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Please Use the Email Subject Field Properly

Proper Subject Field Use and Tips

How you use the Subject field can make a world of difference in how your email is perceived and even if it gets opened. For example, this week, I received an email where the sender included the entire email in the subject: field.

Talk about hard to read. I had to copy and paste the whole Subject into a new email just to read it.

Subject: Field Basic No-Nos

  • The Subject: is not a place to ask your question (and leave the email blank).
  • Type in the proper case (not all lower or all caps).
  • Never be misleading.
  • Don’t do “spammy things.”

The Subject is just that — the “subject,” not the content. The Subject field should be a handful of words, typed correctly, that accurately indicate the email’s content, nothing more.

Putting a question in the Subject field while leaving the email blank smacks a lack of tech-savvy. Furthermore, it may appear demanding to type a question and then send a blank email.

Always Type the Subject with Proper Structure and Case

Most of all, proper sentence structure always leave the best impression. Using all lower case gives the belief the sender may not be credible or, even worse, uneducated. All caps can do the same, looks spammy, and as a result, adds unintended emphasis.

You never want to be misleading as to the content of your email. So instead, use the Subject field as an opportunity to declare exactly what your emails are about with clarity.

Most folks rely on your choice of Subject field content to determine whether they will open your email. Don’t take that risk.

Don’t be Spammy

The same goes for “spammy things,” which are criteria spam filters look for to determine the spam score for every email. For example, email spam scores can determine if an email is bounced or returned or even sent directly to Trash or deleted.

The Subject field is part of that spam score, and if you do things that are typical of the tactics spammers use (including leaving the Subject field blank), your email could be misidentified and blocked.

You know what “spammy things” are — you see them every day in your inbox. So make a note, and don’t do the same.

For more on how to send emails that get opened and replied to, check out: How to Avoid Looking Spammy and the 5 Essentials of Every E-mail.

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