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Big K’s guide to writing email subject

By on Sep 15, 2008 | 0 comments

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I’ve been told – “Your English is good”. I think its a good compliment. English is not my first language. I studied in a Marathi medium school and the only subjects that were taught in English were science & mathematics. I personally think my English is not good and I still struggle with grammar. Yeh, I’ve realized that I’m better at writing emails/blog-posts than most other convent-fellas.

Over the years, I’ve realized, people really suck at writing email subject! Yes, they do! If we ever write a personal mail, we can never think beyond “hiiiiiiiiiiii” or “Hai” or “no subject” etc. for the subject line. In today’s world, when every cool dude(tte) wants to be cooler by using the “f” words & SMS style English everywhere, any time spent on writing tips for better email subject would be wasted; let me waste my time.

Tip#1: Not too long :-

The email subject should not be too long, in that, you should not write a synopsis of the whole babble in the body of email. I’ve faced an email that almost described everything in the subject line and I couldn’t even read the whole subject!

Ideal subject should be 2-6 words. Of course, you may have one word subjects, but you’ll have to be smarter than what you are right now.

Tip#2: To the point :-

If your mail is about some request, then it should be clear from the subject line. For example, I write “Requesting …” when I’ve to request for something. If its an application for job (without specific instructions about subject line, like job code, name etc.), you may simply write “Application for the post of “. If you are writing a love letter, you may simply write [I don’t know what! I never wrote a love letter, heh heh :mrgreen: ].

Tip#3: No SMS, puh-lees! :-

Look, you are a cood dude(tte) and I know that. I can tell that from your low rise jeans. But hey, no short cuts in email subject line! There are no short cuts to success. So, if you ever send an email that say “Appln 4 softwr engg.”, I’ll delete your mail and not even laugh. Sorry, that’s the way it is. I believe lot of good people will do that, who are in charge 😉 .

Tip#4: Check for typos:

Have a spell checker add-on in your firefox, IE. Its very handy. In fact, the same plugin has underlined 2 typos in this email. I’ll fix them later. I’ll tell you, once I wrote an email to a well known (and of course, busy) person that had typo in the subject line. I never heard back from him. I bet it was because of the typo. I usually hear back from 99.99% of the people I write to. 🙂

I hope you will find these four tips useful and learn to write better subject lines for your emails. Doubts, bouquets and bricks are all welcome in the comments.

The Big K
PS: Ignore grammar mistakes, if any. Blame the firefox plugin, if you find any. Its not that smart yet. Remember, I’m from a non-Engilsh medium school!

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