What is a subject line?


What is a subject line? At the top of your letter or e-mail is as sentence that indicates what your text is about. You use a subject line so that your reader can see at a glance what the text is about or what to expect before he starts reading.

When do I use a subject line?

Basically everything you write. Whether you are writing a business letter , a personal e-mail, a memo, a newsletter or a vacancy text: always let the reader know in advance what he is going to read next. But you can skip this with a text or Whatsapp message! 😉

What types of subject lines are there?

There are short ones, where you as a reader can guess what the next text is about. There are (way too) long ones, where as a reader you don't even have to read the text anymore because everything is already in the subject line. 😉 There are screamers, which are written only in capital letters – and usually scare me personally. And finally there are the good ones!

What is a good subject line?

A good subject line..

  • it's noticable.
  • exactly covers the load.
  • encourages the reader to read.

How do I create a subject line?

Imagine that your subject line is a present that you are giving away. The bow on the outside hides that something beautiful is coming! Do the same with your subject line. Before composing a subject line, consider the following questions:

1. Purpose

What is the purpose of my text? For example, do I want to inform, amuse or convince the reader of something?

2. Subject

What do I send my reader? Is it an invoice, a newsletter an invitation? You write this in a noun.

3. Action

What do I want my reader to do with it? Respond, save, remember. You write this down with a verb.

4. Time

When do you want the reader to get or do something? Now, tomorrow, today.

5. Style

Where possible, and allowed, use a little humor. That makes your topic light-hearted and grabs your reader's attention.

What else can I pay attention to?

Be careful not to make your subject line too long. The reason for this is that one person reads the text on his computer (and thus has all the space) and that the other reader views the text on his mobile (and thus breaks the subject line halfway through because the screen is too small.

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