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Top tips for the perfect email subject line

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Tuesday 22nd Apr, 2014

Like many professionals, writing emails
is part of a daily routine. However the
majority of individuals don't put much
thought into how an email subject
line should be structured.

However, as contractors, emailing
potential employers to seek your next
contract is something that you probably
do on a regular basis, and without even
realising it, your email subject line
could be the key influential factor which
determines if your email is opened
or sent straight to junk mail.

Therefore, here are PayStream's top tips on how to structure the perfect email subject line...

  • Prioritise your structure

Many people often make the common mistake of filling in the body of the email before they write the header. This means many individuals have accidentally sent an email with no subject line. An email with a blank subject has a very high chance of getting mistaken for spam, meaning that it will either end up getting deleted or being sent straight to junk mail.

  • Ensure important keywords are at the beginning

According to, mobile email openings will now account for up to 70% in 2014, dependant on the target audience. As it is never clear how much of the email subject line will display on a mobile device, it is essential that important keywords or info are kept at the beginning of the subject line.

  • Keep it short and simple

Long email subject lines can appear unappealing and discourage users from opening the email. As mentioned above, email subjects will be much shorter on mobile devices so take this into consideration by eliminating filler words such as 'thanks' and 'hello'...

  • Be clear

Make sure that the subject line is specific and relevant to the topic of the email. If the receiver can see exactly what the email is about it is more likely they will open and respond to the message. For example, creating an email subject header saying 'have a spare minute...?' is too vague, this may work with marketing techniques but not when it comes to securing your next contract.

When applying for a contract vacancy ensure that the subject header includes your name and the position you are applying for.

  • Incorporate the use of keywords

It is key to remember that many professionals will not have the time to read emails straight away, therefore it is key to incorporate keywords into the email subject so they will be able to easily search for your email at a later date.

  • Include others names

If a friend or mutual acquaintance has referred a contact on to you make sure you include their name in your email subject. If the recipient is aware of a professional connection it can dramatically increase the likelihood of a response.

  • Include perceived benefits

If you are contacting professionals to seek employment when there is no actual vacancy, make sure you highlight your own skills that would add value to the company. This will grab the recipient's attention and increase the likelihood of a response. For example 'highly experienced SEO skills can increase web traffic by 10% in 1 month'

  • Incorporate the company's name

If the recipient sees their company name in the header they will perceive the email to be more relevant to them so it could increase the likelihood of them opening the email.

Overall, just a few simple steps will grab your reader's attention and can increase the odds of your email being opened. This can be an essential tool for contractors when seeking new employment.

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