With hundreds of emails coming at us every day, it's often the ones with clear and engaging subject lines that get a response.
If your subject line lacks urgency or relevance, it’s likely your email will be opened last or pushed to the time slot allotted for cleaning out emails.
Engaging and clear subject lines are essential when looking for work, networking, or collaborating in business. They can be used effectively to create first impressions and convey required levels of action.
My least favorite emails are resumes sent without any subject at all. Looks like spam to me!
If you're a candidate or business person of any kind, these tips will help ensure your emails get the attention they deserve.
DO - Appeal to the reader, try words like “you” and “your”. Ask a question or make a statement.
DON'T - Appeal to your ego. Stay away from phrases like accomplished executive, great service, or senior marketer. They aren't compelling enough.
DO - Stay on topic. If you're in an email thread, make sure all of your emails relate to the subject initiated. If you're sending an unrelated e-mail, start a new thread.
DON'T - Be lazy and pick up old emails from your contacts and reply with something unrelated. If you're wondering why no one is responding to your invite for coffee with a subject line "Expenses Due Tomorrow,” it's because most people won't even open that email, they'll just take action.
DO - State your email content clearly.
DON'T - Be vague or ask open-ended questions. Ask yourself, does this email subject line describe what's in it?
DO - Use a sense of urgency if you need an immediate response. Try “Urgent” or “Reply Required”. Symbols like, *New Update* or << Project Review>> always get a response.
DON'T - Use “Send Receipts” when it’s a simple e-mail conversation. If it's absolutely critical to confirm an email has been delivered and read, go ahead, your recipient will likely cooperate.
DO - Keep it short. MailChimp suggests subjects within 50 characters
DON'T - Use overly descriptive adjectives. Emails will subject lines that sound “salesy” will often get directed to the Spam folder.