How to use the preview text hack in MailChimp
The wonderful folks at Litmus introduce a great way to control the preheader text in emails.
Basically, it’s a way of adding white space to a preheader text to make your message stand out.
Here’s an example:
The first message is with the hack, the second is without it, and the third (from Cake Queen Yolanda Gampp) is.
The white space makes your message stand out more, and more importantly, it stops unwanted text like “unsubscribe” or the dreaded “view online” text from showing here.
How the preheader hack works
The hack simply consists of adding lots of invisible ͏, ‌ and characters to your preheader text. And I mean lots of them.
The ‌ and ͏ are a so-called zero-width-non-joiners and the is a non-breaking space.
Unfortunately, MailChimp won’t let you add these in the normal space for editing the preheader, i.e. here:
So we have to get a bit creative. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how you can easily do it.
Adding the preheader hack to the email content
In MailChimp, once you have chosen your Subject and your Preview text, as in the screenshot above, edit the content of the email. If you’re starting from an empty template, you should see two boxes marked “Drag Content Blocks Here” on the left. If these already have objects in them, don’t worry, the hack still works.
Now click and drag a “Code” box from the bottom right and let go of it as far top left as possible. The frame “preheader” should be highlighted before you let go.
If there is already content there, drag this new box above it.
You’ll then see this editable code element top right.
Now delete the whole content of that code box (beginning with <div …) and paste exactly this text:
Make sure you copy the whole block as the third line is very very long.
The important bit here is the style at the beginning, which makes sure that the text isn’t actually displayed in your email.
When you click Save & Close the box should disappear. That’s what we want.
Now when you send your message, you’ll see your chosen Preheader Text followed by empty space.
This is particularly effective on mobile devices. Here are screenshots from Mail and Gmail on an iPhone.