15 Email Preview Text Examples That Would Catch My Attention

I believe in the concept of inbox zero, so I have a sinking feeling every time we approach the holidays or big occasions (think Black Friday) when I know a mass of emails are heading my way.

All floodgates burst open — my inbox quickly becomes an overflowing chaos.

I usually send all these unread promotional messages straight to spam. But, occasionally, a few brilliant emails catch my eye because of their intriguing, clever, or motivational preview text messages.

The bottom line: A good preview text in email can help you stand out even in the busiest inboxes.

So, I curated 15 of my favorite preview text email examples to inspire you.

I’ll break down why they work + how to write your own.

We’ll cover:

What is preview text in an email?
The Best Preview Text in Emails to Check Out
Turning Preview Text into Opens

What is preview text in an email?

Preview text is a short snippet presenting a summary or the first few words in an unopened email. It appears next to the subject line and gives you a glimpse of what’s inside.

While subject lines greatly influence your email open rates, preview text messages can also amp up this number. An awesome preview text piques your curiosity, presents a compelling offer, and nudges you to open the email.

Let’s look at some of the best examples of email preview text and some actionable tips for writing them.

 

The Best Preview Text in Emails to Check Out

I scoured my inbox to find 15 awesome examples of preview text in emails. These are some of my favorite messages from over 700 emails I reviewed. Let’s explain why they work and what you can learn from each.

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite announced their 60-day free trial with this banger email. The subject line gives you a promise — all the tools for free.

The intriguing preview text elevates this promise and makes it look like there’s something really powerful inside this email.

What I like: I was curious about what Hootsuite had to offer — all because the preview text gave me confidence. It’s a crisp and clear message to inspire people. Instead of discussing their product, the subject line and preview text spotlight users.

Takeaway: Focus on your recipients. Keep yourself in their shoes to emphasize how they’ll benefit from each email.

2. Semrush

Semrush pulled off this masterstroke by making the preview text an extension of the subject line. The brand sent an email introducing a new feature to track competitors.

The subject line is a clever clickbait that can repel some people. However, the preview text adds more context and explains the “how” behind this subject line.

What I like: The preview text goes well with the subject line. This subject line + preview text combination also introduces the new tool in just under 10 words—neat!

It’s one of the few examples where the preview neatly fits into the subject and elaborates on the email’s core message.

Takeaway: Write a super short, one-line summary of what’s inside your email. Then, break this sentence into the subject line and the preview text.

3. Freelance Bold

This preview text in one of Marijana Kay’s newsletters made me open the email quickly. Marijana is a freelance writer and content marketer for B2B SaaS brands.

This preview text is a classic — make an offer people can’t refuse. In the subject line, Marijana discusses the two main steps for taking bookings.

And the preview text promises her “formula” with tips to secure clients even when you’re fully booked.

What I like: This preview text has only 20 characters but still significantly impacts readers. Why? Because it gives you an irresistible promise.

Since Marijana is a leading expert, her subscribers (including me) would be more than curious to open this email and find her proven formula.

Takeaway: Make your offer sound unmissable and build credibility around it. Tell people what you share (formula, framework, template, etc.) and why they should get it.

4. Mutiny

I found an excellent preview text from Mutiny, one of the most unique examples in this list. Even though this preview text is longer than usual, it piqued my curiosity with an out-of-context question — Would you run a marathon for a burrito?

What I like: This preview text cleverly makes people excited about what’s inside the email.

While the subject line will talk about the actual content of the email, the preview text can mention something irrelevant yet interesting to draw people’s attention.

Takeaway: Don’t stick to the topic; that’s boring. Go beyond your email’s central theme to discuss something unusual in the preview text.

5. Why We Buy

Image Source

Katelyn Bourgoin’s Why We Buy newsletter always has 2 or 3 letters to describe the theme of each email. I know Katelyn is a 4-time founder and customer-focused marketer with a personal branding agency.

That’s good enough for me to open and read the message, even if not instantly. But, this email was unique because the preview text immediately convinced me to check out the message.

It’s an aspirational message with a concrete number to show how I can achieve this goal.

What I like: This short preview text builds exciting proof around the subject line. It convinces me that the email talks about a proven method, and I can use it to increase commitment by over 100%.

Takeaway: Share some proof of concept in the preview text. Give readers a reason to view the message by hinting at the success they can achieve with the tips inside.

6. Notion

When Notion launched Calendar, they sent four emails introducing different capabilities and use cases. But this was the best because the preview text beautifully contextualizes this feature.

It directly pokes at the pain of managing multiple tasks, meetings, and timelines to propose a single solution — all in five words.

What I like: This message taps into a big emotion: motivation. It tells me that Notion Calendar will offer enough motivation to stay on top of all my commitments.

And the preview text increases open rates by evoking this powerful emotion.

Takeaway: Make your preview text personal. Speak directly to your readers and explain what they can do better with the insights inside the email.

7. Junia

Junia ran a small experiment and shared their findings through an email. I wouldn’t usually have opened this message, but I felt compelled to click on the email because of the preview text.

It creates suspense and a sense of excitement, mentioning revelations inside.

What I like: The subject line + preview text combination gives you an action and a reason to work with. The subject line states a clear ask, and the preview text hints that there’s a reason behind this ask. It makes people curious to learn more.

Takeaway: Mention a simple action in the subject line and use the preview text to briefly explain why you’re asking people to take this action. Hint at these reasons instead of revealing everything.

8. Vidyard

Holidays are the busiest of times for our inboxes. But Vidyard’s creative message was one of the few emails I opened right before signing off for my year-end vacation. Why?

Because it gave me something new to check out: tips to make an OOO video.

What I like: This isn’t one of those typical happy holiday emails. It promises something meaningful and topical.

At a time when everyone was setting out-of-office responders, Vidyard’s preview text instantly caught my attention because I wanted to do something fun.

Takeaway: Even when sending mainstream emails for holidays or occasions, make them more appealing with a unique take or creative tips.

9. Triple Whale

I’ve received dozens of eBooks and reports over email, but this one from Triple Whale was at a whole different level. The preview text neatly summarizes what their BFCM report analyzes and the data points it includes.

And the best part? It nudges me to open this email with a short question — how do you stack up?

What I like: I felt excited because this preview text gave me some context about what’s inside the report.

If I were an e-commerce business owner, I’d open the email faster than the speed of light because I’d want to evaluate my performance against this data.

Takeaway: When sharing a report or resource (like an ebook), briefly summarize the numbers or themes inside and end with a personal question.

10. Content Workshop

This edition of Masooma Memon’s Content Workshop is another of my favorite examples of email preview text because it promises a free resource.

Masooma is a freelance writer and content marketer for some of the biggest names in the B2B SaaS industry.

The subject line explains that she’ll talk about 15 lessons, and the preview text invites me to download her tried-and-tested goal tracker.

What I like: This preview text is a quick nudge to download the goal tracker. It’s an added motivation to open the email. And if some people aren’t intrigued by the subject line, they’d view the email looking at this offer.

Takeaway: If you offer a resource within your email, highlight it in the preview text. Position this resource as a tried-and-tested way to accomplish the goals discussed in the subject line + email.

11. Catalyst

Catalyst uses preview text to guide users through the following steps after someone downloads their ebook on customer-led growth. Most companies throw people into their “lead nurturing sequence” and send random emails.

But Catalyst contextualized this nurture email for readers to instantly recognize why they’re receiving it and what’s inside.

What I like: This preview text immediately tells me why I’m receiving the email so that I don’t delete/spam it immediately. Plus, it sets the stage for me to open the message because the email contains the next steps.

And the personalization looks great, too!

Takeaway: Use the preview text snippet to create context around why you’re sending an email. You can significantly minimize unsubscribe rates by setting this context.

12. Atlan

My inbox is filled with invites for webinars, events, fireside chats, and whatnot. This email by Atlan was one of the few such invites that stood out for me. It has three main elements:

A recognizable [Invite] tag
Event name + time
Preview text with themes of discussion

What I like: This preview text is a one-line webinar summary. It’s clear and convincing for readers to explore more if the topics seem interesting.

Takeaway: Use the preview text to quickly summarize your event invites. It can save readers the time to jump through hoops.

13. Asana

Asana is one of my go-to project management tools. And when your favorite brand wants to share their tips, you’ll open the email. This preview text draws on Asana’s brand strength and popularity to excite readers.

What I like: I consider Asana’s team project management experts. By hinting that this email includes their best time-saving tips, this preview text creates curiosity to open the email.

Takeaway: Leverage your brand image to write preview texts in first-person POV and share your first-hand experiences or expertise.

14. Coda

This product update email by Coda has a simple and powerful preview text message. It tells readers they can achieve something big using the new capabilities in the tool.

But, they must view the email first to learn about these new features.

What I like: The simplicity. This preview text doesn’t have anything extraordinary. Yet, for Coda users, it talks about a big goal and incentivizes them to achieve it by checking out the features inside the email.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to keep things simple. Test a few variations of such preview texts with your subscribers to choose the most optimized ones.

15. Vimeo

This preview text by Vimeo is one of my favorite examples because of its realistic message. While the email discusses a specific feature, the preview text zooms in on the pain points this feature can solve.

It also told me about the option to try this feature for free.

What I like: The preview text contextualizes Vimeo’s new AI feature. It explains how the tool removes phrases we don’t want to include in the video, making it an instant hit.

Takeaway: Speak directly to your users and lead with their pain points to craft a successful preview text.

Turning Preview Text Into Opens

That’s a wrap on my favorite preview text examples! Remember to spend extra time drafting the preview text the next time you create an email campaign.

You can make a checklist of these tips and takeaways to reel in more people and increase your open rates with an awesome preview text.

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