Many in the business world underestimate The Subject: field of e-mail. This one field can impact how you are perceived and even if your e-mail will be opened.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts when it comes to your Subject: field:
- Do be sure to include a brief and descriptive phrase about your e-mail’s contents.
- Don’t use a previous e-mail, hit reply, and start talking about a totally unrelated topic. If it is a new topic; start a new e-mail!
- Do be sure to type with proper capitalization and grammar, otherwise you could be mistaken for a spammer.
Don’t type your Subject: field in all lower case or all caps.
- Do make sure that you think about the tone your chosen Subject: will relay — very important in framing your e-mail’s content.
Now, on to the Don’ts…
- Don’t use the Subject: field to ask a question or contain the entire e-mail’s content. Not only does that give the perception of lazy, but sending a blank e-mail because you’ve used the Subject: field for your entire e-mail can cause your e-mail to be misidentified as spam.
- Do change the Subject: field when necessary to reflect a change in the e-mail conversation’s focus.
- Don’t assume that a new contact will recognize your e-mail address. Use the Subject: field as an opportunity to remind them why you are e-mailing. Such as: “Your Request for Widget Specs.”
So as you can see by the above; the Subject: field is an important part of your e-mail that will help you to communicate efficiently and with clarity!
Do you have any dos or don’ts to add to the list?