Effective Email Subject Lines

QUESTION: I took away a great call and email script content from one of the sessions from the 2017 Recruiting Firm Owner Summit.  When contacting a potential candidate with whom you do not have an existing relationship via email, what intriguing or effective subject lines do you recommend to compel them to open the message? Same question for a client you may be trying to market.  – Lisa

ANSWER: I love the word inquiry, but that is not the only thing I use.  Remember the goal of the subject line is not to deliver the message.  It is to get the email opened.  If you are on my list where I send out my articles, you will notice I am always playing creatively with subject lines.  The subject line is related to the internal content.

So, one, the word inquiry is related.  You are making an inquiry.  One that pops open rates is “I’m sorry.”  I am genuinely sorry, I messed something up, so I do not use that a lot.  Hopefully I do not mess up a lot.  I will say, on last week’s call we had a technical issue, blah, blah, blah.  I remember a couple times I promised a three-part article series and I did part one and forgot parts two and three.  People that were waiting for part two actually emailed me.

I will use the line “Real quick.”

Real quick, Mr. Candidate, I have no idea what is going on in your career at this time.  I wanted to talk to you quietly, confidentially, to see if you are open to hearing about something potentially stronger than your current situation.  So you are taking the subject line and you are bringing it into the content of the email.

One that works with MPC emails is “Simply outstanding”.

You say something in the email such as, Mr. Client, in a recent engaged search I uncovered somebody that I have to describe as simply outstanding.  So the subject line carries through.

Any kinds of combinations like that work well.  Also shorter subject lines, one or two words, work well a lot of times.  Occasionally I will put a detailed one.  But less is more in a subject line.  Just think about it from this standpoint, your goal is to create intrigue.