By Erin Alvarez, administrative assistant and email aficionado at Heinz Marketing

I’m on a lot of email lists. I’ve subscribed to newsletters, LinkedIn groups, and registered for few webinars that have now resulted in a lot of daily email that I usually don’t have time to read.

The first thing I do every morning is delete most of these without even opening them to see what they contain. Maybe the message or offer was great.

But I didn’t read it because I couldn’t see any of the content in my reading pane because it was all html that needed to be downloaded. And I’m not going to do that unless the subject line made me want to click to open.

Sound familiar? Most of us do this, so why aren’t we working harder on our own subject lines?

Here’s a quick Top Five things to consider next time you hit “send”

1. You talkin’ to me?
Who is your reader and why should they care? Make sure you understand your audience. What is their language? Before we hit delete, we quickly scan for a message that will benefit ourselves, right? Know what interests your audience and play to that. Do they care about money, figures, events? Will they respond to humor or something clever? Don’t be afraid to be original.

2. You lost me at “FREE WEBINAR”
Aren’t all webinars free? Another strategy that fails is “Reserve your seat!” webinars are not exclusive. We all know this. You’ve got about 50 characters to tell your reader what’s inside, so don’t waste it on information that doesn’t matter.

3. Who are you?
Make the most of your From line. Personalization is great if your readers already know you. If they don’t, just use your company name in the subject line and you’ll also free up some space for your teaser message.

4. But what about me?
Again, it’s not so much about you as it is about them. At least, if you want them to care about you, first make it about them. Asking a question forces the reader to briefly think about themselves and that might get you the few extra seconds you need before they hit delete. Want to learn how to crush your sales? Not Sales Webinar on March 4th, Register now. Make the message about the reader. Sell your home for 5 % above market. Not Our Real Estate Company is the best-find out why.

5. Protect your Rep
Don’t exaggerate or make false promises that don’t hold up to the content of your email. Your subject line is supposed to tell the reader what’s inside, not necessarily sell what’s inside. Over the top subject lines are about as trusted as a midnight infomercial.