Skip to content

The Subject Subject

Take the “Subject” line of your outgoing email seriously; the more thoughtful your Subject, the more likely your readers will want to open it.

Until recently, the Subject line wasn’t too important. The return address identified you as the sender, and the Message area relayed your message. However, with the increase in “spoofed” emails that look like they are from people you know — but are not, the Subject line takes on greater significance.

Spoofers love attention-getting global Subjects: “You’ve got to see this!” or “Funniest Video Ever!” If you do this too, your readers may delete your email unopened. If, however, your Subject is specific to your message — “Monday Tennis Schedule” or “Gourmet Club Dinner Menu” — you won’t make your readers guess what your email is about, or whether it is from you at all.

My suggestion: type your subject after you type your message, not before. Then you can you accurately sum it up with a message-specific Subject.