How do you craft your business email subject lines? As a writer, I should be completely on top of this, right? How about you? I’m afraid that in the “not so crash hot” subject line department, I’m guilty as charged. At best, I’m inconsistent.
I’ve been trying to escape from email hell lately, and am having some success slowly taming my email overload. I’ve realized that I’m actually adding to the noise with poorly crafted subject lines in personal and business emails. “Hi” does not cut it. “Meeting” is not specific enough.
On the other hand, when I send a client articles they’ve commissioned, I’m specific… very specific. I want to be very clear. I want to be paid. Now that’s motivation!
I saw an interesting Inbox Zero video by Merlin Mann of 43 Folders. He talked about the “early days” when there were so few people with email that they were like little virtual “hugs. Well, if emails were virtual hugs then, it seems that these days there is a “whole lotta lovin’ going round.”… maybe a tad too much.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to receive emails from friends and readers. I look forward to those. It’s the other hundred or so I get in my ebox daily that I’m trying to get my head around. I’m not even talking about spam, although some of it is spam masquerading as legitimate business email… but that’s a whole other issue.
It’s dawned on me that writing an email subject line follows similar principles to writing a web article or blog post headline. As email readers scan subject lines, these need to
Give your business email a chance to be read before it is zapped by a ready finger hovering over the “delete” button (or worse still mislabelled as spam). Make sure your email subject line is clear as crystal and helps your reader rather than adding to the email overload.
Ancient writing (at first pictographic in nature) is best known from clay and stone inscriptions, but the use of perishable materials, mainly palm leaf, papyrus, and paper, began in ancient times.