Writing a subject line to an email is a bit like coming up with a title: it needs to be short, spark interest, and tell your readers what to expect. While subject lines don’t need to be as creative or striking, they can be just as daunting to write.
Writing email subject lines is also challenging because you want the recipients to react to your message in some way. They probably (ahem … definitely) get an overwhelming number of emails and need to be selective as to which ones they open or read. A strong subject line will help your email get noticed faster. Recipients will understand your message more quickly, retrieve the message easily, and respond more quickly.
Here are a few tips to get your email noticed and prompt quick responses:
- Be specific about the project, topic, and timing. Consider how the subject line will look amongst others in your recipient’s inbox. When you specify the project, they will be more likely to open your message quickly.
- Quick Question! (Not specific)
- Need your expertise for 2013 Social Media planning (Specific)
- Communications survey ASAP (Not specific)
- Communications survey results needed 12/5 (Specific)
- Help the recipient organize and find your message with details and dates. We all love emails that are easy to find amidst hundreds of others.
- Intranet Review (Not easy to file or find)
- Intranet survey results: 10/15 discussion (Easy to file and find)
- Use a calm, organized, and positive tone. No one wants to open an email that appears to be a fire needing to be put out. Use upbeat language and specific information and, as a general rule, avoid using excessive exclamation points or all-capitals.
- URGENT: Report needed today!! (Not calm or organized)
- Q3 Analysis–Your (awesome) report needed for 11/21 Mtg (Calm, organized, and positive)
- Use vibrant, benefit-oriented language for emails not related to a project or task. Include the specifics, along with a major benefit in the subject line.
- FREE seminar Tomorrow! (Not specific or benefit-orientated)
- Networking for Career Growth: Best Practices Webinar 11/21 (Specific and benefit-orientated)
While you can’t control how quickly your recipients respond to your email, you can craft organized and clear subject lines that stand out. Do you have any other tips? Please share below!
If you’d like more tips and strategies for writing emails, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and receive our Guide to Better Business Email Etiquette.