Why Email Subject Lines Matter | Tips and Tricks

Why Email Subject Lines Matter

There are literally billions of emails sent out each day. A glance at the abundance of emails in your own inbox is evidence of how time-consuming it can be to sort through which ones are actually important to your business and which are merely frivolous and annoying. So how can you ensure that the emails you’re sending will stand out from the crowd? It turns out that your email subject line can be highly beneficial in grabbing your readers’ attention. Below are some tips for creating the perfect email subject line to give your emails a fighting chance of being read, as opposed simply being sent to the dreaded "spam" folder.

Always Write Text in Your Subject Line
Sending an email with no subject line is a huge mistake, as most people will automatically delete these emails. In fact, your subject line is usually the deciding factor for whether or not your email is opened. If your reader does decide to open it, he or she will likely be annoyed because they were forced to open the email in order to determine the subject. Clear content in the subject line is not only a professional courtesy, it is a necessity.

Draft Your Subject Line First
Oftentimes, people will write their email and then add a subject line at the end, right before hitting send. However, the subject line is actually one of the most important parts of your email, as it sets the tone for everything else. Write this first, and you're already on the path to effective communication.

Keep it Concise
An email subject line should be short and to the point, consisting of approximately 6-8 words. A mobile phone will only show 25 to 30 characters, and an email inbox will expose about 60 characters of the subject line. Your reader should be able to see as much of the subject line as possible. Because you have a very limited amount of space, choose each word carefully and make it count.

State Your Point
Research illustrates that about 50% of emails are read from mobile phones, so you should try to put the most important words at the beginning of your email. Otherwise, readers might easily decide to delete rather than read the email. Your subject line should clearly state exactly what your email is about, so your recipient knows how important it is before opening it.

Include Your Name
If your email address is not your name, be certain to include it in the subject line. This is especially important if you have been referred by a mutual friend, and therefore the recipient might not immediately recognize who the email is from. In this instance, you should include the name of the person who referred you in your subject line as well. This will grab your reader’s attention, giving him or her a better clue as to what the email is about and who it is coming from.

Never use ALL CAPs
While this might succeed at getting someone’s attention, it is not the kind of attention you want. It is the virtual equivalent of yelling at someone, and can be quite off-putting.

Don't Start a Sentence That You Complete in the Body of the Email
While it is true that beginning a thought in a subject line will force your reader to open the email, it is still somewhat frustrating and unprofessional.

Proofread for Errors!
Making a spelling or grammatical error in the opening section of your email is never going to win you any points. This is easy to avoid by simply taking a second look before you hit send.

Bottom Line: Email subject lines are imperative in making sure that the reader actually opens your email. You are likely taking the time to send an email because you have something important to say. So, take a few moments to carefully craft your subject line to help ensure that you aren't adding to the digital garbage heap.