A conversation took place in the office this week which got us thinking. It all began after one of our staff members made use of a hashtag at the end of an email subject line.
We were all a bit perplexed and asked 'why?' Apparently it is to show that there is no body to the email; the whole of the text content is within the subject line.
As the rest of us had not seen or used this before we thought we'd look into this further and see if it was widely used, if it was just an old thing to do or indeed if it was something which was a legacy from the days they worked at Eastern Electricity - 25 years ago to be precise.
Taking a look around the internet there doesn't seem to be any articles or notes on the hashtag being used in the way described above. Mostly the discussion is on the use of a standard and common abbreviation of EOM (End Of Message) or N/T (No Text). It appears there are numerous acronyms used but we'll not go there right now. If you wish to understand a few more please feel free to visit 20 Email Acronyms To Learn
Whichever way you do it, using an acronym like EOM at the end of your short subject line will save you time and save the recipient's time too. You will also learn to craft better and maybe more powerful subject lines!
It is interesting though, that in the age of social media, there is an argument to using actual hashtags within email subject lines as part of optimisation and there are statistics to prove that open rates can increase.
The subject line of an email is paramount in whatever circumstance it is, whether from a friend, colleague, customer, someone new or a potential client. It needs to capture you to be opened! Subject lines can make or break an email campaign. No matter how good the content or offer, if the email isn't opened it's worth nothing.
You may feel that short sharp email subjects are rude, however with brevity comes speed and knowledge and you know that the recipient will read it as they scan through their many emails and your note will stand out over many of the others.
If you get it right you can even possibly entice recipients to look further than just their Inbox, by searching for your hashtags on social media platforms to learn more.
However, be careful. Hashtags will only work with an audience who use social media heavily. A more formal email, or one being received by an audience who are less likely to be attracted to hashtags, would probably mean an instant delete or the thought that the email is just spam!
When did hashtags start?
It all started back on 23rd August 2007 with a tweet by San Francisco techie and former Google developer Chris Messina. His first hashtag being #barcamp.
Hashtags are used on many social media platforms, but mainly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The # symbol goes in front of a word or words to group that tweet or post with other tweets or posts about the same topic, allowing for brief exchanges and sharing. Sometimes though it can be a short sharp emotional statement or used as a bit of fun.
It has become so popular that things happen on Twitter through hashtags faster than breaking news on programmes, the result being that Twitter is now a primary resource for many news stations.