What I Did on My Summer Vacation!
Before hopping on a Rhone river cruise that began in Arles — home to Roman ruins, sunny, yellow walls and Vincent Van Gogh's sunflowers, Denny and I went to Switzerland.
We were invited to participate in a 2-day workshop for an online publishing business. Growing at the speed of light (yes, I did say publishing!) they brought their key staff together to stop and reflect on the current status of their business and focus on its future opportunities. Looking to us for some guidance, we had a fascinating time learning more about their challenges and identifying next steps that will move their business forward.
As they are online-only, we spent lots of time talking about email.
The universal challenge ... getting the email opened! Obviously, the "From" line, "Subject" line, and testing were major topics of conversation. However, we also discussed something that, until a few months ago, was new to me — the all-important "preheader." The preheader is the small line of text that appears above the html image on the email and shows up as the lead-in on your smartphone or tablet.
What's great is that the preheader is another opportunity to help get a key message or benefit in front of the recipient that will help get the email opened.
In going through recent emails at Who's Mailing What!, it's interesting to see who is taking advantage of this great opportunity and who is letting it slip by. With more than 50% viewing email on their mobile devices, not thinking through the preheader is a huge missed opportunity.
You'll see some examples of preheaders in the video above, but here are some others for you:
Tiffany & Co
Subject Line: "With This Ring"
Preheader: "If you can't view this email, please click here."
Comment: This was the norm in the past. It gives the recipient the option to view the image in the browser. No sales pitch here. GRADE = F
Subject Line: "3 Days Only! All Orders Ship Free + 7 Can't Miss Labor Day Deals"
Preheader: "Free Shipping on All Orders - Shop Now"
Comment: Repeating the free shipping from the subject line isn't introducing anything new. GRADE = C
Abercrombie & Fitch
Subject Line: "Jeans are now $30. (Yes, you read that right.)"
Preheader: "Last Day! Free Fierce Cologne with Purchase!"
Comment: This is the winner. Adding urgency of "Last Day" plus a bonus gift with purchase. Two new reasons to open the email and act now! GRADE = A
So ... not only do you need to spend time on your subject line, but think through how the preheader can amplify your message with something new, important or with a sense of urgency!
And, when you get a chance, take a trip on the Rhone and Soane rivers. It's pretty special.
'Til next time.