Wednesday, July 18, 2007

If your message is important...

I got an email today from a name I didn’t recognize with the subject heading, “Message.”
This was right after deleting more than 100 spam messages, many of which had subject heading not unlike that one.

For some reason, I opened this one e-mail before deleting it (even though I was 80% sure it was an invitation to buy some medical product that medicare doesn’t cover). I was glad I did. It was from an assistant to a Canadian entrepreneur with whom I am meeting in a few days. She was asking if we could change the meeting time.

Here’s what I wrote back.

10:30 would be fine, Marianne (not her real name). Thank you.
One tip? In future, try to use a more detailed or individualized subject heading than "message." I get 300 spam messages a day, many of them entitled "subject heading," and I almost erased yours without looking at it. Fortunately, some eerie "sixth sense" told me not to.
(Sorry to be so pedantic.)

Of course, this isn't just about e-mail. No matter what your message is, or what medium you use, you must make sure it stands out. Be aware of the context in which it will be received. And make sure the intended recipient can quickly identify it as genuine and important. Or be relegated quickly to spam.


George Torok said...


I agree with you. And no it is not about being pedantic.

I often see 100 Spam messages a day. And every once in awhile I open an email that I am curious about, even though it looks like Spam. At least 80% of the time it is Spam. Those people representing those other 20% I wish they would wake up.

George Torok

Anonymous said...

I have a superb spam-filter which I quickly scan every morning--just in case it caught something that it shouldn't. Most spammers identify themselves with their absurd subject lines. Many are good for a giggle:

-The man came soon after Ivan's breakfast.

-Matter is woven with motion

-Come, come, Lord Mortimer.

It's like Borat on acid writes these.