Snippet is the top line of the email which is displayed apart from the subject line. Usually the inbox snippet displays the first line of the text message or HTML message. It is tiny but a very significant part of the email message which helps to tilt the balance in the marketer’s favor, when the readers zip through their messages, searching for the most important ones and deleting the rest. Therefore, it is more important to juice up the snippet in order to optimize the email and make your message stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Different service providers have different types of display pane. Yahoo displays the snippet in a pop-up text box when the cursor is brought over the subject line. Gmail shows the snippet in a shaded part after the display of a truncated subject line. In Outlook, a short part of the text is shown in auto preview.
Some marketers give the invitation to join their list of subscribers in the snippet itself. Although the service is valid it still shouldn’t be mentioned in the first line. Instead it must be used to generate interest, value and excitement in your email. A correctly framed snippet helps the reader, especially the one on the run, in deciding whether they should read the email immediately or delete it. Apart from the subject line alone, more words are available in the snippet or the top line of your email to build brand recognition. This top line facilitates the snap decision of the reader when he is in the middle of inbox triage. Some preview panes block images by default, which again increases the importance of the top line.
According to a survey, some of the common top lines are ‘View the email with images’, and ‘If you are having trouble seeing this email, Click Here’. At face value, there is nothing wrong with the message. But according to another statistics, the required number of people does not click on the link to go to the web version of the email. And none of the above sentences convey an offer or the purpose of email, leaving the reader to rely on the subject line alone for hint. Not other common failing is that it dose not even include the company’s name or brand. Another great opportunity to stand out is lost here.
The basic thing to keep the snippet spicy is to make a new one every time, even if few extra minutes are required for this job but its worth can be seen in better open rate. So the magic word here is to rejuvenate the top line, even if the same offer is being repeated. Retail email should have the offer in the top line like free shipping, festive discount or try our new product. The news publications should have the headline as the snippet like the quirky tidbit, top story or company announcement, followed by the web version link. If the email is a transaction confirmation then the action must be referred to and thanks should be offered, if required. If an order confirmation or thank you page is to be included in the transaction confirmation email, a link should be included to that page but otherwise, links can be skipped and templates can be used instead.
Before sending out email with the revamped top line it is important to revise the snippet. It can appear in a different method in different web email and desktop clients such as Yahoo, Gmail, etc. and on different platforms such as PC, mobile, Macintosh, etc. Testing should always be done. Divide your group of testers which can include employees and trusted old readers, into two groups. Send the first group your standard email and the other group the revised email. Notice the opinions of the two and choose the one with the best feedback. Always check the click rate of the snippet, to see the attention it is attracting.
The bottom line is that not even a single line of the email message should be wasted. The aim should be all business and no nonsense text.