Email Subject Lines: Helpful Acronyms

Email Subject Lines Backberry Inbox

One item that you can utilize in your Email overload "toolbox" is to utilize some helpful acronyms in your Email subject lines.

For many people, the Email subject line is the only item that they initially see when reviewing new messages that appear in their inbox. This is especially for those that utilize handheld devices, such as Blackberries and iPhones.

However, by utilizing some predefined and agreed-upon acronyms that you place into your Email subject lines, you can help improve your ability to prioritize, review, and process your new inbox messages.

With the appropriate use of these acronyms, you can quickly understand the urgency, the action required, and potentially avoid the need for the recipient to have to even respond at all.

Here is a list of some helpful acronyms for your Email subject lines and how they are utilized:

Subject Line Code Description
FYI Informational only. No action required on part of receiver.
EOM Use at end of subject line when it includes everything you needed to say.
No need to open the actual message.
ACT: Action Required or requested on this item
STAT: or IMP: Immediate Response Needed (use by "High Priority" flag)
NRN: No response necessary. Simply providing information or a response that was requested.

And here are some quick examples of how these Email subject lines would look "in action" with the acronyms:

  • FYI: Updated company holiday calendar attached.
  • Bring portable LCD project to staff meeting tomorrow :EOM
  • ACT: Please complete and return the attached form by 6/1/2014
  • STAT: Machine issue on line #3 requires immediate action
  • NRN: Attached is the budget copy you requested
  • NTN: Thank you cards have been sent to all attendees

Of course, for the above acronyms to "work" in Email subject lines, then both the sender and the receive must know what they mean and when they are appropriate to be utilized. This works very well within departments or workgroups, as well as with those that you communicate via e-mail with on a continual basis.

Feel free to add, delete, or modify these acronyms as you see fit, as the above are just some of the more common ones that are in regular use.

If you have any other acronyms that you think are helpful in Email subject lines, please feel free to respond to this posting so you can share your ideas.


Resources: The case for Email hashtags
Image from flickr courtesy of In 30 Minutes guides