Can you identify what's in YOUR in-box?

email-subjects-july2-08.jpgToday, having received two emails within minutes of each other - from two different people - I found myself momentarily confused. It took a while to realize the confusion occurred (when I went back to reread something in one of them, and opened the wrong one,) because their subject lines were so similar to each other. That got me thinking about how useful a well-crafted subject line can be. These specific lines were perfectly lovely. It was the timing of their arrival that threw me for a bit.

Think about it. If you install custom mirrors all day long, year after year, I have not one iota of doubt that before the end of your career (we're talking about a mirror installation business with a thriving e-commerce arm, btw,) you're going to get more than one email that announces its presence with: "Subject: Mirrors." Simple enough oversight, sure. The customer is not always in your head. But? When you get the customer who writes you an email heralded by: "Subject: Custom Mirrors For Dolly Dinkle's Tap and Twirl" it's so, so much better. Because? If you're like me, it sometimes takes you a while to file away the ones you need to keep, and delete the ones you don't. So if you need to look for it, knowing a little more about the email from its subject line is way, way welcome in my book.

Therefore I sometimes have right much fun crafting subject lines in the emails I send to others. And, turns out, so do some of the people sending emails to me! Take for instance, the little snippet you're seeing in this post. Here's a little fun quiz. Peek at the subject lines and imagine what the writer may have been sharing. Then read on to see how close you were:

  1. Links to some new online photo galleries, taken at a huge event that I did not attend.
  2. An update on an evolving drama-laced story from the sender's professional life.
  3. Um... My Etsy Bill for June, 2008. (Alert readers will have noticed, by now, that I have been sorely neglecting this whole project. The items are still for sale, and I still have way more to put online. But as soon as I got this all set up, my schedule filled up with web design projects. Turns out sometimes I have to sleep, and stuff.)
  4. Dena Harris wrote a book a few years ago. It's called Lessons in Stalking. It's very funny, especially if you're into cats and the humor that can sometimes unfold before you if you live with a cat or two. Later this year, the sequel, Kiss My Kitty Butt, is coming out. She's been working on some promotional materials and invited a bit of input over some of the graphic considerations.
  5. Somebody wanted to hire me on kind of short notice, to help with some computer-related needs. Needs with which I have the skills to help.
  6. (Dena, dear, you seem to be featuring quite prominently in my blog these days. Free publicity? Okay, then! Yea, readers, that was a personal note to Dena. She reads my blog. Handy, huh?) So yea, the aforementioned writer just got a new Mac and since she also uses Squarespace and encountered one or two differences when she left PC world behind, she wondered if I might have any light to shed on the disparity. (In fact, I didn't. But Squarespace has amazing customer service and they answered her questions right away. As per usual...naturally.)
  7. Already told you about this, over here. I'm now following a cat on Twitter. For real. (Funny. Sometimes Dena and I go days and days and days without so much as a hello. Definitely not this week, though!)