Email Productivity Hack: Message in Subject Line

Have you ever been guilty of sending someone a multi-paragraph email just to ask them to do one simple thing? Wouldn’t it be easier for all parties if you just sent them the request without all the fluff?

Chris Brogan and Julien Smith state the obvious in their book The Impact Equation (buy it here).

“If SMS text messaging is on the rise, why would you still send 1,400-word e-mails?”

One of the most practical tips I learned in the Managing Workflow for Business Leaders GTD workshop I attended back in September was to limit the entire email message to the subject line when it makes sense to do so.


This is a great time-saver for both the sender and the recipient. Be sure to use the acronym EOM (End Of Message) to act as a trigger to the recipient that everything they need to act upon is contained in the message subject.

Writing lengthy epistles was OK for Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians, but it is almost never acceptable for email communication. Brevity is essential If you want someone to read and respond to your email.

Have any quick email tips to share? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.


4 thoughts on “Email Productivity Hack: Message in Subject Line

  1. diannegray

    The only email tip I have is to “keep them short” – I just really don’t have the time at work to read long emails when the message can be delivered in two or three words. Great post! 😀

    1. Ammon Post author

      The great thing is that when you write short emails you get back short responses in return. Others are much morel likely to reciprocate.

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