When you open your inbox, you tend to look at who the emails within are from first. Next, as we continue to scan, we look to the Subject: field to decide what emails we will prioritize.
This is why it is so important to make sure your Subject: field represents the content and context of your email. Accurately and with proper level of importance.
Here are some quick tips to make sure your Subject: is all about the actual subject at hand.
A Short Phrase Will Do
The Subject: field need only be a handful of words that are clearly representative of what your message is about.
- Not So Good: Can we get together at that restaurant on main street around the corner from the shoe store next week sometime how about maybe next Friday?
- Good: Let’s Get Together Next Week.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Make sure your choice of words are clear and concise. The last thing you want to do is misrepresent the content of the email or overstate emotions.
- Not So Good: Where are you? I need your help, like NOW!!!!!!
- Good: Can you help me out?
Guide to the Content Within
The Subject: field is not the place for your message or a URL or any actionable information. The Subject: is a guide to the content within.
- Not So Good: http://thewebsiteurlherethatyouwantthemtocheckout.com
- Good: You have to check out this website!
Don’t Be Spammy
Refrain from being too general or over reactionary. One word Subject: fields are spammy and do not relay what your message is about.
- Not So Good: HELP!
- Good: Help with my new puppy?
The word help in particular is used by spammers to instill urgency and get you to open their spammy emails. You also don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf by lacking clarity.
Start a New Email
Don’t use an old email with an old Subject: that doesn’t represent the current conversation.
- If the email is somewhat related, take the initiative to modify the Subject: field to show the current topic of conversation. But only if the content within the previous thread applies.
- Entirely different Subject:? Start a new email.
Don’t Send Blanks
Always put something in the Subject: field. Here again, you risk your email being labeled spammy and landing in the other side’s junk folder when you do not include a Subject:.
Subject: fields that are short, sweet and unemotional are the way to get your subject across and your emails opened.
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