Many in the business world underestimate the email Subject: field. With email being relied on more than ever — your Subject: field is even more critical for clarity in and organization of your email communications.
This one field can impact how you are perceived and even if the recipient will open your email. It can also affect responses and the ability for all to be efficient.
Subject: fields need to be clear, concise, and relevant to the content of your email, so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Proper word capitalization matters too (not all small case or all caps) lends to your credibility.
Add to that; most take a glance to determine if they will open/read an email. So it is that glance where you have the opportunity to grab them.
Subject: Dos and Don’ts
- Do be sure to include a brief, concise and accurate phrase describing your email content.
- Don’t use a previous email, hit reply, and start typing about a totally unrelated topic. If it is a new topic; start a new email.
- Do be sure to type with proper capitalization and sentence structure, otherwise you may 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 email content.
- Don’t use the Subject: field to ask a question or contain the entire email content. Doing so is lazy and blank emails risk being misidentified as spam.
- Do change the Subject: field when necessary to reflect a change in focus of an ongoing email conversation.
- Don’t assume that a new contact will recognize your email address. Use the Subject: field as an opportunity to remind them why you are emailing. Such as: “Your Request for Widget Specs.”
- Do use proper grammar and check for misspellings.
- Don’t use multiple exclamation points or questions marks for added emphasis. Not necessary in professional email communications.
Business Email Subject: Fields Matter
I see Subject: fields every day that makes me think twice before opening the email. But, of course, if I have to think twice, I had better recognize the Sender: field, or chances are the email goes right to Trash. And that’s just for my day-to-day communications.
A recent study showed that what works for some doesn’t work for others. For example, while under 60 characters makes your email more “openable,” 72 characters or more, the study found, makes your email more relevant.
Rather than becoming obsessive about counting characters — you need to measure conversions, what message works best for your specific market, what Subject: entices more views, and, hopefully, more click-throughs.
The bottom line is to determine what works for you with your specific market to accomplish your goals. Then, test, test, test, and then test some more.
So as you can see by the tips above, that minor Subject: field is an essential part of your email that will help you communicate efficiently and clearly.
The take-away here? Keep your Subject: field relevant and pithy!