What if your emails had two subject lines?

Only two short sentences will get your subscribers to open your emails.

And most creators ignore the second one.

There are a lot of people sending a lot of emails. That little fact shouldn’t discourage you but it should make you think a little differently about the relationship you have with your subscribers.

You aren’t the only email in their inbox.

No matter how interested someone was in your newsletter or how great your latest issue is, the words shown in the inbox will make or break the success of your hard work.

With that in mind, why is this true?

You often see the question: “How do I write better subject lines?”

You rarely see the question: “How can I write better preview text?”

Subject lines are objectively the most important, but ignoring preview text means you’re leaving one more opportunity to connect with your subscribers on the table.

What exactly is preview text?

Preview text is the line right under a subject line in your inbox that gives you a hint at what might be in the email.


If you don’t give your email a set preview text, it will simply grab the first sentence.

You can take control of that first sentence by using custom preview text (a common option email service providers offer).

It’s basically the option of having a second chance to grab attention.

What is great preview text?

I like to think of preview text as an expansion of the subject line.

Here are a few from recent issues of Creator Glue:

  • Subject: How to grow your newsletter in 2024
  • Preview: This is going to be a big year for you.
  • Subject: Never run out of ideas again
  • Preview: Stop working for your ideas and make your ideas work for you.
  • Subject: Holding on to your creative spark
  • Preview: Consistency is all about keeping inspiration alive.

In all of these examples, I focus the subject line on a want my subscribers have and use the preview text to connect that want with why my subscribers want it.

If you want to hold on to your creative spark, for example, you’re likely feeling that way because you want to stay consistent but may be feeling burnt out. You want to continue to be inspired.

Your next steps

When you write your next newsletter issue, take a minute or two for preview text writing.

Use preview text to strategically connect with your subscriber’s deeper reason for being interested in the subject line.

With that combination in mind, your subscribers can’t help but open.

Written by Kyle Adams

I work at ConvertKit helping top creators every day and bring what I know about growing your email list to Creator Glue every week.