Common mistakes people make when writing email subject lines

‘Ideas’ or ‘Meeting’

Not only does a vague subject prompt the recipient to gloss over your note, it makes it difficult for people to find the email later. Leonov said it’s important to make sure your email can be quickly picked up when your colleague is searching for the note in a few days or weeks.


This has a similar effect to using a super-vague message as your subject line. Writing “Hello [Name]” or something of the sort is a misguided attempt at being casual, and it likely just comes off as annoying and inconsiderate to the person you’re messaging.

‘Can I offer you some free help?’ or ‘Get the BEST thing you need from ME’

“You might think you’ve stumbled on a clever trick that no one has thought of before, but with 30 years of email and roughly 193 gajillion spams sent, almost every cheezy, tacky, tricky come-on line has been tried, and caught, by the filters of the email inboxes of the world.
Even if you manage to bypass the spam filter, a click bait-y subject line will likely cause your colleague or potential contact to roll their eyes and ignore your message.

‘(No subject)’

Even a bad subject line is better than no subject line.

“An email with a blank subject line will likely get deleted, lost, or immediately irritate the recipient, who is forced to open the email to figure out what it’s about,”

'(No subject)'

‘Let’s get coffee or lunch maybe on Tuesday? I’m not sure, we can also do Wednesday or the next week, but I have a doctor’s appointment and…’

Keep your email subjects 50 characters or fewer.
Email subject lines can cut off if they get too long, particularly if opened on mobile


Plenty of folks still rely on all-caps subject lines — and while the thought may be that it’s attention-grabbing, the move will likely just alienate whoever you’re contacting.


Leave your thoughts