Preview text, be it executed through pre-header text, snippets, image alt tags or a combination thereof, are the most often overlooked, untested, yet critical components in crafting effective email marketing messages.
In importance (assuming that the sender has a relationship with the subscriber and the email is relevant and timely) preview text comes in 3rd, with the subject line and friendly from lines being the two most factors in ensuring your email gets opened.
This is especially true for B2B email campaigns, whereby the leading email clients Outlook and Lotus Notes, and now Google, display a preview of the messages content, via pop-up or inline display. In this instance I’m showing Gmail:
In this example from Edith Roman the subject line and preview text read “How to Reach the IT Market – Read our Blog if you cannot view this email”
While Read our Blog if you cannot view this email is kind of humorous and weird, I’m certain that comedy was not there intent. Instead Edith Roman should continue the story that the subject line started and in turn further incentivize the subscriber to first open the email, then download the images, then take action.