Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 26 October 2021. In this issue:
Firstly, are preview text and preheader text the same thing?
No, although you’ll see them used synonymously in multiple guides available online. They CAN be the same, but they appear in different places.
Preview text is what you see beneath the From line in your inbox, before you’ve opened the email. In other words, part of the ‘envelope’ along with From and Subject lines. Preheader text appears right at the top of the actual email.
Preview text is a fantastic opportunity to tell readers something more to entice them to open the email. Take these two examples:
THE (Times Higher Education)
Subject line: BREAKING: World University Rankings 2021 released
Preview: China makes record-breaking achievements
Subject line: Biblical Studies and Early Christianity newsletter March 2021
Preview: Do your faculty members need help publishing their work?
Not all email clients display the preview line, but a lot do. Depending on the ESP you’re sending emails from, preview lines can be set up in one of two ways:
1. As HTML in a dedicated preview line field.
2. Pulled automatically by email clients that support preview line display from the top of your email (if not already set up in its own right). In this case, it’s your preheader text that will show, because it’s right at the top. But it’s also why you often see the date, or ‘If this email isn’t displaying correctly’, or the first line of the email itself if it’s just text.
Your marketing emails will be showing a preview line as part of the envelope whether or not you’ve consciously set one up, so it makes sense to give those email clients something really compelling. Do this well and I promise you’ll see the benefit in your open rates.
Our in-company Email Marketing Workshops are a great opportunity to look at how your emails are currently performing, what current stats and reports tell us about good practice, and what you could be doing to lift your results.
Thanks to the marketing team at ProQuest for introducing me to this one!
This clever tool is great for checking your own copy, highlighting passive phrases, unnecessarily complicated words, and sentences that have lost their way. Paste your copy in to see it colour coded with suggested changes. The basic tool is free, but there’s a paid version ($19.99) if you want all the extra copyediting features.
As always there’s a caveat. I haven’t yet tried testing a piece of excellent but very specialist copy and imagine that Hemingway may frown on some of the complex words that in this would be essential. But it is certainly effective at highlighting fluff which may be hiding in plain sight and is always better expunged.
This came up in discussion on the Copywriting Workshop I was running for ProQuest last week. I love that I get to find out about new tips and tools on these courses too!
See the Hemingway App
Read more about our Copywriting Workshop
This quarter we’re fully booked with in-company training courses, covering Copywriting, Email Marketing, Working with Authors, Grammar, and Marketing Digital Products. Participants are joining us online from all over the world (with apologies to those based in Australia and New Zealand attending our early morning sessions in their evenings).
We’ve taken the decision to postpone open course dates till the spring, but if there are any you’d love to attend please let us know so that we can schedule dates for these too as soon as we have enough people.
If you’d like us to run a tailored in-company training course for you, do get in touch. We’re now taking bookings for the first quarter of 2022. At the moment all our training is adapted to run online, but we’d love to think we might all have the option to be in the same room again sometime next year.
Find out more about how tailored in-company training works.
My mother’s getting older but still determined to maintain her garden herself, including growing plants from seed. She’s becoming frustrated, constantly feeling as though she’s failing. I recently advised ‘be kind to yourself, focus on all that you achieve and stop seeing only what you don’t. (And buy some of those plants ready-grown at a garden centre).’ It was very obvious advice to anyone looking on from the outside. Weeks later she told me she’d realised I was right and was trying to apply it.
Next time you’re beating yourself up for not being superhuman, remember the need to be kind to yourself and focus on the positives instead. I might even do it myself.