Email is a major part of our daily communications. How many messages do you get in your inbox every day? Quite a few, I'm certain of that! Every email message has a "Subject" that you can type in. What do you put in your subject line when you write a message? Do you stare at it with a blank look? Do you even leave it blank? A subject line can be an extremely useful bit of information and needs to be given attention! Let's talk about it some.
When you open up your email application, you see a list of your messages with the sender's name, the date, and the SUBJECT LINE. Now let's consider you are looking for a specific message recently received from somebody because you are trying to remember the answer to a question you asked. When that is the case with me, I usually click the "From" column heading to sort my inbox by the sender. From there, you can skim through the subject lines to narrow down your search to find the message you have in mind. NOW, what if the person sends you a lot of messages and they are not too keen on the whole subject line idea so let's say that every message from them is blank subject line. How hard is it going to be for you to find it? Minutes in are day are too few already to waste any more of them! True, you can "search" for the message, but sometimes that still makes it hard because you can't seem to find the right message still.
Subject lines are sometimes funny things when you look at what others do. We've mentioned "mr. blank" who puts nothing. Then there's "ms. tellyouthewholestory" that puts practically the whole message into the subject line. Next there's "mr. vagueness" who types only generically "here's the info" or "please help" or "I have a question" or my favorite "sorry to bother you but..."
If you are any of those people above, then this article is for you. Subject lines should be a few carefully selected keywords specific to your topic. So in other words, don't say "info for you" - say "photo for new ad". Another example, don't say "need help" - say "property tax info needed"
Subject lines SHOULD be a series of keywords. I know that you know how that works. Every time you go to Google and search for something you type a few carefully selected and specific keywords. So I know you know how the keywords principal works! Just think to yourself "a FEW words, specific and not generic..."
One final thought on the subject of subject lines. When you want to write somebody an email and you are inclined to grab the last message from them and reply, but your reply is on A TOTALLY DIFFERENT TOPIC, well - CHANGE the subject line. You can do it, don't be lazy! A shortcut today is short sighted later!
You can't control what others do in their subject lines, but you can control what you do and maybe they'll learn from your good example! But in any case, at least half of your messages (the sent ones) are easy for future lookup!