Email Subject Headings: What’s In and What’s Out

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I’m taking a creative non-fiction writing class these days while writing my book proposal. It’s helping a lot as I’m being so much more selective with my word choices. These days, the fewer words the better.

Let’s talk about email subject headings. Think seconds, think BlackBerry and think fewer words. With spam on the rise, it takes us about 1/100th of a second to glance at an email. These are some that work and some that don’t when prospecting:

What doesn’t work: Although you might spend time crafting a great email, you forget to get creative on the subject heading, here’s what I’ve seen many times before:

Introduction: Who introduced whom? Where should I file this in my Outlook inbox

Follow-up or Voicemail follow-up: What are you following up about?

Demo Appointment: What are you presenting? When is the appointment?

Expiration: What is expiring? When?

What works: I have discovered one magic formula is to combine the names of your company and your prospect’s and throw an action verb in the middle:

ABC and TeleSmart: When you combine both companies together, it’s easier to get filed in the inbox.

ABC and TeleSmart–Appointment Request for February 18th: This tells the story in the subject heading.

Getting on your radar in 2007: Good idea to send this at the end of the year or beginning of the new year.

Where’s Tom?: This is taken from the Where’s Waldo book series. I have used this only when I know the prospect, we’ve established a rapport and they aren’t getting back to me. WheresWaldo.jpg


Send us your best subject heading and we’ll mention you on this blog.

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One Response to “Email Subject Headings: What’s In and What’s Out”

  1. Paul Feakins

    Very good article. One caveat… probably best not to use the “Waldo” image to anyone from the UK because over here he’s known as “Wally” which in the UK means: “An unfashionable person; one who is foolish, inept, or ineffectual. Also as a mild term of abuse”!

    It would be likely to be interpreted as the missing person is a bit of a wally, which while very amusing might cause offence!


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