With so many emails in everyone’s Inbox, many messages are unopened long after they’ve been received – or never opened in some cases.
The ideal subject line provides two things:
1) Enough information to make a recipient want to open the email,
2) Key information in case the message becomes buried under a dozen other emails.
Yet the subject line should be relatively short.
Here are some tips on crafting effective subject lines:
- If possible, summarize the content of an email. For example, a subject line such as “What time is good for our staff meeting?” tells the recipient more than just one that reads “Meeting.”
- When replying, avoid “Re: Re:-itis” by changing your subject line to reflect your answer. For example, “1 pm is better for me” is more helpful to recipients than “Re: Meeting” or “Re: Re: Meeting.”
- If you’re announcing an event, try to include the date, time and place in the subject line. This helps everyone refer to the key points later. Note: Use hyphens instead of back slashes in numerical dates. For example, “Staff meeting Thurs. 6-24, 1 pm, WT7 Rm 325” is more helpful and informative than just “Staff Meeting.”