Select your language

Suggested languages for you:
Log In Start studying!
StudySmarter - The all-in-one study app.
4.8 • +11k Ratings
More than 3 Million Downloads
Free
|
|

All-in-one learning app

  • Flashcards
  • NotesNotes
  • ExplanationsExplanations
  • Study Planner
  • Textbook solutions
Start studying

Email Subject Lines

Save Save
Print Print
Edit Edit
Sign up to use all features for free. Sign up now
Email Subject Lines

When composing an email, it is probably the first thing you will write: the email subject line. Whether you write it first or last, it will be the first thing that someone else sees. This is a huge part of why your email subject line matters. Here are tips for informal and formal email subject lines, as well as the do’s and don’ts of crafting them.

Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines

The subject line for an email is something you don’t get in a text message or direct message.

The subject line is a separate space above an email that indicates the topic of the email.

Unlike the body of your email, the subject line of your email is just that: a line. It isn’t long, so you only have so much space to get your point across. Here are some key areas to work on when composing your email’s subject line.

The Point in Your Email Subject Line

Make your meaning known right away. Pretend you are inviting some people to a get-together, then look at the following two examples. Which one “gets to the point” better?

Hello to all my fine-feathered friends! Is anyone interested in enjoying a get-together this Saturday?

Get-together this Saturday: who’s interested?!

Obviously, the second one gets to the point better. In your own emails, try to start with the main topic of your email. In this case, that topic is a “get-together this Saturday,” so include that near the beginning!

Use the colon to get to the point.

Conciseness in Your Email Subject Line

Part of “getting to the point” is being concise. This means you should write something short. Let’s look at our two examples again to visualize a short vs. a long email subject line.

Hello to all my fine-feathered friends! Is anyone interested in enjoying a get-together this Saturday?

Get-together this Saturday: who’s interested?!

The first example is nearly twice as long as the second example. It also takes the entire subject line to reach the point. It isn’t concise.

Limit your email subject line to ten or so words.

Clarity in Your Email Subject Line

You want your subject line to be clear. This means you want anyone to be able to understand it. Look at these two examples and decide which one is clearer.

Hey you definitely in

Get-together this Saturday: are you in? :)

So the first example is shorter, yes, but it’s at the cost of clarity. Someone reading this would not immediately know it refers to the Saturday party. The tone is also ambiguous, which leads us to another tip.

Subject line, A group of colleagues party, StudySmarterBe clear about your email subject. Flaticon.

Friendliness in Your Email Subject Line

Regardless of your email’s formality, you want to be friendly. You never want to appear harsh, vague, or indifferent. Look again at these two examples.

Hey you definitely in

Get-together this Saturday: are you in? :)

The first example's tone is very vague without punctuation or emojis to clarify it. One might even read it as passive-aggressive or fed-up, which hopefully isn’t the intent!

This is why the second example is better. In the second example, the writer doesn’t call attention to the other person's possible indecisiveness. Instead, they ask a simple question and include a smile, so the subject line doesn’t appear pushy.

Always put yourself in the shoes of the person you are emailing, and imagine yourself getting this email out of the blue. How would you respond if you didn’t know your own meaning or intent?

With all these things in mind, it’s time to explore how you might introduce yourself.

Introduction Email Subject Line

When introducing yourself in an email subject line, what you do is more important than who you are (your name). Take a look at these two examples.

John Doe here! I’m interested in working with you.

Sales Rep from [insert corporation here]. Interested in a collaboration?

In the first example, John Doe announces himself as if his name carries special weight or significance. The reader would scratch her head and wonder, Who is this John Doe, and why does he want to work with me?

The second example is much better because the person receiving the email knows immediately what the emailer does and for whom. This helps to establish trust and build a bridge with whomever you might be emailing. You don’t want to appear shady or surprising.

When emailing someone, be confident! This extends to the subject line. Replace words like “maybe” and “perhaps” with more decisive language. For instance, don’t say, “Perhaps you would like to discuss this further?” Instead, say, “Would you like to discuss this further?” This is less tentative (and also shorter!). It’s best to not mince words when emailing someone, even if you email a friend or colleague. The more sure you are, the smoother your conversations will be.

Thank You Email Subject Line

First of all, thank people whenever the occasion arises! This advice isn’t to help you gain anyone’s favor; it’s simply good to do. You should be thankful for people’s time and the opportunities they give you.

Try to be a positive role model in your company, class, or community.

“Thank you” emails don’t need to be complex, particularly in the subject line. You shouldn’t overthink it and instead be honest and straightforward.

Thank You For Your Time Today!

This is a good thank you message regardless of the formality of your email.

If you are happy or grateful, try to capture that feeling.

When writing an email, try not to make it too much about you. Whether in the subject line or the body of your email, keep the dialogue open and engage the other person. Ask questions! Generally, don’t go into too much detail about how you feel, how things are going for you, etc., unless you are close to whomever you are emailing. Limiting the conversation about you is also a good way to make your email subject line (and email) more concise.

Email Subject Line Examples

Here are some sample subject lines for common kinds of informal emails. These are good for friends, peers, and co-workers. You also might use these with a boss or supervisor if you have a friendly, established relationship with them.

Mold these subject lines to suit your situation.

Introduction Subject Lines

Here are some sample introductions.

  1. This is [name] from [department]. Hi!
  2. Hello from [department or corporation]!
  3. [Position] from [department or corporation], saying hello!

Thank You Subject Lines

Here are some sample thank you subjects.

  1. Appreciate the time today!
  2. Thanks, [their name]! :)
  3. Thank you again and hope things are well!

Subject Lines for Meetings

Try one of these as an email subject line if you just wrapped up meeting someone.

  1. Enjoyed talking!
  2. Hope to talk again soon!
  3. Good talking with you earlier!

Subject line, Two people meet, StudySmarterBe kind and respectful in your email subject lines. Flaticon.

Professional Email Subject Line Examples

These are for people you don’t know or don’t know well, as well as bosses and supervisors in more formal settings. Rather than list multiple examples for generic kinds of messages, here is a list of appropriate professional email subject lines that span a variety of topics.

Check your subject line against these.

  1. Regarding training: [name] from [department]
  2. Thank you for the interview, [their name]!
  3. Regarding the meeting at [time]. Possible to reschedule?
  4. Question regarding the May 3rd assignment

Is your tone similar to these? If not, you might need to make your subject line more or less formal.

You want to limit your chumminess for professional emails, but not so much that you are antiquated or unfriendly. Many informal email subject lines will work as professional email subject lines. You just might need to tweak a few things. Here are some things to avoid in professional email subject lines:

  • Do not use emojis
  • Do not use poor grammar
  • Do not use too many exclamation points
  • Do not make it about you (especially this time)
  • Do not take anything for granted

Be warm, confident, and sincere. Good luck!

Subject Line - Key takeaways

  • The subject line is a separate space above an email that indicates the topic of the email.
  • Your subject line isn’t long (ten words or fewer), so you only have so much space to get your point across.
  • Make your meaning known right away and be concise.
  • Be sure your subject line is clear and friendly.
  • In your email subject line and beyond, be warm, confident, and sincere.

Frequently Asked Questions about Email Subject Lines

The subject line is a separate space above an email that indicates the topic of the email.

You briefly get to the point of your email.

Ten words or so.

The reason for the email. You may want to state your profession or who you represent.

Get to the point of the email, be clear and concise, and be friendly.

Final Email Subject Lines Quiz

Question

Where does a subject line appear in an email?

Show answer

Answer

At the top of an email

Show question

Question

About how many words should your subject line be?

Show answer

Answer

10

Show question

Question

"In your email subject line, make your meaning known right away."


True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Which is the better email subject line?

Show answer

Answer

Get-together this Saturday: who’s interested?!

Show question

Question

How might you use a colon in an email subject line?

Show answer

Answer

To get to the point of the email.

Show question

Question

Where should you include the topic of your email?

In the _____ of your email subject line.

Show answer

Answer

Beginning

Show question

Question

What is the problem with the following email subject line?

"Hey you definitely in"

Show answer

Answer

It is vague and might appear passive aggressive or indifferent.

Show question

Question

Is it okay to use an emoji in an email subject line? 

Show answer

Answer

A simple smile is fine to include in informal emails, but not formal emails.

Show question

Question

When should you try to put yourself "in the shoes" of the person you are emailing?

Show answer

Answer

Always. Always imagine what it would be like for someone to receive your email.

Show question

Question

Your email subject line should be _____.

Show answer

Answer

Confident

Show question

Question

"Thank you emails should be nuanced and deep."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. “Thank you” emails don’t need to be complex, particularly in the subject line.

Show question

Question

"Generally, don’t go into too much detail about how you feel, how things are going for you, etc., unless you are close to whomever you are emailing."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Can you include an exclamation point in a formal email subject line?

Show answer

Answer

You can, especially in a thank you note. Just don't take it too far!

Show question

Question

Don't use emojis in _____ email subject lines.

Show answer

Answer

Formal

Show question

Question

"In your emails, don't forget to talk about yourself!"


True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. When writing an email, try not to make it too much about you. Whether in the subject line or the body of your email, keep the dialogue open and engage the other person.

Show question

60%

of the users don't pass the Email Subject Lines quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

Start Quiz

Discover the right content for your subjects

No need to cheat if you have everything you need to succeed! Packed into one app!

Study Plan

Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

Quizzes

Test your knowledge with gamified quizzes.

Flashcards

Create and find flashcards in record time.

Notes

Create beautiful notes faster than ever before.

Study Sets

Have all your study materials in one place.

Documents

Upload unlimited documents and save them online.

Study Analytics

Identify your study strength and weaknesses.

Weekly Goals

Set individual study goals and earn points reaching them.

Smart Reminders

Stop procrastinating with our study reminders.

Rewards

Earn points, unlock badges and level up while studying.

Magic Marker

Create flashcards in notes completely automatically.

Smart Formatting

Create the most beautiful study materials using our templates.

Just Signed up?

Yes
No, I'll do it now

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.