Why Everyone Should Be Thinking About Email Marketing

When a company is sending an email to a large group of people, it weighs all of the options and considers just the right messaging. Not only in hopes of grabbing someone’s attention, but also in hopes of keeping the tone in tandem with the company’s voice and mission. That’s not an easy task, especially when you just have a couple of words to deliver it. Many people marveled at how casual the Obama campaign’s tone was during the past election, and there was also a great deal of discussion about the frequency of the emails. “Hey” can be an effective way to reach people, even under unusual circumstances.

However, the rest of us, who don’t have a massive following or people to court, how should we be approaching that empty “Subject Line” that often gives us pause and can foster unexpected anxiety? For personal correspondence, this doesn’t matter nearly as much. Yet, for business purposes, the subject of the email can matter a great deal. After all, it isn’t just the person you’re sending the memo or report or update to who could lay eyes on it. As corporate emails go, they often turn into chains with “+1s” tacked on. Soon enough, the heads of your team or your company are reading what you intended to just be sent to one other person without your group.

Everyone understands that emails should be treated as public messages, even if sent privately. Something you might not consider, though, is how the subject line will come to be attached to your work. It may not reflect more than just your style, but it’s essential to at least consider how certain subject lines will be received if the emails wind up in front of those who you hadn’t intended. Headlines for news stories are known to color how we feel about a certain subject or topic. The same is true for our emailed messages.

The most important bit of information to keep in mind is to never express emotion in the subject line. It will invariably speak for your position on a matter, even if you reinforce it in the message itself. Instead, title the message something more mundane, like “Weekly Report” and then give your critiques beneath it. And make sure that you spell every word correctly there, too. See the subject line as a place to organize someone’s folders and to ensure that they know it’s there, even if they only give the email a passing glance at first. Make sure that your work is judged for the work, and not for the messaging. The best way to do that is with straight-forward messaging that speaks to what your email concerns and not for your feelings about it. If you do, you can turn an ordinary update into something bigger, if it winds up being passed around the office. You will appear to maintain a level of professionalism even when nobody is watching. All because you rightly assumed they might be at some point.