Your subject line is a vital aspect of your business email. For your email to achieve its intended purpose, the subject line has to be given proper attention. Many people do not take this aspect of their email seriously. In fact, some people just send emails without subject lines and expect results from such emails! Adding a subject line to your business email is not an optional feature of professional business email writing, it is a key part of it.
The Importance of a Business Email Subject Line
It is up to you to attempt to achieve success with your emails and not waste your time, but let’s quickly run through some of the reasons your business emails really need subject lines.
Prevents the Spamming of Your Email
Emails sent without subject lines may be sent to the spam or junk folder. This is done automatically. People do not take messages in the spam folder seriously. Besides, most people you would send business emails to are too busy to be scanning their spam folder for emails. If you really want your email to be seen and read, ensure you have a proper subject line for your business emails.
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Prevents the Deletion of Your Email
An email without subject line may be seen as not worth the read. When people check their emails, they will likely delete emails without subject lines. And they have good reasons for this. First, the email could be seen as a virus. Most sensible emails have clear subject lines; therefore, on noticing any without one, your recipient may just delete it in order to prevent any virus from entering his or her mailbox and/or computer. Second, emails without subject lines could be considered as irrelevant by your recipient. Since he or she is used to seeing subject lines in relevant emails, those without subject lines will likely be deleted or not read as they may be seen as irrelevant.
Gets the Recipient’s Attention
Your business email subject line is your first impression. Before opening an email, the subject line is what tells the recipient what the email is all about, and whether he or she would like to read it. Therefore, the key function of a subject line is to get the attention of the recipient in order to make him or her open and read the email. This means that the subject line is one of the key factors that determine whether your email is eventually read or not (your name and email address are also important to ensure this).
The importance of a subject line cannot be overemphasized. However, it is not just about having a subject line in your email to prevent spamming or deletion. One should focus on having a subject line that actually achieves the intended purpose. That is a subject line that will make your recipient open your email, read it and take the necessary action.
Writing Business Email Subject Lines
Every business email is meant to make an impact in the mind of the recipient. An effective, well-crafted subject line is a major starting point to achieving this goal. Let us look at the essentials of writing an effective business email subject line.
Make it Professional
Use only formal or professional language for your subject lines. Business emails are usually semi-formal or formal in nature. This means that your subject lines should reflect this so that your email will be considered professional and relevant. Your business email subject lines should not sound like this, “Hey, There” or “What’s Happening”. An example of a professional subject line is “Warm Greetings” or “Wishing You Well”. You would notice that the professional subject line example is a counterpart to the informal example shown.
Your business email subject lines should not sound like this, “Hey, There” or “What’s Happening”. An example of a professional subject line is “Warm Greetings” or “Wishing You Well”. You would notice that the professional subject line example is a counterpart to the informal example shown.
Make it Relevant
Your subject line should be of interest to your recipient. It has to be considered relevant in order for your email to be read. It should also reflect the purpose of your business email properly. If you are applying for a job, the subject line should show your name and the position you are applying for. This is how your email will be of interest and relevant to the human resources manager. For example, Jonathan Smith/Accountant. If you are sending a networking email (to someone who does not know you), include the name of the person that gave you his or her contact in the subject line. Otherwise, your email may not be read. For example, Contact: Allison/Accountant Seeking Job Openings.
This is how your email will be of interest and relevant to the human resources manager. For example, Jonathan Smith/Accountant. If you are sending a networking email (to someone who does not know you), include the name of the person that gave you his or her contact in the subject line. Otherwise, your email may not be read. For example, Contact: Allison/Accountant Seeking Job Openings.
Make it Brief
A business email subject line does not need to be long. It is meant to capture the attention of the recipient in one swoop. The longer it is, the more uninteresting it becomes. This will reduce the chance of it being read. Long subject lines may not be fully seen by recipients that check their emails on mobile devices. This can prevent the reader from seeing important information on the subject line. Therefore, it is in your own interest to ensure that your business email subject lines are kept succinct in order for your business emails to be read.
Make it Precise
It is also important to make your subject lines specific. It should carry only one message. If your email is meant to convey more than one message (this should be avoided preferably), then the most important one should be reflected in the subject line. As much as possible, a business email should have only one central theme, one agenda. If there is need to pass more than one message to a recipient, separate emails should be sent for the different purposes.
Make it Error-Free
Check for grammatical and typographical errors. Do not forget this is the first impression. If a grammatical or typographical error is seen from the subject line, you have created a negative impression in the mind of the recipient. If your email is even read at all, the entire email may be colored with a negative perspective. It is considered unprofessional to have these errors in emails or subject lines. Therefore, it is vital you do a thorough proofreading and necessary editing of your subject lines before sending your business emails.
Business Email Subject Line Examples
Here are a few business email subject lines you can emulate:
- Regional Manger Job – Your Name
- Regional Manger Job – Your Name
- Health Manager Position – Your Name
- Referral: Donald/Job Inquiry
- Referral – Your Name
- Letter of Resignation
- Accounts Department: Meeting Notice
- Job Interview – Health Manager Position
- Re: Delay Query
Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.
There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent:
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace
Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.