tips for writing email preview text

6 Tips to Write Better Email Preview Texts and Boost Sales

Email marketing has become an essential part of online businesses. From sending product announcements to educational content, it’s essential to keep your customers in the loop and push them further down your sales funnel.

However, with hundreds of emails sent and received every day, it’s easy for your emails to get lost in the inbox. But there’s a simple hack to boost your email open rate and sales so you can reap all the benefits that email marketing offers.

Enter: email preview texts.

Email preview text refers to the sentence after the subject line and on top of your email. It tells the reader about the email. Many people overlook this vital aspect of emails, which can turn the tables around, boost open rates and increase sales. 

examples of email preview text

In this article, we’re going to talk about some lesser-known yet impactful tips for writing better email preview texts and boosting sales.

Preview text tips

1) Expand on your subject line

Subject lines are short and crisp. They tell the reader what’s in there for them. But, you can give more context to your subject line in your email preview text and make it even more attractive. 

As a general rule of thumb, the subject line and email preview text should be in contrast. A discrepancy might confuse the reader than clarify them of the context, and you don’t want to do that.

For example, if your subject line is ‘Webinar on email marketing by experts.’

Your preview text can be ‘Learn more about the nitty-gritty of email marketing and how it can help you boost sales, with a few simple tips. View in browser’

The preview text here is aligned with the subject line and tells the recipient how they can benefit by attending the webinar.

If you’re sharing educational content or promoting your blog through email, you can also use your blog headlines as the preheader.

example of preview text expanding on subject line

2) Use powerful action words

Email preview texts are hardly two sentences, and if you want them to talk to your recipient and compel them to open the email, you need to use some powerful action words. These can include words such as:

  • Unique
  • Announcing
  • Breakthrough
  • Gear up
  • Surprising
  • Trending
  • Crucial
  • Impactful
testing preview text in the inbox

Image source

These words in the email can enhance the original impact of your content and make them look more substantial. Since you only have a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention in the inbox before they toss your email over, action words can help you do that.

Action words are meant to make your writing more actionable and create a sense of urgency or importance. 

Take advantage of these words and entice your recipients into opening your email every time they receive it rather than marketing it as ‘star’ or archiving it because there’s no return from there. 

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3) Grab their attention by using a trend or statistic

Since the email preview text is meant to grab the recipient’s attention, using a trend or surprising statistic to complement your content can do the trick. You can find multiple statistics online related to what you’re talking about or find a similar trend.

These excite the reader because it adds more substance to what you’re saying and supports it with a claim backed by thorough research and authoritative sources.

If you want to intrigue your audience into reading more, use these two methods to add a sense of surprise or excitement.

4) Use keywords that highlight the context of the email

Keywords give your content more context and can be used to summarize the email. If you want to use fewer words to communicate more, using keywords is wise to make your preview text concise and straightforward.

If your email talks about the latest digital marketing trends in 2021, your keywords can be digital marketing, digital marketing trends, trending campaigns, 2021 trends, etc.

These can help you stress more on the content and help your reader with a clearer idea of what’s in the email and what they can expect from it. Once you make that clear, it will be easier for them to open the email because they know what they’ll spend their time reading.

5) Focus on the benefits or pain points 

The best copywriting comes from a place of benefit-problem. If you’re announcing a product launch or event or sending an educational email, then try to focus on the benefit they’ll get from it or the problem it will solve.

Your audience will not care about how great your product is or how well structured your content is framed. They only care about the benefit they get from it. For this, you need to highlight the problem you’re solving because only then you can convince them to read your email.

If you know that a particular email will solve a significant problem, you’re facing or will take you an inch closer to finding a solution. Wouldn’t you open it?

For example, here Canva is telling you how you can learn to win investors by designing appealing pitch decks.

email inbox example

This is why making your email preview text problem or benefit-driven can help attract more eyeballs to your emails and increase the email open rate.

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6) Do A/B testing to see what works

A/B testing is the best way to maximize results in the digital marketing world. It’s a practice where you perform two tests and see what works best for your audience. Similarly, you can also use it for email preview texts.

Frame 2 sets of preview texts. Send one to half of your audience and the other one to the next half. After some time, maybe a week, analyze the numbers and see which one performed the best. This way, you will get an idea of how your audience likes to be communicated with and what kind of words you should use in future emails and preview texts.

Try surprising them with a trend, or personalize the email for the recipient. While it may seem like a risky idea, A/B testing is always a good thing to practice. It saves you from losing potential customers and makes sure you are investing your time and resources in the right direction.


Email preview texts are a small yet quite impactful aspect of email marketing that can boost your campaigns’ effectiveness and show good results. Don’t ignore it, instead use it to your advantage and leverage the benefits it has to offer.

Use audience insights, various preview texts, and surveys to see what ticks your recipients and how you can get them to open more of your emails. It all comes down to your email marketing campaigns’ overall impact, and preview texts can play a significant role in boosting your sales!

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

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