The 4 components of a reusable email header
Headers are the primary way companies maintain brand consistency in their emails. Having a consistent email header builds trust amongst your subscribers, since it allows them to immediately identify your emails when they open them. For this reason, it’s important that you build a header you can reuse in all the different types of emails you send.
1. Preheader Text
The first component of any email is the preheader text, which will be displayed in the inbox preview of an email and as the first line of text in the email itself. While the content of your preheader text will change from email to email, the formatting should remain consistent. Preheader text should be:
- Smaller than your paragraph font
- 2-3 shades lighter than your paragraph font, depending on whether it’s on the background or the content background of the email
- A concise summary of the email
While the preheader text is especially important for your email’s inbox preview, you don’t want it to distract from the rest of your email once a subscriber opens it.
Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand, so it’s essential that it’s featured in your header. The layout of your logo should:
- Match the layout of your logo on your website — if it’s left-aligned on your site, it should be left-aligned in your emails. If it’s centered on your site, it should be centered in your emails
- Be less than 150px, otherwise it will push the content of your email below the fold. Follow these steps if you’re unsure how large your logo is on your site or need to resize it
Unlike the preheader text, which should be subtle, your logo should mark your email so it’s immediately recognizable to everyone who opens it.
3. Navigation Bar
Below your header, you should have a navigation bar with links. Include:
- A link to your homepage
- A link to popular categories (shoes and clothes, for instance)
- A link to your collections (men’s or women’s, for instance)
- For sale emails: a link to the sale page
- For abandoned carts: a link to a shopper’s cart
Don’t include more than four links in total, otherwise your navigation bar will be overly crowded. Stylistically, your navigation bar should be offset from both the email and content backgrounds. It should match the styling of the navigation bar on your site, but serve as a condensed version.
4. Social Links (Optional)
You can include social links in the header or footer of your emails. If your logo is left- or right-aligned, include your social links in-line, on the opposite side. If your logo is centered, include your social links in your navigation bar.
Are there any components of an email header that you think I missed? Let me know in the comments!