Friday, 18 November 2016

Write a good subject line! (If you want to get results from your email)

Write a good subject line!

subject-line-blogThis is something I stress in my consulting work. If you're sending out professional email — designed to advance a project of yours — make sure the subject line gets people interested.

It's amazing how often I see email from publicists with the subject line "Press release." Why would that interest me? I get so many press releases. Wow, another one. Why not tell me what it's about?

As in: "Lost Beethoven symphony to be premiered."

Well, sure. No way I can believe that someone publicizing that wouldn't say so in the subject line.

But still…"Press release." And other nonstarters, like "For your consideration."

Since one picture — or in this case, a collection of them — is worth a thousand words, I'll just give you some examples, all from email I've received in the past few days.

Good subject lines:

The Morgan Receives Unique Collection of WWII Drawings and Sketches by Philip Pearlstein

Add spots of style to Thanksgiving

Great flight values to Indianapolis!

The Faculty's Diminishing Influence / Can Campuses Provide Sanctuary From Trump Immigration Policies?

League Publishes First Longitudinal Study of Orchestra Finances & Operations [Though I'd have avoided "longitudinal." How many people know what that means?]

What do we want the future of music to look like?

How do you go from playing in a rock band to writing opera?

Witness Lang & Dion's "gruesome and fascinating" anatomy theater

And, sigh, bad subject lines:

Concert This Saturday and Other News

Concert announcement December 6, 2016

New Releases :: December 2016

DePauw School of Music News: Nov. 14, 2016

.CMA Accent: November 14, 2016

Morse Hall Faculty recital

December Performances in Merkin Concert Hall

This Week in Music at UC San Diego

November 2016 eNews

Note that this applies to email musicians send out, pitching themselves for gigs. Don't send this:

Hoping to play on your series


Introducing myself [when they don't know you at all]

Better to say what you'd like to play:

A concert of Schubert and improvisations

Writing a good subject line isn't hard to do, once you think about it. Look at the email you get for examples. Or Google "subject line for email" and you'll find good advice.

Plus, if you like…look at the titles of my blog posts, and catch me when I make them too blank.

Original Content: Write a good subject line! (If you want to get results from your email)

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