Today, we’re offering a few tips on how you can make your entire team more efficient, just by changing your email subject lines.
At first glance, email subject line seem like a non-issue in the hunt for email efficiency, however these auspicious one-liners have much more power than people think. Subject lines often serve as the gate between your message and the readers eyeballs, and often is the deciding factor in whether or not your email even gets read. In a recent article for Inc., Les McKeown described six ways to optimize your subject lines, get your emails read and make the entire process more efficient.
These tips came in the form of tags that senders should include in their emails. With the inclusion of these tags, readers will have a better understanding of their role in the email (whether action is needed, how long to respond etc.) and can often skip the body of the email entirely. So here they are, the six tags that can revolutionize your email subject lines:
[EOM] End of Message
Able to cover everything you need to say in the subject line? Throw the tag [EOM] at the end and let your reader know that you’ve said everything you needed to. There are many instances when the 60 characters visible in the subject line will more than suffice. Providing the entirety of the message in the subject line like, “Board Meeting changed to 10AM Friday. [EOM]” can save time and effort, and make your emails easier to read and act on.
[PYR] Per Your Request
[PYR] or “per your request” is a handy way of letting the recipient know that the information within the email was solicited by them. This can sidestep any discomfort that they might have when opening emails because they’re simply getting what they asked for.
[RB+ ] Reply By (insert timeline)
For those messages that require an answer by a certain time, inserting [RB+X] allows the reader to know exactly how long they have to respond, with the X standing for the number of days. For example, if the reader has one week to reply, the tag would read [RB+7]. One hour would read [RB+0.1]. This can assist the receiver in prioritizing messages and staying more efficient.
[AB+ ] Action By (insert timeline)
Similar to “reply by,” this tag is an indicator of how long the receiver has until an action is required. The same rules apply to this as to the RB tag, with whole numbers representing days and numbers after decimals representing hours.
[NRR] No Reply Required
All too often, the looming threat of a mountain of email tends to become overwhelming. Because of this, employees tend to treat every message as if it includes a laborious action that needs to be completed, leading to countless unread emails and unlearned information. You can soothe the apprehension that many feel simply by letting them know that you’re not looking for anything on their part.
[Y/N] Yes/No Question
In a similar vein, ending an email subject line with [Y/N] shows the reader that the email’s required action won’t take much of their precious time. In the same way that you might be more likely to receive an answer in life asking a yes or no question, the apparent ease of this can make sure your email isn’t lost in a sea of others.
Subject line tags can cut down on time wasted on email and make the entire process a little bit easier, not only for yourself, but for the people you work with. We know that it will change the way you think about your inbox.