Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Email Subject Lines: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Mink

It took me a number of years but I really have embraced the world of the emailing and use it quite frequently. However I think I would send even more emails out if I didn’t have to worry about composing that short but annoying little hurdle of the subject line phrase. Here is a review of some subject line phrases. The good the bad and the ugly.

"Yo": This is a personal favorite of mine. Its informal, slangy and catches the reader’s attention. It also is effective because it is a pretty non-threatening and neutral greeting. For example a girl won’t necessarily assume you are hitting on her with this subject line even if in actuality you are. So the bottom line is this is an excellent salutation because it is not intimidating and the slanginess of the word draws the reader into the email.

The Running Start: This is when the writer begins his email in the subject line by inserting the first couple of words. Example: Subject: "Minkove is a"…….(the email would then begin with something like “an F*****A****** and I hope he and that other F***** blogger (Zev) go F***** themselves)"……These are solid because they draw the reader in and don’t leave us guessing the reason behind the writers choice for the subject line.

The Random Comment: I like doing this one too cuz it allows me to insert something into an email that I otherwise would have nowhere else to insert. Example: I need to write a serious email to my friend about trying to save Arrested Development from going off the air. As I write the email I also want to express my frustration regarding the performance of the Ravens from earlier in the day. But as I write the email I realize that I will be unable to work a Ravens jab into the email without ruining the serious tone of the subject at hand. So I would pull something like this Subject : “Ravens are gross.” The reader would nod approvingly and then smoothly switch gears to the message at hand.

THE BAD and the UGLY:

"Hi" "Hey" or "Hello": These aren’t awful but I try to shy away from them because they are far too boiler plate. Of all of these I prefer the hello as it conveys a more playful tone,

"No Subject": You just have to give me some idea why I should take time out of my allotted wasted time online to read your email.

"Fwd": If I see this in the subject line odds are I am going to delete it unless I am warned ahead of time. When I see this my brain immediately flashes back to the previous “fwd” subject lines that I have sent to at least 10 people and not collected any money or even have had a good week as promised by the fwder.

Have a great day and feel free to share the subject lines that warm your heart or make you cringe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I a nerd? Yes, undoubtedly. When I receive an email, I don't want to be annoyed by your 'silly' subject lines. I want to be able to file this email away and immediately be able to remember the contents of the email based on the subject line. I prefer dates in the subject line, and something to jog my memory as to the importance of this email.

All that being said, I see no problem with a simple 'hey' as a subject line if your email is rather unimportant and is likely to be quickly deleted. If you are worried about being deleted because your subject line is boring, maybe the problem lies not with the subject line, but with the 'sender' of the email.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you kidding?? the date shows up regardless, why waste a perfect opportunity to catch your reciever's attention! its whats written in the subject line that determines whether or not the email is read, (and possibly deleted thereafter) not where to file it. a funny subject line should be enough to "jog" your memory

8:59 PM  
Blogger mink dawg said...

another issue with emails is closure. how do u finish one of those suckers. do u go for the simple name with out a closing word. an abnormal word that no one really uses like "fondly, "sincerly"," "yours truly". or do u go for a joke catch phrase that they may or may not pick up, like "track, wall, see you later...Sam Minkove"

11:55 PM  
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