5 Best Practices to Increase Open Rates

Taryn Morrissey

I don’t know about you, but if I hear the words “increase” and “open rates” in the same sentence, my ears immediately perk up. Whatever it is that people are selling to increase open rates, I’m buying.

If you read our blog on how to increase open rates without touching the subject line, then you know that friendly from, subject line and pre-header are the three main elements to focus on as you pursue your quest to be the best email marketer.

That being said, I recently have been paying extra attention to the pre-header area. I’ve come up with my top five best practices to share with you as you experiment with pre-header text.

1. Be positive.

Use positive words. Examples include: Hope, Surprise, Energize, Courage, Pride, Inspiration, Fascination, Amusement, Admiration, Respect, Kindness, Eager, Quality, Guidance, Leadership, Commitment, Beautiful, Celebration, Adventure, Encourage, Increase, Learn, Reward, Support, Thanks, Vibrant, Wholesome, Welcome, Together, Willing, Success.

2. Put your call to action in your preheader.

Every email has a call to action, but not every email uses it in the subject line. Try including it in your preheader.

3. Be mindful of the real estate.

Move your “administrative or functional text” elsewhere. What I mean by this is your “add to address book,” “web version link,” etc. In terms of how much real estate you have, a good rule of thumb would be to stick to less than 100 characters for preheader text. Some phones support a bit more, some a bit less, but 100 characters is a good number to fit the majority of phones. Because some devices support fewer characters (like Windows phones), be sure to front load your important text!

4. Encourage scrolling.

Entice your audience to scroll by highlighting content in a story at the bottom of the mailing. Preheaders don’t have to just help your open rates; they can help give your content engagement a boost as well!

5. A/B test your pre-header content.

Don’t take my word for it. Try testing single changes to your pre-header area to see which one boosts open rates.

No matter what your pre-header is, be sure to preview it across various email clients to see how it stands up to other emails in that crowded inbox. Remember, the preheader can take your email open rates to the next level! 

Contact your advisor for assistance.

About the Author
Taryn Morrissey

As an Executive Advisor at Informz, Taryn spends the majority of her time working with clients to maximize and execute their email marketing strategies. In her free time, Taryn enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, event planning and home decorating.