In a recent discussion about e-mail subject lines I was asked by a colleague if she should always put the client’s name in it. “I want the recipient to know it's about my client,” she said. “No,” I snapped a bit too tartly, “you want the recipient to open the e-mail.” After all, the message isn’t going to matter if the e-mail isn’t opened in the first place.
E-mail subject lines are the subject of great interest. Google “subject lines,” in fact, and in .22 seconds 981,000 results appear (including one from the Romance Writing Book Club message board - for them, however, even subject lines are all about love, decolletage, long walks along the beach, and square-jawed studmuffins on white horses). Like love and romance, though, subject lines are worth struggling over because the potential payoff is so big.
Here’s some advice for the subject linelorn among you, in no particular order:
Note: Did you get the "subject linelorn/lovelorn" play on words? I had to look it up, but "lorn" means "pitiable in circumstances." I like knowing that.