How to add preheader text to your campaigns


With the Preheader Text editor, you can add preheader text to your direct and automated campaigns. Adding preheader text to your emails offers contacts a sneak peek of what content to expect in your email. Not only can this help you stand out in a crowded inbox, but it can also help increase your open rate.

Note that preheader text is a term that is often used interchangeably with preview text.

What is preheader (preview) text?

Preheader text is a snippet of text that is displayed in a contact's inbox after the subject line and is the first (or part of the first) line of text in your communication:


To customize the text displayed in the preview, you can use our Preheader Text Editor, located on the Campaign Summary page.

Here is an example of an email with customized preheader text:


Preheader text will not be visible within the body of the email itself; it will only appear in the contact's inbox, either next to or underneath the email's subject line.

Preheader text is not available with 1:1 emails or plain-text campaigns (emails created using the "Text Only" option under "Build from Scratch").

Adding preheader text to direct campaigns

  1. Click Campaigns.
  2. Click "Create a Campaign" or click the campaign name you wish to update with preheader text.
  3. The Campaign Settings page will open. Type your preheader text into the field provided:

    Preheader text field.jpg

  4. Optional: Click the emoji icon to add emojis to your text.
  5. Optional: Personalize your preheader text with contact-specific information by typing the personalization tag you would like to use.
  6. Optional: Click the “i” icon to preview how the preheader text will look on mobile devices.

From here, you can complete the fields on the Campaign Summary page, add or modify your design, send or schedule your email to send, or click “Save and exit.”

Add preheader text to automated campaigns

Automated campaigns are campaigns sent from an automation. To add preheader text to these emails:

  1. Go to Automations and open the automation containing the email you wish to edit.
  2. Locate the “Send email” action. Hover over that action then click the “Edit email” icon that appears.
  3. If you’re using the Email Designer (launched in 2022):
    • Click the Settings (gear) icon.
    • A modal window will appear. Add the preheader text to the field provided.
    • Click “Save” to exit the modal.
  4. If you’re using the Classic Designer, Custom HTML builder, or the Text Only builder:
    • Click the Settings (gear) icon.
    • A modal window will appear. Add the preheader text to the field provided.
    • Click “Close” to exit the modal.
  5. Additionally, you can edit the preheader text on the Campaign Summary page for either email designer. To get to the Campaign Summary page from the Campaign Designer, click the “Next” button.

Preheader best practices

Because each device and app is different, preheader text may not always be supported, for example, in some Outlook clients.

In addition, there is no character limit when creating preheader text. However, how much of the preheader text a contact will see in their inbox can depend on any of the following:

  • The device they're using to view their email inbox
  • Their email application
  • Width of their browser window (if they're accessing from a desktop computer)
  • Length of the subject line

Due to these constraints, keeping the preheader text compelling, meaningful, and short (around 35-50 characters).

Click here to view preheader character counts from Litmus.

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