7 Ways to Write More Effective Email – Part 4 of 7

How to Write Better Subject Lines

The Subject Line is probably the single most important aspect of your message. Your message will probably arrive as an interruption to your recipient and/or be one of many other emails they receive today. There are 3 elements to an effective subject line; 

  1. Your desired outcome (see last week’s blog post to see the 4 possible outcomes for each message you send)
  2. A timeframe
  3. A clear, concise description of the subject 

You will get a much greater and quicker response rate to your emails when all three of these elements are included. Here are a few other considerations about how to make your subject line stand out so that you get the attention your message deserves; 

  • Do your subject lines pass the skim-and-delete test? Many readers delete an email as soon as they read the subject line, so make sure your subject lines are short, clear, and closely related to the content. 
  • Use descriptive, action-oriented subject lines – there’s no real limit on the number of words you can use, but use them wisely. 
  • An example of an effective subject line is “Action Required: Prepare budget for XYZ project by August 9th" 
  • Put a short message only in the subject line, and end with acronym <EOM> end of message, so reader knows there’s no need to open the message eg; “Yes, available to meet at 10am tomorrow <EOM>”

What not try some of these ideas today?