image ofemail headers

Using Email Headers to Improve Marketing Outcomes


Did you know email campaigns make $36 to $40 for every $1 spent? They are a key way for businesses to reach their audience, boost sales, and make more money. And a big part of getting this right is focusing on email headers. Email headers share information about who sent the email, who got it, and its path. Using these details well, marketers can make sure emails arrive, find the right people, study how people interact, and keep emails secure. Let's look at how to use email headers to up your marketing game.

Key Takeaways:

  • Email headers keep you in the know about the sender, recipient, and email's journey.
  • They help make sure your emails reach the right people, so you can see how effective your efforts are and stay safe.
  • To get the most out of email headers, it's important to know what each part means.
  • Checking email headers on different platforms can tell you a lot about your email's path and any problems.
  • Using email headers well can make your marketing messages more personal and targeted.

Email Headers and Their Role in Marketing

Email headers are key in email marketing. They tell us about the email's sender, receiver, path, and validity. Marketers can use this info to boost their campaigns. It helps emails get delivered, increase reader interest, stay secure, and match specific needs.

What Are Email Headers?

Email headers are details that go with every email. They're like a hidden tag that tells the email system how to handle it. This tag carries info about the email itself, its journey, and its key players.

Practical Uses of Email Headers in Marketing

Email headers are rich with data for marketing. They reveal how well emails are reaching their targets. You can see if they go through spam checks and if readers open them. This insight helps refine your email strategy. Also, headers support making messages more personal and targeted. Knowing where and how people read their emails, you can customize content. This customization boosts engagement and the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Components of an Email Header

To master email headers, one first needs to know their parts. These include: From, To, Subject, Date/Time, Received, and X-Mailer. Each part brings crucial data that can enhance marketing approaches.
Component Description
From The sender's name and email address
To The recipient's name and email address
Subject The email's subject line
Date/Time The date and time the email was sent
Received Details about the path the email took, including servers it passed through
X-Mailer The software or application used to send the email
Knowing these components helps marketers make the most of email headers. It allows them to fine-tune their strategies for better results.

Email Metadata for Improved Deliverability

how to improve email deliverability
Tips to improve email deliverability. Source: Mailmodo
Email metadata is key to making sure your emails get to the right place. It includes things like the email's header. By looking at this data, marketers can spot and fix problems. This makes their email ads work better. Making sure your emails reach people's inboxes is a big deal. Things like proving who you are, your mailing reputation, and avoiding spam filters help. Looking closely at metadata lets you see and solve any in-the-way issues. Proving your emails are real is extremely important. Using security checks like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC can help. This makes email servers and apps trust your messages more. So, they're more likely to let them through to users. Your mailing domain's reputation also determines if you land in the inbox or spam. Keeping your domain's rep clean is essential. It ensures your emails actually get seen by their recipients. Spam filters are good for blocking bad messages. But sometimes they wrongly stop real ones. Metadata shows you how they see your emails. This helps you tweak your messages to avoid the spam label. When you really dig into email metadata, you learn a lot about sending emails. This info helps you send better messages. You can then track your success and get more of your emails opened.

Access and Analyze Email Headers Across Different Platforms

GMAIL inbox
Gmail is one of the leading communication platforms today.
Marketers need to check email headers to get important data. This helps them see if emails get to people and find any issues. Knowing this info helps tweak marketing plans. Though there are a few ways to find email headers, the details are the same no matter the platform.

Viewing Email Headers in Gmail

For Gmail, you must first open the email you're looking into. Then, click the three dots at the top right of the email. Pick "Show original" from the menu that pops up. After which the email header info will show on a new tab.

Retrieving Email Headers from Apple Mail and Outlook

For getting headers in Apple Mail and Outlook, this is what you do -- open the email in Apple Mail. Click on "View" in the menu at the top, then "Message". In Outlook, open the email instead. Then hit the three dots at the top and choose "View message details" or "Message options".

Email Header Accessibility on Yahoo and Thunderbird

To view headers in Yahoo and Thunderbird, you must do the following: open the email in Yahoo. Click the three dots at the top right and click on "View raw message". Then, the headers will show on a new tab. In Thunderbird, first open the email. Then go to "View" and choose "Message Source."
Email Platform Access Method
Gmail Click on three-dot menu icon, select "Show original"
Apple Mail Go to "View" > "Message"
Outlook Click on the three-dot menu icon, select "View message details" or "Message options"
Yahoo Click on the three-dot menu icon, select "View raw message"
Thunderbird Go to "View" > "Message Source"

Analyzing Email Header Data for Better Targeting

Email header details are a goldmine for marketers aiming for better targeting. It includes info like where the recipient is, what device they use, and which email platform is preferred. Decoding this helps marketers send more accurate and personalized messages. Learning to read email headers is key to making marketing emails work better. It lets you know where your recipient is, so you can make offers just for them. For example, if they're in a certain city, you can send promos that are specific to that location. These headers also tell you what device and email service the person uses. Knowing this, you can make sure your emails look great on every device and client. If the header shows they use a mobile device, you can guarantee the email format is mobile-friendly. This enhances how your content is received.
Email Header Information Possible Targeting Strategies
Geolocation Create location-specific offers or promotions
Device Type Optimize email content for different devices
Email Client Adapt email design for different email clients
By using the insights from email header data, marketers can make their email campaigns more effective. This leads to more opens, clicks, and conversions. Knowing where your audience is and what tech they use lets you design better, more targeted emails. This method also helps with sending content personally relevant to each recipient. It builds a stronger connection and makes the experience better for the user. This, in turn, can improve customer relationships. In summary, email header details offer significant help in targeting marketing messages. By understanding and using this data well, marketers can speak directly to their audience. This includes customizing emails based on location, device, and email service. Deciphering email headers is a potent technique for better targeting and personalizing marketing emails.

Case Studies of Successful Campaigns

happy person
This is what success looks like.
Real-life case studies show the power of email headers on engagement and conversions. These studies reveal how marketers use email headers to boost their campaigns. They achieve great results through smart strategies.

Uber's Transparency in Data Usage

Uber sent out an email campaign with the subject line "Important updates to our Privacy Policy" to inform users about changes to their data usage policies. By using a straightforward and transparent header, Uber effectively communicated with its customers, earning praise for its commitment to privacy and transparency.

Airbnb's Apology Email

After facing backlash for a glitch in their booking system that led to double bookings, Airbnb promptly sent out an email with the subject line "Oops! We made a mistake." In the email, Airbnb acknowledged the error, apologized for any inconvenience caused, and outlined steps to rectify the situation. This transparent approach helped Airbnb maintain trust with its users and mitigate negative sentiment.

Buffer's Transparency in Service Interruptions

Buffer, a social media management platform, demonstrated transparency during service interruptions by sending out emails with clear subject lines such as "We’re experiencing technical difficulties - here’s what’s happening." In these emails, Buffer openly communicated the issue, provided updates on the situation, and offered alternative solutions to users. This transparency fostered trust and goodwill among Buffer's customer base.
Company Strategy A/B Testing Result Outcome
Uber Transparency in Data Usage Email subject line: "Important updates to our Privacy Policy" Effective communication with customers, earning praise for commitment to privacy and transparency
Airbnb Apology Email Email subject line: "Oops! We made a mistake." Acknowledgment of error, apology, and outlined steps to rectify situation; maintained trust and mitigated negative sentiment
Buffer Transparency in Service Interruptions Email subject line: "We’re experiencing technical difficulties - here’s what’s happening." Open communication of issues, updates on the situation, and offered alternative solutions; fostered trust and goodwill among the customer base
These case studies illustrate the effectiveness of incorporating transparency into email headers to communicate important information, apologize for mistakes, and maintain trust with customers.

Adjusting Your Header Strategy Based on A/B Testing Results

A/B testing helps in choosing the best email header. It compares various header versions to see which attracts more readers. This data-driven method helps in making smarter choices for your campaign. You can A/B test your results using a robust marketing tool like this in our HubSpot review.

Groupon's Personalization Efforts

Groupon conducted A/B testing on email subject lines to determine the effectiveness of personalized vs. generic headers. Through testing, they found that personalized subject lines, such as "Exclusive Deal for [Recipient's Name]," outperformed generic ones. By adjusting their email header strategy based on A/B testing results, Groupon significantly increased open rates and click-through rates, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Netflix's Experimentation with Emoji Usage

Netflix experimented with using emojis in email subject lines to see if it would improve engagement. Through A/B testing, they discovered that emails with emojis in the subject line, such as "🍿 Your Weekend Movie Picks 🎬," had higher open rates compared to those without emojis. By incorporating emojis based on A/B testing results, Netflix successfully enhanced the effectiveness of its email campaigns and increased user engagement.

Spotify's Optimization of Preview Text

Spotify utilized A/B testing to optimize the preview text in their email headers. By testing different variations of preview text that complimented the subject line, they were able to increase email open rates and drive more traffic to their platform. This strategic adjustment based on A/B testing results helped Spotify improve the performance of its email campaigns and enhance user engagement. These case studies demonstrate the importance of A/B testing in refining email header strategies to maximize effectiveness and improve key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. By leveraging data-driven insights from A/B testing, companies can tailor their email campaigns to better resonate with their audience and achieve desired objectives. These studies underline the key role of email headers in engagement. Through in-depth analysis and A/B testing, marketers glean insights. These insights help improve their campaigns, leading to better outcomes.
Company Strategy A/B Testing Result Outcome
Groupon Personalization of Subject Lines Personalized subject lines ("Exclusive Deal for [Recipient's Name]") outperformed generic ones Increased open rates, click-through rates, and conversions
Netflix Emoji Usage in Subject Lines Emails with emojis in subject lines had higher open rates Improved email engagement and user interaction
Spotify Optimization of Preview Text Testing different variations of preview text increased email open rates Enhanced email campaign performance and user engagement
This table summarizes the strategies implemented by each company, the A/B testing results, and the outcomes of adjusting their email header strategies based on those results.
graphs on laptop
You can access your analytics through marketing tools.
Email headers are really important for marketing and for keeping your brand safe. By using header analytics, you can check emails for fake or harmful content. This helps to stop phishing and other dangers that could hurt your brand's image. When you're thinking about email safety, header analytics are key. They help check who's really sending the email and if it's safe. With this info, you can see where emails come from and if they're real. Let's say someone tries to trick your customers by pretending to be your brand. By looking at the email headers, you can spot if something doesn't look right. You might find fake emails or addresses that aren't really from your brand. With header analytics, you can make sure only good emails get through to people. This means only emails from places you know and trust should be seen. It's about making sure no one can use your brand's name to lie to customers or send harmful stuff. Keeping your brand safe with this method means always watching for bad signs. Setting strong security and using the best tools lets you have a safe email place. This protects your brand and makes sure your customers know they can trust you. You can access your analytics via a reliable marketing tool. Head to our Commetric review for more.
Benefits of Header Analytics for Email Security
1. Detection and prevention of phishing attempts
2. Identification and mitigation of spoofing attacks
3. Authenticate senders and verify email origin
4. Implement measures to protect brand reputation and customer trust
In the end, using header analytics is crucial for email safety and keeping your brand safe. By checking email headers, you can stop bad things before they happen. Stay smart and stay safe with header analytics.

Tools and Resources for Advanced Email Header Analysis

Email marketing continues to be a cornerstone of effective communication between businesses and customers. However, to optimize email campaigns for success, it's essential to go beyond basic analysis and dive into advanced email header analysis. This section explores tools and resources specifically designed to empower marketers with insights into email header data.

Email Testing Solutions

people working on something
Marketing tools and software get the job done.
Adopting email testing solutions can greatly improve your marketing. They focus on email headers, helping you enhance your campaigns and ensure your emails get to the right people. This tech gives you a better look at your email's header data. It lets you make your targeting and overall marketing better. For example, you can check who the sender is, how the email is verified, and where it's going. With this info, you can spot and fix any delivery issues. Email testing tools can also make sure your emails look good on all devices. They check if your email shows up right on different email services and gadgets. This makes for a smoother experience for your readers, boosting how they engage with your emails.

Third-Party Email Header Analyzers

Don't forget about third-party email analyzers for digging deeper into your email headers. They're stocked with features that parse headers, show data in charts, and give rich details. These analyzers provide extra insights like where readers are, what devices they're using, and which email apps. This data is gold for tweaking your campaigns. It's how you make your emails hit the mark better and drive more conversions. They also keep you safe from online threats by checking for phishing and making sure senders are legit. This goes a long way in protecting your brand's image. It ensures your emails are not just engaging but also trustworthy. Combining email testing tools with third-party analyzers is key to top-notch email analysis. They help you understand your email headers better, make your campaigns stronger, and ensure your emails connect more with your audience. It's all about making your email game stronger, engagement deeper, and delivery smoother.


Email headers are very important for marketing. They help improve how well emails do. Marketers use them to reach people better and keep emails safe. They also use them to see how well their emails are doing. Looking at email headers the right way helps companies do better. It makes people more interested in what they're offering. And, it helps them talk to each person in a way that feels personal. Marketers can see how people are responding to their emails. They know who's reading from where and on what device. This helps them send even more focused messages. Which can make people more likely to respond. Email headers are also key for keeping emails safe. They help spot and stop attempts to trick people or steal information. This protects the brand and builds trust with those getting the emails. It also helps the brand look good.


  • What are email headers? Email headers carry key details about the email’s path, the sender, the recipient, and more. They're like a cover page.
  • How can email headers improve marketing outcomes? They help emails get to the right place safely. Plus, they show data useful for better ads and campaigns. This way, marketers can send better-targeted emails.
  • What components are included in an email header? An email header has who sent it, who gets it, the subject, and when it was sent.
  • How can email headers improve email deliverability? They let marketers see crucial details like if the domain is trustworthy. This helps fix issues that might stop emails from reaching inboxes.
  • How can I view email headers in popular email platforms? You can see them in Gmail, Apple Mail, and more. Just follow the steps given on each platform.
  • How can email header information be used for better audience targeting? It lets marketers know where recipients are, what devices they use, and other details. This helps tailor messages better for them.
  • Can you provide examples of successful email campaigns utilizing email headers? Yes, we’ll look at successful campaigns. They'll show how good email marketing uses these headers.
  • How can email headers contribute to email security? They help catch attempts to steal information or trick recipients. By studying these details, marketers make emails safer.
  • What tools and resources are available for advanced email header analysis? Many email tools offer deep analysis of headers. They help make marketing strategies more effective.
Aside from excellent email headers, dynamic email content can take your email marketing efforts to places. Check out our "Dynamic Email Content: A Guide to Personalization in 2024" article.
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