On Thursday night an email landed in my box.  It was from “Major General Bob Dees (U.S. Army, Ret.),” who I’d never heard of before and didn’t know from Adam.

His subject line was: “Tonight, America saw a leader.”

Turns out it was from one of the GOP presidential campaigns (name withheld to protect the guilty) and it was about Thursday night’s debate.

But since I didn’t recognize the name and there was no reference to exactly what the email was about or which candidate it was about, the average person with a ton of emails to wade through every day is more likely to delete something like this than open it.

For all I knew, Gen. Dees was some troll spammer.  I had no idea he was an official spokesperson for this particular candidate.

And the subject line could have been about somebody not even remotely involved in politics, or could have applied to any one of the candidates.  Here, I’ll prove it…

Which presidential candidate’s campaign sent this email out?  Trump, Cruz, Carson, Rubio, Jeb!, Christie, Kasich, Paul or Fiorina.

You don’t know…and neither do the folks who received it.  It could have been referring to any of the candidates. It’s as weak a headline as you’ll find.

Folks, your subject line needs to be like a headline for a newspaper story.  People are too overwhelmed with email today to waste time opening stuff if they don’t have at least a hint of what it’s about or who it’s from.

If you make them guess or question whether or not they want to risk wasting time opening your email…they won’t.

Don’t get cute.  Be upfront.  And your “open” rates will improve.