Working with email, we know how important it is to quickly capture a reader’s attention, and convince them to open an email that lands in their overcrowded inbox. We also know how hard that can be. Often, what determines whether someone will or will not open lies in what they see immediately, within the first few seconds of glancing at their emails, and this is generally, subject line, sender name, and yes, a line of ‘snippet’ or ‘preview’ text.

Snippet text is the line of text, about 40-70 characters long, that appears in an inbox, along with sender name and subject line. Using snippet text can be a great and simple way to increase open rates on your email campaigns.

On mobile
Snippet text is especially important on mobile. People viewing emails primarily on their mobile devices are even keener to speed up the process of sifting through their emails, and snippet text helps with this by offering a quick, easy to scan glimpse into what is contained in the email.

Here’s how it looks on an iPhone:


For desktop email clients
Here’s how snippet text appears in the desktop version of Gmail – immediately after the subject line and shows a short intro into each email.


In Outlook, as alerts
Oulook email alerts use snippet text to give you a preview into what the email is about.


This allows you to manage and prioritise emails without even having to go into your inbox, let alone the email itself.

The content that is displayed in snippet text is drawn from the first line in an HTML email. Unedited, the first line of text in an email is often something along the lines of ‘Click here to view in browser’ or ‘To ensure you keep receiving emails add this address to you contacts’.

If you don’t customise the snippet text, your email might appear something like this:


As you can see, the snippet text doesn’t contribute anything to the subject line and is a missed opportunity to entice your reader to open the email.

How to code your snippet text

  1. Add snippet text to top of your email
    Simply by putting an enticing and relevant bit of text at the beginning of your email before the ‘View in browser links’ you can transform your emails to look something like this when they arrive in your client’s inbox:


Here the snippet text begins to give a short introduction into what the email contains. It builds upon the subject line and it looks neat.

  1. Draw snippet text from the intro of your email
    If you don’t want to create a special line of text, but still want your email to look nice in an inbox, another option is to move your ‘View in browser links’ to somewhere else in your email, so the snippet text will use the intro into your email as the snippet text.
  1. Make your snippet text invisible when email is opened
    If you would rather not move anything around, and you’d rather not have text appear before the start of your email, you can make your line of snippet text in your email invisible!The easiest way to accomplish this is to code the snippet text in the same colour as the background of the email. For example, if the background of your email is white, use CSS to make your snippet text white, so it cannot be seen. The text will still be picked up, and used in the preview; however it will not be seen in the HTML version of the email when opened.

People are more likely to open an email if it looks good in their inbox and the content appeals to them. Simply by customising snippet text, you can have a big impact on your open rates.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you engage with your clients and prospects, email us at