Developing engaging subject lines is not a practice exclusively for email marketers. This is an important practice for any business professional. Email is one of the primary forms of communication in the business world. How you represent yourself in email is a reflection of your professional image.
Business Professionals – this one is for YOU! When developing an email, do you spend time
crafting an appropriate and relevant subject line? If not, start today!
Subject lines might seem like a minor nuisance, however, they are the gatekeeper. With the
volume of emails that we receive daily, most of us skim our emails for importance and delete
what is not relevant. Essentially, we judge the email by its subject line just as we judge a book
by its cover.
Subject Line Don’ts
1. Never leave it blank
2. Never include all caps and expletive symbols (IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR ☠@✴#ing YELLING!!!)
3. Never include personal identification information (i.e. SSN, License #’s, etc.)
Below are the three questions to answer when creating engaging subject lines (i.e. Dos).
1. Is it relevant?
Make your subject line relevant. Give the email recipient a quick view into your email
content. Are you requesting a meeting? Are you confirming a meeting? Are you
outlining next steps? Are you providing or asking for information on a specific topic?
[Subject: Action Items from 2/14/2014 Website Development Meeting]
2. Is it descriptive?
Make your subject line short yet specific. Are you requesting a meeting immediately or in
two weeks? Are you asking for 2013 monthly budget numbers or 2012 annual budget?
You are much more likely to get what you want if you ask for the “pink chair by Friday at
noon” vs. “that chair”.
[Subject: Pink chair needed for photo shoot by Friday 2/21/2014]
3. Is it current?
Make your subject line current for every email, even replies. When replying, change the
subject line to align with your response. For example: if someone asks a question with
Subject: Question about ABC, the response subject line should be Subject: Answer to
Question about ABC.
[Subject: Completed on 2/19 RE: Pink chair needed for photo shoot by Friday 2/21/2014]
This blog wouldn’t be complete without showing the good, the bad and the ugly.
Example: Nicole sends an email request to Dawn to create the next blog post. The email
contains date options for the meeting with proposed objectives and agenda for the meeting.
Nicole’s Subject Line: Meeting Request to Discuss Blog
The following are example of typical replies.
Subject: RE: Meeting Request to Discuss Blog
Subject: Yes – Monday RE: Meeting Request to Discuss Blog
Subject: Blog Meeting Confirmed – 3/31/14 – 10 EST
Subject lines are your opportunity to capture the attention of your audience.
When your audience reads your subject line, will they open it or delete it?