Effective e-mail subject lines

The volume of e-mail received on a daily basis has increased exponentially in recent years. I’ve noticed the most effective messages contain relevant and effective subject lines which make them easier to file, organize and act upon. To help everyone, keep these thoughts in mind when composing an e-mail subject.

Summarize your message

What you write in an e-mail subject is often as important as the e-mail itself. A relevant and on-point subject line will improve response time and allow recipients to easily locate your message and take action (if required). Include keywords or topics. If action is required by a certain date, include it. Recipients should be able to scan the subject line to determine the topic and action required for a given message. See the examples below to get a better understanding of effective e-mail subjects.

Example e-mail subjects

Bad: Important info
Better: Company picnic – Important
Best: Sign-up for company picnic by 9/12

Bad: Meeting
Better: Meeting – XYZ project
Best: Meeting to determine XYZ project launch date

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