Use Short Email Subjects and Establish Actions for Better Responses

Julie Shenkman
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The average email inbox is swamped on a daily basis with a variety of personal, professional, and promotional emails. Whether you're learning business email etiquette or exploring email marketing strategies, understanding how to craft a good subject line is critical if you want your emails to stand out from the rest. A good subject line will not only improve the chances of your email being opened, it will also up the chances that the recipient will take the desired action.

Most people browse the subject line of emails in their inbox and use that information to decide whether to open the message, delete it, or save it for later. This puts brevity in the subject line at the top of all critical email marketing strategies. Keeping your subject line short is about more than just being concise. The typical email program will only display 60 characters of the subject line, and only 25 to 30 when displayed on a smart phone. With roughly 50 percent of all emails being read on cell phones, you can expect poor open rates if you can't work within these parameters. Keep your subject line between six and eight words long, and make sure it's readable on any type of device.

When composing emails at the office, you should still keep email marketing strategies in mind. Email communication is at the core of many businesses, so it's vital to be clear and concise and respectful of your coworkers' time. In addition to crafting subject lines that are brief, you should also be clear about the purpose of the email. It is important that busy professionals can tell at a quick glance the difference between an informational email and one that needs a response that same day.

Top email marketing strategies and business email etiquette are also clear about the content of the subject line. If the email requires urgent attention, then you should include the word "urgent" in the subject. Email marketing strategies aside, it is also completely acceptable and often encouraged to include action words and phrases when applicable, such as "needs attention" or "needs response." If you require action within a short timeframe, indicate that in the subject line as well, using phrases such as "due today" or "due this week."

In this era of high-volume email communications, getting the subject line right is the most critical of all email marketing strategies. Learn to craft email subject lines that are brief, clear, concise, and actionable, and you will find that you get a much better email response from clients, contractors, and coworkers.



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