The use of emails is increasing in the business community. However, very few of us know how to write a compelling email that grabs the reader’s attention and compels them to act upon the message. For an email to be effective, it must be brief, focused and compelling. This begins with the subject line. In an article for Forbes, Kern Lewis teaches entrepreneurs how to write a compelling email.
Lewis advises that we should begin with the subject line first. Often, the subject line is something we just make up without much thought. However, writing the subject line first will set the tone of your email and keep you from straying from your point.
For mass emails, customize the subject line if possible to make it more meaningful to recipients. This may take more work on your part (multiple emails rather than one mass email); however, it will cause your email to be noticed more if it is customized to the receiver.
Make your subject line “pop” out of the screen and grab the receiver’s attention. If you are offering something, put it in the subject line, use a deadline or otherwise entice the receiver to open and read the rest of the email. However, do not put anything false in the subject line because this will only frustrate the reader when they realize it was nothing more than a trick.
Send the email to yourself first to see how the subject line will appear in the receiver’s Inbox. Is the line too long, does it convey the email’s subject clearly, does it make you want to open the email, etc. By testing the email on yourself, you have the opportunity to see how the subject line will look when your recipients check their Inbox. You need your subject line to “click’ with the receiver to make them open the email.
I am forever running the spell check on my emails for fear of sending an email with spelling mistakes. However, until I read Lewis’ article, I never thought of running the spell check on my subject line. If your spell checker does not automatically spell check the subject line, run the subject line through the spell checker in your word processor. Misspellings in the subject line are one of the things that will get your email dumped into a spam folder.
Check your email service for feedback on which emails you send are opened and which ones are deleted without being read. This will provide you guidance on which subject lines are grabbing more attention with your recipients. With some research, you can begin to see patterns that work and mistakes to avoid when writing email subject lines.
Source:Lewis, Kern. “How to Write a Compelling E-Mail Subject Line” (Forbes.com 9/24/1