urgent email subject line

Scroll down to see the infographic

You’d be surprised how many people just scan subject lines and delete emails that don’t seem relevant to them. And we can hardly blame them—this is exactly what we ask you to do when triaging your inbox and using the Scan-Block-Ask system.

To make sure that your emails are not just opened, but also responded to correctly, there are a couple of things you can do. First, try putting a call to action right in the subject line. “5 things I need you to do tomorrow” is much more clear than “Things” and it also makes searching for older email easier.

Clean your inbox in seconds & keep it that way forever? »

Next, add queues and instructions right into the subject line to make your emails relevant and actionable. What stood out to you in the headline of this post? Probably [Urgent]. That’s just one common example of how to add context to your subject lines. By including an instructive word, phrase, or abbreviation into your subject lines, you:

– Help others prioritize their inboxes

– Be more likely to get what you want, when you want

– Save other from writing unnecessary email replies

– Save yourself from reading unnecessary email replies

So with that, here is a list of the ten most useful subject line abbreviations and phrases. (Note that you can use these with our without brackets, but we find that the brackets help your subject line and instructions stand out, and you can put them at the beginning or end of the subject line.)

Email Subject Lines Infographic by SaneBox[Action Item] or [Action Required]

Use these to indicate that you need something done.

Ex: Updates to the proposal [Action Required]

[Time Sensitive]

This encourages the recipient to open your email, as the contents will no longer be relevant or actionable soon.

Ex: [Time Sensitive] Last chance to RSVP for Tuesday’s Lunch & Learn


Use this for matters that are more pressing and more important than [time sensitive]. We strongly recommend following any email like this up with a phone call, text, or instant message. Also, use this only when an email is, in fact, urgent; if you use it too often, it will lose its gravity.

Ex: [URGENT] Final approval needed by 3pm

[Not Urgent]

When you add this to the subject line, you remove a lot of pressure from recipients and help them prioritize their inboxes.

Ex: Interesting new software to consider [Not Urgent]


[Please reply by (date)]

This tells the recipient she can snooze the email until the time indicated.

Ex: Quarterly feedback survey [Please reply by June 30]

[NNTR], [NRN] or [FYI]

These are short for “No Need to Reply,” “No Response Necessary” and “For Your Information.” These subject line abbreviations save recipients from writing an unnecessary email and save you from reading unnecessary replies. Double win!

Ex: Suggestions for new website design [NNTR].

Ex: Yummy snacks in the kitchen [FYI]

(Related: Stop Responding to Every Email—Here’s Why » )


If you can fit the entire message into a subject line, use EOM, which stands for “end of message,” to tell the recipient he doesn’t even need to open the email. This saves you time because you don’t feel compelled to write additional fluff in the body of the email, and saves others time from opening the email and reading said fluff.

Ex: Friday meeting rescheduled for 11am [EOM]

There you have it—ten subject line abbreviations and phrases that will make email work for you. Include them to increase clarity and avoid unnecessary email exchanges, thereby improving life for you and for everyone you email.

Email Subject Lines Infographic by SaneBox

Like this post? We would love it if you would share it!

Share on Facebook »
Share on Twitter »
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn »

gmail content upgrade


About SaneBox

Remember when email used to make your job easier, not harder? SaneBox gets you and your inbox back to a Zen-like state so you can reduce the noise and focus on the things that actually matter in work and in life. Log into your account now to see SaneBox in action, or sign up to start a 14-day free trial.


  1. Why not come up with 2-3 letter standard acronyms for the full text subject notices, e.g. [AR] = Action Required.

    [AI] = Action Item
    [AR] = Action Required
    [TS] = Time Sensative
    [U] = Urgent
    [NU] = Not Urgent
    [PRB date] = Please Reply By date

    Without a text expander the full text notices are a pain to type.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’re happy users of TextExpander 😉 but you are very right that without it, the phrases become tedious to type. This is a terrific idea and something many companies would benefit from if they circulated and adopted it internally. Thank you for taking the time to share!


  3. Good Day,
    Are you in need of financial assistance? Have you thought of obtaining a loan? Probably you have been turned down by your local banks in quest of getting a loan. Search no further, we are currently offering long and short term loans to the public at large. We can help you with a loan at a very low interest rate. Contact us now via;[ patmankabusinessgroup@gmail.com ]with the following information’s


  4. Hello,
    This is to inform the public that we offer credit for both companies and individuals that we are giving out loan with an interest rate of 3%. Our credit guaranteed 100%. We offer loans for various purposes .Contact us today So you can get credit loan:patmankabusinessgroup@gmail.com][ charlesraymood@gmail.com


  5. Hello every one my name is Marry Hess am a business woman. Are you in need of an urgent loan to pay your rent,start up a large or small scale business,to buy a car,or even to pay your children school fees and other necessities? The was our I got a loan from a private loan lender I needed money for business so I had to search for a loan lender until I found one out of many. I was thinking it was a joke until I smiled to the bank to take my loan so just incase you need a loan for anything you want to do no need to fear because they offer a very low interest rate of 2% and a long year duration of about 10%. Just contact the email address: frederickfinance25@gmail.com or whatsapp +2349020240030


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s