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Using email to reach your target market can be a great way to connect with consumers. When done right, it can convey information about your products, effectively get the word out about promotions and build brand awareness and loyalty.

A well-crafted email will spark action in the reader and get them thinking about your brand, leading to increased sales and visibility. However, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your content is if the email never gets opened.

These days, communication happens mostly on a digital level, and our inboxes are overflowing with everything from personal messages, to work-related memos, to marketing spam. In 2015, the amount of emails sent per day was around 205 billion, with office workers receiving a whopping 121 emails per day.

As far as marketing emails go, at least in the United States, the open-rates were just 18% on desktops, and only a poor 13.7% on mobile devices. Sounds bleak, but hope is not lost, there are some easy strategies to help catch the eye of your reader and give them extra incentive to open your email.

Consider your preheader a vital tool in enticing recipients to click on your email instead of scrolling past or deleting it unread.

The preheader is the limited text that appears just below, or next to, the subject line in most mobile and desktop email platforms. These few words are your dangling carrot; use them wisely.

Here are 4 best practices for email preheaders that will boost open rates.

1. Build on the subject line

Do not simply repeat the subject line, or introduce the name of your company again. Readers will know who you are by glancing at the from column, with your preheader you need to excite them with a clear offer, or get them curious about what’s beneath the fold.

2. Experiment with line breaks

If you can, create a cliffhanger of sorts. Break off your header at a point which leaves the reader in need of more information. For example, offering a free guide to fall style, travel tips, or a tasty new recipe.

3. Highlight an irresistible offer

Use this space to promote any exceptional discounts or promotions like free shipping. Introduce the offer so they know what kind of savings or deals to expect, but make them click to get the bulk of the information. Add a time limit to create a sense of urgency.

4. Communicate your tagline

You don’t always want to push sales, as it appears, well, pushy. The preheader can also communicate your brand’s tagline, vision or positive values. Email content shouldn’t always focus specifically on sales, sometimes it simply should include updates or even enriching educational material to benefit the reader. Your preheader can reflect this type of content too.

Preheaders should use wit and creativity, while at the same time giving readers a direct call to action and the nudge they need to find out what message is contained inside.

Don’t let your emails end up in the trash, start optimizing your email marketing strategy and boosting conversion rates.

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