How do you organize your email? I’m surprised by how many people don’t, but at some level, everyone chooses what to open and what to delete. Obviously, that happens based on two things: who the email is from and what the subject says. If you are like me, you get a ton of email from people you don’t know so that eliminates option one. Which brings us to the subject line.
I received an email today that said, “The Best Deal of the Year – $75 off”. Okay – sounds good I guess. Who’s it from? A company I don’t need. Delete. Next? But can’t you hear the person in the office complaining about their open rate? Who WOULDN’T want $75??? Why won’t they just open the email? Because you’ve given me no reason to look further. Because of my past experience with your company, I don’t believe you have anything to offer me so I don’t get involved. Give me something that would cause me to notice.
How about this one? “Join us @ TA Excellence Forum, Pref Rate, SF, 1/27 & 28” It takes me about 30 seconds to select the emails I want to delete first thing in the morning and clear them. A subject like this? Gone. Why? I have no idea what this says. To write this blog article I can sit here and carefully pull it apart, but without opening the email, I’m clueless. NEXT!
One of the newsletters I get sent this one today: “Big thinkers answer little kids’ innocent and profound questions about life, the best biographies, memoirs, and history books of 2013, and more”. I subscribe to this newsletter so I get it on purpose. Next, this gives me enough information to know what is in this issue while not giving away the details. Nice. Email opened!
Any email you send should have some time put into the subject. If you are writing to someone you know well or about a subject they will definitely open, consider how they might file the email. For instance, one project I work on tends to have subjects on emails like, “prospect for XXX project”. While that is definitely attention-getting at the time, if any of us need to go back and find the email, it is frustrating as they are all the same. Instead, add the prospect name to the subject so it is easy to reference later. Always consider how someone will find your email.
When writing an email subject, really spend some time considering your audience. Have they heard of you? Do they have preconceived ideas of what you have to offer? Is it too cryptic? Can you be more concise without turning into code? Have you given them a reason to open it? And finally, did you make it easy to find later? If you do all those things, you will find much better responses to emails.