10 Email Subject Line Mistakes You Are Making

I get emails. You get emails. We all get emails.

mail is still the one app that we use every single day. Its the one single app that we regard as our main communication tool. So you would think that in 2017, we would all have mastered how to use email correctly. Not so. Many are still making the same email mistakes they made when they created their first Hotmail account back in 1996.

Let me explain: when you send an email you have one mission in mind – making sure that the recipient reads the email. That’s all.

Most people have multiple email addresses and receive hundreds of emails per day (at least) and so your precious email is mixed in with the Viagra Ads and other SPAMMY stuff which could be lost in the initial quick scan that we do to catch anything important.

What is the secret of getting your email read? It obvious and yet this is where most people mess up… it’s the SUBJECT LINE! 

 

Here are the Subject Line Mistakes that you might be making and should stop today:

Subject: Hi

…along with other single words such as Info or Doc.  These one-word-subjects do not convey any information. Instead of Info, how about “Flight Information” instead of Doc, how about “Document from the Marketing Summit 2017”.

Subject: Just wanted to chat with you about the information you needed for the meeting so let’s get together and bring that document to discuss

Really? This isn’t a Tweet or an SMS. It’s an email. The subject is a headline and describes what’s in the body. This super duper long subject line is ridiculous and looks stupid on a mobile device which means it gets trashed. Bye Bye.

Subject: Call me.

Ahhh the kiss of death. It’s the relationship equivalent to “We need to talk”. It might get attention but this is a stress-inducing email.  If the subject was: Call me to chat about McMillan Case, then at least it prepares the recipient for the discussion.

Subject: FW: RE: RE: RE: RE: FW: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Your update

This is very common when there are multiple people in the email chain. After the first 2 or 3 RE: and FW: just delete the rest and start the thread again. Even better, update the subject to something more relevant as the conversation develops.

Subject: The McMillan Case

This is a decent subject line. Right now it just shows that the sender is simply conveying info. However, if the sender needed an urgent reply, then the subject line doesn’t indicate it so this email could be ignored for several days. “Feedback by Tuesday on The McMillan Case” or “The McMillan Case – need info asap” shows that it’s not just informational.

Subject: URGENT!!!!!!

This will work the first time. Maybe even the second time. But if the matter really isn’t urgent, then these emails take their place in the SPAM queue. If something is really that urgent that can not wait, then a phone call, a text message, or an Instant Message are far better methods than email.

Subject: Bachelor Party

It might have started about the party, but the email has changed to discussing the accommodation and flights. Conversations in email change, so change the subject line accordingly. When you are at the airport looking for your confirmation number,  emails with the subject “Bachelor Party” will be skipped but if it said “Bachelor Party – Flight Info” tada…

Subject: You have one day left to act!

Those emails that want to make you think you should stop everything and take action now DO WORK. You stop and press delete. Nice try spammer. NEXT.

Subject: Job aplikation

Millions of dollars have been spent so that we all have Spell Check. Use it. If the subject has typos then not only does it look bad, but it reeks of those badly worded phishing scam email about your long last Grandma who for you left $1billion in he Whill….

Subject: 

No subject line. You were in such a hurry to write that you couldn’t be bothered with a subject? Even your email app is confused and pops up a message saying “it has no subject – are you SURE you wanna send it?”. No Subject is like arriving at a business meeting and butting into random stranger conversations with no introduction. Stop doing it weirdo!

 

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