Setting up a pre-header for emails

  • Updated

If a subscriber clicks the link to the online version or reloads the newsletter images (that is, right-mouse clicks the blocked images), these steps may result in a premature closing of the newsletter by deleting it or marking it spam.

During the first weeks of subscription, use a pre-header to ask recipients to add your mailing address to their email address book. If they do, email sent from known addresses is immediately displayed in full, including images, by many email programs and providers (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook). Such recipients also see your newsletter in email preview.

Adding your mailing address to a subscriber's address book also improves deliverability, since the email program classifies your newsletter as trustworthy. This is also very important with regard to "smart mailboxes" that some email providers are using.

To implement a pre-header into your emails, select recipients, adapt the email's HTML code, and create a filter.

Selecting recipients

You should only send a pre-header to new subscribers. Recipients who have received your newsletter for a time may have already updated their address book, or might not want to. So, create a filter for the pre-header that selects recipients who registered for the newsletter in the last three to four weeks. Adjust the time period to the sending frequency of your newsletter. Send on a monthly basis instead of every week, or try 60 days.

Adapting the email

The pre-header should contain a short text, asking the recipient to take action:

Please add our mailing address "" to your address book!

Creating a filter

To show this text to newly-registered recipients only, create a new Field function using the filter, or use a script. For example, many email marketing programs support the Velocity scripting language, which lets you add logic to HTML code to perform recipient-dependent dynamisations.

Depending on how flexibly the pre-header is supposed to be used, fixed filters could be linked, or the filter and/or the registration period for the filter could be designed as selectable.

Adapting the text version

In the first line of the text version of the newsletter, you should also prompt subscribers to add the mailing address to their address book.

Testing your changes

  1. Create an email address for testing.
  2. Send an email to the address whose opt-in date falls within the relevant time period.