A quirky email subject line made me think my husband was spamming me. He graciously allowed me to use his example to remind you to choose your subject line’s first words carefully.
Bad email subject line
Here’s the email subject line as it appeared on my screen:
Can you see why I was concerned that my husband’s email account had been hacked?
The problem: Your subject lines get cut off
Most people don’t see or absorb your complete subject line. Why?
- Email software typically shows about 50 characters of your subject line on a PC
- Mobile devices shorten subject lines even more than computers
- People pay the most attention to your email subject line’s first words. This is why I suggest that you:
- Put the most important part of your subject line first
- Put an action verb near the beginning if you’re asking the recipient to do something for you. For example, “Please tell me if you can attend July 11 meeting.”
- Start with an informative noun if an action verb isn’t appropriate. For example, “FYI, next committee meeting is August 22.”
A better subject line for my husband
I’ve been mulling over better subject lines for my husband’s email. I think the following would work better:
- Shredder question: Does yours use oil or lubricant sheets?
YOUR subject line questions
What questions do you have about email subject lines? Your questions will help me prepare for my email presentation at the Financial Planning Association’s conference in San Antonio this fall.
Image courtesy of Kookkai_nak at freedigitalphotos.net.