Email Tip No1: Summarize Your Email in the Subject Line

Email tipsSo many unread emails! You’d like to know with just a glance which ones are the most important? Good luck with that.

Let’s see: Several emails from your boss titled ‘report’, ‘meeting’, ‘paycheck’, and ‘your last day!’ from your boss, one from your coworker titled ‘question’, then a couple emails from people you’ve met at the conference last week, all titled ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’, one from your wife ‘this is it!’, several newsletters, and one from your new client titled ‘need to reschedule Thursday meeting’.

So wait a minute. The last one is clear, but am I fired and what is with my wife? Of course I open my wife’s email first only to find out that she finally got all people on board for the weekend trip. My boss wanted to know how my last day at the conference went, because he had to leave a day early. The ‘meeting’ email was to inform me that the Thursday meeting with our new client has to be rescheduled. He just had him on the phone, but will email me separately anyway. The ‘paycheck’ was a typo and meant pls check, asking me to please check the new proposal for errors. BTW, the report is on my desk. The question was whether I ever booked a hotel in Las Vegas and what I could recommend. One of the ‘Hi’ emails was actually a request to book our services and thus likely the most important among them all. Sadly I missed that one.

So you see the titles could have been:  ‘Report on your desk’, ‘Reschedule Thursday meeting with new client’, ‘Please check proposal for errors’, ‘How was last day at conference?’,‘Can you recommend a Hotel in Las Vegas?’,‘Reconnecting’, ‘Conference XY, catching up’ (or so), ‘Conference XY, Service request’ (or ‘Are you available for XY?’, etc…), and finally ‘Everybody on board for this weekend’.

It is not really more work to briefly summarize the email content in the title, but it can save a lot of time in the long run. Be a good example the next time you write an email and others will follow.



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