In the economy of knowledge workers, people are busy; the people you and I want to talk to are busier than most. To get your job done, you have to cut through that noise. You must stand out from the 2-D crowd in a sea of profile pictures and avatars. The alternative Is to fade into the background to disappear into the sea of sameness, the ocean of obscurity! Okay, maybe a little too dramatic, but you get the idea. With every interaction you participate in, you either add to the noise or cut through it.

If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that communicating for clarity and comprehension takes work.

Every email, every subject line, and every communication must be crafted not on automatic but with a deliberate effort to cut through the noise of their world. That means we can’t get away with generic subject lines like “Just checking in” or “follow up”. Yawn.
These are just too easy to ignore or delete.

Your email subject line needs to be clear and compelling if you hope for it to be opened.

Always personalise the communication by using the prospect’s name. But you don’t have to stop there; if you can add additional context that further personalises the communication- for example, mentioning how you both attended recently; or that you have a mutual connection, then do include it. Just remember, keep it brief, relevant and exciting.

Follow-up subject line best practices:

  • Keep it short, to-the-point
  • State in the subject line what the meeting is about, E.G., Evaluate ACME Productions Time and Attendance Operational Requirements (that is a lot more inspiring than “Meeting with Bob of YKK Time and Attendance Software Supplies.”
  • Create a sense of urgency. This might include referencing a specific time (e.g., “meeting on Wednesday at 10 am?”), or speaking directly about the milestone they will attain or the benefits they will enjoy when making their purchasing decision (e.g. in preparation for booking your sales conference).
  • Make it clear the email contains valuable content. A subject line like “In relation to your time and attendance support needs” or “thought this article on sales conference trends might be useful to you” demonstrates value.
  • Remember that your prospect has a world of other things going on, you have to get through that priority list if you hope to work with them, and the first hurdle is to get them to open your email, so take the time to craft a compelling subject line. Construct a thoughtful and value-laden email and organise your information well.

It’s no magic bullet, you won’t always win. But, you will win more than you your competitors, and that’s a start.