Oh, should I really publish my pet hates here? Perhaps life is too short to get wound up by little things, but if no-one makes a fuss how will we learn and improve? So, we have created this little corner – a cubby hole – for our little rants that’ll help us blow off steam; then keep them locked away where they won’t bother anyone again…. Hopefully it won’t get too full too quickly!
For my first I’d like to talk about email, in particular the subject field. What is it for and how should it be used? Well, don’t send me anything with the subject line “Hi” or “FYI” or worse still “Fw: ” if you ever want to communicate seriously with me. (I won’t suggest “Re:” for obvious reasons). Instead, use your brain and give your message an intelligent meaningful subject!Many emails I receive have a subject line that has no bearing to the content of the message. Mostly, it seems, the subject was added as an inconsequential after-thought, almost as if it served no purpose. Well, I would suggest the subject line is as important as your message. It determines if, and when I open your message, and how (and if) I find it in the future.
As we all receive more and more email each day (90% or more supposedly being spam) it’s difficult to spend time working out what to read now, what to read later, and what to trash. Providing a relevant descriptive subject line will not only command attention, but provide a means to both track and thread the message in the future.
I should note email subjects can be taken to extremes in the opposite direction… receiving the full message in the subject line doesn’t really offer any benefit either and should be avoided.
So, think about it, when you next write an email message: What is it about? How would you find it in future? How hard can it be?….
OK. Rant over.