I get email.. a lot of email for work for personal and for junk reasons. Once I figure out what my password is for one of my 7 email accounts, I realize that I have way too much email to manage. It’s hard to find the ones I want to read and I base the decision on what I want to read by the sender or the subject. I can filter out a lot of spam by the ridiculous email addresses and I know my friends’ email addresses. Sometimes I ignore an email because I don’t know the sender’s email address. Often it's some obscure system generated address like "DO_NOT_REPLY@letsget.net" or “email@example.com,” so then it comes down to reading the subject. I hate the ones that say things like “Inquiry” or “Email alert”. They look too spammy to make me want to read them. Then there are ones from friends and acquaintances like “Hi” or there's the always infamous no subject. But then, depending on who it’s from, that may make me more likely to read it because it could be serious.
I know this is starting to sound like an advice column but here are some other tips... If the email is urgent, then write “URGENT…”. Tell me that I should read the email soon. or I probably won't. Give me some useful information in the subject (like an address) so that if I need to come back to the email for info I won’t have to open the email. Be reader-centric.
Crappy subject lines are also critical on web bulletin boards where everybody reads the subjects from a bunch of different people. People post subjects like, “Need help” or “My car” or “Moving”. I get no idea what the post is about and it’s not interesting, doesn’t pique (not peak) my interest. I just ignore it because I’m annoyed that the person writing the post probably put as little thought in the actual post as they did in the subject and I’ll probably have to ask questions in a follow-up post. I don’t have time for that. I have email to filter through.
So the moral of the posting is, don’t underestimate the importance of the subject of your email. Otherwise, you might as well not send the email. Email is like advertising, and with inboxes as full as they are these days, you have to be good to get read.
By the way, I’m glad that the subject of my posting enticed you to read this post.