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Four Ways to Improve your Email Header and Boost Engagement

Every element of your email marketing strategy counts, thus ignoring any of them will harm the effectiveness of your campaign.

The art of email text is one that many marketers spend years perfecting. Others concentrate on analytics, laboriously attempting to determine the ideal day and time to deliver their message in order to get the most number of opens.

While it’s undeniable that these components are crucial, don’t overlook the email header, which will set the tone for your message.

What is a header in an email?
Any email message consists of two primary parts in terms of content. There is the actual message body, which is often where the sender concentrates the majority of their communication and effort, and there is the email header, which is the area above the message body.

The heading contains:

It’s sender
The Beneficiary
The Time
The Situation
The Server in Charge of the Image Transmission (Optional)
Every email application will let you see the whole email header, although the majority by default just display the topic, sender, and send date.

How email headers increase engagement and open rates
Without a question, the subject line is the most effective technique for your header to increase open rates and, therefore, engagement. The remainder of the email won’t matter if the receiver isn’t persuaded to open it by the subject line.

The stronger your interaction, the more emails will be opened. However, strong subject lines might also entice readers to make a purchase. Your CTA will have a far higher click-through rate if the subject line contains something exciting that will get them interested.

Having said that, using a picture in your header will also increase interaction.

Here is an illustration from Brooklyn Botany’s Camellia:

image header
Source: Stripo

The company is still relatively young, so putting their name and logo in the header reminds the recipient who’s sending the email and why they’ll enjoy reading the rest of it.

Adidas takes things a step further. Their email header not only includes a nice piece of branding copy, it also offers the recipient the option to go straight to their site. Engagement doesn’t get much better than that.

header image
Source: Stripo

4 effective email header examples
The content of the email, the time you schedule it, segmentation, and other elements that affect campaign performance often get more attention than email headers.

Here are three firms who understand very well that their email headers may result in higher open rates and better engagement.

Birchbox advertises their loyalty program with a banner graphic.
In the email below, Birchbox uses their header in a number of clever ways.

They start by including an emoji in the subject line. Emojis in subject lines are still unique enough at the moment to draw attention to themselves. They could soon be as prevalent as letters and numbers, but for the time being, they’re a definite way to get attention.

Although you should exercise caution when utilizing all capitals in your subject lines, Birchbox just capitalizes the first word. In this instance, they’re stressing a two-for-one bargain by utilizing all capitals to call attention to it and highlight what makes their offer so unique.

email subject line
Source: Stripo

The company’s choice of graphic for the area separating the header from the email’s content, however, is by far what makes this header stand out. The picture, unlike other elements of the email header, is optional since it is not mandated by law.

In this instance, Birchbox makes sure the consumer is aware of their standing inside the company’s loyalty program by using their banner graphic to educate subscribers about it.

Preheaders are used by AFAR to advertise their website
The experiential travel publication AFAR wanted to convey a lot of information in a single email, so they chose to employ a preheader, which is the space between the subject line and the actual header picture.

The wording relating to the content they are advertising below is the first thing the subscriber sees. It’s succinct and to the point, however.

Second, AFAR makes it simple for their readers to share their content, which helps the firm find new readers who may not be familiar with their magazine.

Third, the header offers ways to navigate the remainder of the AFAR website. The receiver of a message just has to click to access further magazine features if they are interested.

preheader email text
Source: Stripo

Uberflip uses a striking picture to go directly to the point
While the content you use in the body of your email typically determines whether it succeeds or fails, this does not imply that you need a lot of words in your header picture. More words may make an email more interesting, as we’ve previously seen, but in many situations, a huge graphic can be just as powerful.

email body image
Source: Stripo

Nintendo compels you to read nonstop
Speaking of attention-grabbing, this banner picture from Nintendo is the epitome of vivid—and hence difficult to ignore—design.

header image
Source: Media Co-schedule

It’s really a gif, as you can see, which effectively sets the tone for the remainder of the email.

The email promotes Nintendo Labo, a platform that enables users to construct their own cardboard toys and “bring them to life” using their Nintendo Switches.

As a result, the gif’s slogan is “Discover. Make. Play.”

This kind of animated gif will undoubtedly make your email stand out, increasing engagement and conversions.

Don’t take your email headers for granted now that you are more knowledgeable about them and why include one might be essential to increasing your engagement. While the significance of an email’s subject line is well understood, marketers all-too-often overlook the opportunity for the remaining headers to increase opens, click-throughs, and ultimately conversions.

Therefore, despite investing time and money to try to enhance every other aspect of their email, firms may still fall well short of the promise of their campaign.

If your email campaign falls short of its potential, you may boost your KPIs by making your email header more effective. You can personalize your email headers in a variety of ways to increase open rates and promote engagement, both of which will result in more recipients clicking on your CTAs.