Email Headers: Good, bad, in between?

Yes No Maybe Chart
by Allie White

A well-designed email header can be eye-grabbing and capture your audience’s attention – it can also make your email longer and push valuable content further down the page.

We all receive an influx of emails throughout the week. Think about how long you spend reading each one, is it 10 seconds? 15? Less? Almost a quarter of emails receive less than 8 seconds of engagement before the reader clicks off and moves on with their day. According to Statista, a German company specializing in market and consumer data, over 40% of people open their emails on their mobile device. Mobile networks can struggle with loading issues due to file size which has caused some users to disable images altogether. This is all happening while some email clients are getting more aggressive at withholding images and only delivering them after the receiver opts in.

Top companies such as Google, are forgoing headers almost entirely in favor of an impactful title and creative content throughout the body of their emails. This isn’t to say a well-designed email header isn’t an eye-catching way to engage your audience. We encourage everyone to think through the value a header can add versus jumping to the heart of the email that much faster. For emails with a quick turnaround, limited information, or one-time sends, a catchy title or a well-placed wordmark can be just as impactful as a full-scale email header.

A variety of barriers with email clients, mobile data, and user’s unintentionally opting out of email images, have left some users at a disadvantage when crucial information is left off. This has led to a renewed focus on the subject line, preview text, and body of the email for your DARCOMM counterparts.

So, the next time you’re adding an email header, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it serve a purpose?
  • Can the same goal be achieved by a catchy title or well-placed wordmark?
  • What is the email header saying?
  • Does the email header share the same information that can be found in the body of the copy?
  • Is the header detracting from the flow of the email?

These are all questions you should bring to the table in your kickoff meetings when you’re discussing a project’s email plan with your unit’s communication coordinator, digital strategist, and creative design specialist!

Take a look at some emails (with headers, wordmarks, and catchy titles) that the Digital Team loves!