A well-crafted subject line and preview text help emails stand out in busy inboxes by capturing attention and preventing confusing or uncompelling default text from appearing.

Preview text, a vital element of email marketing campaigns, collaborates with the subject line to offer subscribers a sneak peek at the interior content, thereby improving email open rates.

By tailoring preview text to match your brand voice and the audience’s goals, you can significantly increase your email’s effectiveness. To achieve this, consider implementing some email preview text tips, and take a look at a preview text example to get inspired.

When the custom preview text is absent, the email client resorts to extracting content from the email body, a scenario not always desired. Crafting effective preview text ensures that the message preview appears as intended, providing additional reasons for recipients to open the email without making the subject line dependent on it.

What is Email Preview Text?

Email preview text, a brief piece of text that appears next to the subject line, offers a quick synopsis of the email’s content. In many email clients, this short copy is displayed below the email’s subject line, giving more information about the email.

The visibility of preview text in the inbox next to the subject line can sway the recipient’s decision to open the email, underscoring its role as a pivotal element of email marketing.

Difference Between Email Preview and Preheader Text

While both preview text and preheader text are important elements of an email, they serve different purposes. The email preview text appears alongside the subject line in the inbox, giving recipients a glimpse of the email’s content. On the other hand, preheader text is located at the very beginning of the email’s body and is often used to provide additional context or a call to action.

Most email marketing software, acting as an email client, allows customization of both to control what displays in the inbox and the email body.

Importance of Email Preview Text

Email preview text in different email clients
Email preview text in different email clients

Email preview text, transcending its role as a mere information snippet, is a formidable instrument in your email marketing toolkit. The subject line gives out the topic of the content, and the preview text complements it by giving subscribers a peek at what’s inside the email, enhancing email open rates. Roughly one-quarter of recipients choose to open an email after reading the preview text, indicating its impact on email engagement. This suggests that the preview text is a crucial element in email marketing strategies.

Enriching the preview text with additional context and detail can markedly enhance open rates and conversions.

Boosting Open Rates

Carefully constructed preview text has the potential to seize the audience’s attention, generally resulting in elevated open rates. By adding more context to the subject line, preview text can increase open rates by up to 30%. Additionally, creating a sense of urgency or personalization can further enhance the likelihood of recipients opening your emails.

Enhancing User Experience

Email preview text permits recipients a sneak peek at the email content prior to opening it, thereby setting expectations and enriching the user experience. Maintaining the brand voice in preview text helps reinforce the brand’s tone and message, leading to higher engagement.

Emails that focus solely on the sender’s needs rather than addressing the recipient’s needs can lead to lower engagement, making well-crafted preview text essential for a positive user experience.

Best Practices for Writing Effective Email Preview Text

The art of composing impactful email preview text encompasses multiple best practices. Firstly, ensure that the preview text complements and enhances the subject line to make your email stand out and entice subscribers to open it.

Here are some tips for creating effective preview text:

  • Add context such as sale details or important information
  • Create an emotional response like urgency or humor
  • Keep it concise and to the point
  • Test different preview text to see what works best for your audience

By following these guidelines, you can increase the open rates of your emails and improve engagement with your subscribers.

For event invites, use the preview text to quickly summarize key details and entice subscribers to learn more.

Ideal Length and Character Limits

The optimal length for email preview text spans 40 to 140 characters, with a common suggestion to limit it to fewer than 90 characters. Different e-mail clients may show varying amounts of preview text, with some showing as little as 35 characters.

Limited space in mobile devices’ email inboxes, such as Apple Mail, restricts characters for subject lines and preview text, so placing key information at the beginning instead of the subject lines is recommended.

Connecting with the Subject Line

The subject line declares the main theme of the email, and the preview text should complement the subject line but not complete it, as it may not display in all email clients. A well-crafted preview text can provide a glimpse of the email’s content, sparking curiosity and encouraging users to click and read further.

Using punctuation marks can smoothly transition from preview text to the opening lines of the email.

By the way, if you’re aiming to boost your subject lines, be sure to give our new AI-Powered Email Subject Line Generator a try.

Adding Personalization

Personalized preview text can increase reader engagement by making recipients feel the message is intended specifically for them. Adding a name or relevant details based on a subscriber’s actions can enhance personalization and relevance.

Segmenting audiences allows for sending tailored preview texts that resonate more with specific groups.

Successful Email Preview Text Examples

Curiosity-driven email preview text example
Curiosity-driven email preview text example

Successful email preview text examples can be categorized into curiosity-driven, urgency and exclusivity, and informational and social proof. Each type leverages different strategies to capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to open the email.

Curiosity-Driven Examples

Curiosity-driven examples leave the audience with an unanswered question or air of mystery. Teasing content without giving away too much and using questions to pique interest are effective strategies. Incorporating unexpected elements can also drive curiosity.

Teasing Content Without Giving Away Too Much

  • “This Simple Trick Will Change Your Morning Routine”
  • “You Won’t Believe What Happened Next…”
  • “Unlock the Secret to Effortless Cooking”

Using Questions to Pique Interest

  • “Have You Tried This Game-Changing App?”
  • “What’s the Best Way to Save Money on Travel?”
  • “Are You Making This Common Mistake?”

Incorporating Unexpected Elements

  • “Why Everyone’s Talking About This New ‘Silent’ Gadget”
  • “The Surprising Ingredient You Should Add to Your Coffee”
  • “An Unusual Tip from a Celebrity Chef”


Teasing Content Without Giving Away Too MuchThese examples create anticipation by hinting at something valuable or intriguing without revealing the complete information, compelling the reader to open the email to learn more.
Using Questions to Pique InterestQuestions naturally engage readers by prompting them to think and seek answers. This method effectively drives curiosity and increases the likelihood of the email being opened.
Incorporating Unexpected ElementsBy introducing surprising or novel elements, these examples leverage the human tendency to be intrigued by the unusual or unexpected, leading to higher engagement rates.

These examples demonstrate how carefully crafted preview text can spark curiosity, enticing recipients to open the email and engage with the content inside.

Urgency and Exclusivity

Urgency and exclusivity examples highlight limited-time offers, deadlines, and member-only benefits. Creating a sense of urgency and highlighting exclusivity can significantly drive immediate action from recipients.

Limited-Time Offers and Deadlines

  • “Flash Sale! Only 24 Hours Left to Save Big”
  • “Hurry, Ends Tonight: 50% Off All Items”
  • “Last Chance! Deal Ends in 3 Hours”

Member-Only Benefits

  • “Exclusive Offer for VIP Members Only”
  • “Unlock Your Member Discount Today”
  • “Priority Access: Early Bird Tickets Just for You”

Highlighting Scarcity and Immediate Action

  • “Only 5 Spots Left – Book Now!”
  • “Limited Stock Available – Don’t Miss Out!”
  • “Act Fast! Exclusive Deals for the First 100 Customers”


Limited-Time Offers and DeadlinesThese examples create a sense of urgency by emphasizing the limited duration of the offer, encouraging recipients to act quickly to avoid missing out.
Member-Only BenefitsHighlighting exclusive benefits for members makes recipients feel special and valued, driving them to take advantage of the unique offers provided.
Highlighting Scarcity and Immediate ActionBy emphasizing limited availability, these examples tap into the fear of missing out (FOMO), prompting immediate action to secure the deal or offer.

These examples demonstrate how urgency and exclusivity in preview text can effectively motivate recipients to engage with the email content and take swift action.

Informational and Social Proof

Informational and social proof examples share important updates, news, testimonials, or reviews. Highlighting customer reviews or ratings in the preview text is a great way to demonstrate social proof and encourage email opens. Sharing important updates or news can also increase interest in opening the email.

Sharing Important Updates or News

  • “Exciting New Features Just Released!”
  • “Here’s What’s New in Our Latest Update”
  • “Breaking News: Major Announcement Inside”

Highlighting Customer Reviews or Ratings

  • “See Why Customers Rate Us 5 Stars”
  • “Hear from Our Happy Customers”
  • “Rated #1 by Industry Experts”

Featuring Testimonials or Case Studies

  • “How Jane Increased Her Sales by 50%”
  • “Success Stories from Our Users”
  • “Real Customers, Real Results: Hear Their Stories”

Showcasing Statistics or Achievements

  • “Over 1 Million Users and Counting”
  • “Our Most Popular Product Just Got Better”
  • “Join 100,000 Satisfied Customers”


Sharing Important Updates or NewsThese examples keep recipients informed about significant changes or improvements, prompting them to open the email to stay updated with the latest information.
Highlighting Customer Reviews or RatingsBy showcasing positive reviews or high ratings, these examples provide social proof, building trust and credibility, which can lead to higher open rates.
Featuring Testimonials or Case StudiesTestimonials and case studies offer real-world validation of a product or service’s effectiveness, encouraging recipients to learn more about others’ successful experiences.
Showcasing Statistics or AchievementsHighlighting impressive numbers or achievements can capture attention and validate the brand’s success, motivating recipients to engage with the email content.

These examples illustrate how informational content and social proof can effectively encourage recipients to open emails, providing them with valuable insights and reinforcing trust in the brand.

Now that you’ve mastered creating compelling preview text, why not enhance your subject lines too? Discover how in our article: ‘Boost Opens with the Best Email Subject Lines: Proven Strategies & Examples.’

How to Add Preview Text to Your Emails

Adding preview text using email service providers
Adding preview text using email service providers

The inclusion of preview text in your emails can be achieved either through email service providers or by manual insertion of HTML code. ESP platforms often include a feature that allows users to customize the preview text that appears in email inboxes. This can help make a stronger impact on recipients. By tinkering with the HTML code, you can also add preview text manually.

Using Email Service Providers

Email service providers often have a dedicated field for adding preview text during campaign setup. Popular ESPs like:

  • Mailchimp
  • Constant Contact
  • SendinBlue
  • HubSpot

and Octeth’s on-premise email marketing solution offer intuitive interfaces for customizing this preview text. Customizing preview text in ESPs ensures that it displays correctly in subscribers’ inboxes.

Manually Adding HTML Code

Manually inserting preview text involves editing the email’s HTML code directly. This method gives more control over the content that appears next to the subject line. Use the <div> element and hidden attributes to add email preview text manually. Testing the changes ensures the preview text displays correctly across different e-mail clients.

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Preview Text Using HTML Code

  1. Open Your Email Template in an HTML Editor:
    Use an HTML editor or the code view of your email marketing platform to access the email template you want to modify.
  2. Locate the Opening <body> Tag:
    Find the <body> tag in your HTML code where the main content of your email begins.
  3. Insert a <div> Element for the Preview Text:
    Directly after the <body> tag, insert a <div> element that will contain your preview text.
    Use the style attribute to hide this <div> so it does not affect the visual layout of your email.
    <body> <div style="display:none; max-height:0px; overflow:hidden;"> Your preview text goes here. </div>
  4. Add the Preview Text:
    Replace “Your preview text goes here.” with the actual preview text you want to display.
    This text will be shown in the email client’s preview pane next to or below the subject line.
    <body> <div style="display:none; max-height:0px; overflow:hidden;"> Don't miss our exclusive summer sale! Up to 50% off. </div>
  5. Close the <div> Element:
    Ensure the <div> element is properly closed to avoid any HTML structure issues.
  6. Add the Rest of Your Email Content:
    Continue with the rest of your email content as usual.
  7. Save and Test Your Email:
    Save your changes and test the email by sending it to yourself or using an email testing service.
  8. Adjust if Necessary:
    If the preview text does not appear as expected, return to your HTML code and make the necessary adjustments.
    Check how the preview text appears in various e-mail clients (e.g., Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail) to ensure it displays correctly.
    Re-test until the preview text consistently displays correctly across different e-mail clients.

Example of Full Email HTML with Preview Text

<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8"> <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0"> <title>Email Title</title> </head> <body> <div style="display:none; max-height:0px; overflow:hidden;"> Don't miss our exclusive summer sale! Up to 50% off. </div> <h1>Welcome to Our Summer Sale!</h1> <p>Enjoy discounts on our top products.</p> <!-- Rest of your email content --> </body> </html>

Optimizing Preview Text for Different Email Clients

For correct display, it’s necessary to optimize preview snippets according to the distinct requirements of different e-mail clients. Different e-mail clients have unique character limits and display settings, making optimization crucial.

Handling character limits and conducting A/B testing can help achieve the best performance.

Handling Character Limits

Positioning essential information at the start of the preview text ensures it remains visible despite different character limits. Varying character limits across e-mail clients, from as few as 45 characters to as many as 278 characters, make it crucial to prioritize key information.

Write short sections of preview text separated by symbols to improve visibility across e-mail clients.

A/B Testing for Performance

A/B testing can help identify which preview text variant performs best in terms of open rates or click-through rates. Testing different preview text and subject line combinations can improve email performance.

A/B testing preview text with and without emojis can also determine the impact on open rates.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When crafting preview text, it’s important to avoid pitfalls such as neglecting to assign preview texts, inadequate proofreading, and an ambiguous call-to-action. Designating preview texts for marketing emails prevents confusing or uncompelling default text from appearing in the preview space. Poor proofreading can result in misspelled words and repeated phrases, making you appear unprofessional. Ensure your call-to-action is clear to avoid confusing recipients and reducing the likelihood of them taking the desired action.

Advanced Techniques for Engaging Preview Text

Utilizing emojis and special characters, along with the incorporation of dynamic content and segmentation, form part of the advanced techniques for creating an engaging preview text. These techniques can enhance the visual appeal and relevance of your preview snippet.

Using Emojis and Special Characters

Emojis and special characters can enhance inbox snippet text by making it more engaging and visually appealing. However, they need to be relevant and should not overwhelm the text to maintain readability and professionalism. Special characters can emphasize key points or break up text visually, making it more scannable. Use numbers and visually distinctive symbols to capture attention and add certainty to offers.

Dynamic Content and Segmentation

Dynamic content in inbox snippet text can tailor messages for different audience segments, increasing relevance and engagement. You can utilize CRM’s merge capabilities to include dynamic content in the preview snippet. It allows for personalized and tailored messages to be delivered to recipients.

Tailoring messages based on the subscriber’s behavior can significantly enhance engagement and response rates.

Tools and Resources for Crafting Email Preview Text

Several specialized tools can generate multiple email preheader or preview snippet suggestions to enhance engagement. Here are a few notable ones:

  1. Phrasee: Uses AI to generate and optimize subject lines and preview snippets for improved engagement.
  2. Touchstone: Predicts email open rates by testing different preview snippet variations.
  3. Litmus: Offers tools for email testing and optimization of preview snippets.
  4. CoSchedule’s Email Subject Line Tester: Provides suggestions and analyzes preview snippet for effectiveness.
  5. Zurb Preview Text Testing Tool: Allows you to enter preview snippets to see how they appear in different email clients.

These tools are designed to help marketers optimize their email campaigns by testing and improving the effectiveness of preview snippets.

A/B testing tools are frequently recommended to determine the most effective inbox snippet text.


Mastering email preview text is an art that can significantly boost your marketing campaign’s success. By understanding what inbox snippet is, its importance, and the best practices for crafting it, you can create compelling snippets that capture your audience’s attention and increase open rates. Utilizing curiosity-driven, urgency and exclusivity, and informational and social proof examples can provide inspiration and guide your efforts.

Incorporating personalized elements, optimizing for different e-mail clients, and avoiding common mistakes are crucial steps in refining your approach. Advanced techniques such as using emojis and dynamic content can further enhance engagement. With the right tools and resources at your disposal, you can craft effective inbox snippet texts that resonate with your audience and drive results. Now, it’s time to put these tips into practice and watch your email marketing efforts soar!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is e-mail preview text and why is it important?

It is a snippet that appears next to the subject line in an email inbox, it’s important because it can capture the recipient’s attention, enhance open rates, and set expectations for the email content. So, it’s a great way to make your emails more engaging and increase open rates.

How does e-mail preview text differ from preheader text?

The e-mail preview snippet shows up in the inbox next to the subject line, while the preheader text is situated at the start of the email’s body, giving extra context or a call to action within the email itself. So, the main difference lies in their location and purpose.

What are some best practices for writing effective inbox snippet text?

For an effective inbox snippet, keep it between 40-90 characters, make it complement the subject line, add personalization, and put key information at the beginning. This will help accommodate different e-mail clients’ character limits.

Can you provide some successful preview text examples?

Sure, successful inbox snippet often include curiosity-driven, urgent, or informational content that prompts action or engagement.

How can I add preview text to my emails?

You can add this text to your emails by using dedicated fields for inbox snippets in email service providers like Octeth, Mailchimp, and HubSpot during campaign setup. Alternatively, you can manually insert preview text by editing the email’s HTML code.

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