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How to email banking MDs and get noticed

How to write spicy emails

When you work in a bank, you get a lot of emails. I regularly receive 1,500 emails every working day, including when I'm on vacation. 

When your inbox looks like mine, there's no time for sentimentality. I have no time for emails that don't look like they're relevant.

I ruthlessly prioritize every email using the rules you can add to Outlook. If I'm copied into an email with multiple other people, I will deprioritize. If an email is sent only to me, it will be assigned a higher priority. If an email comes from my boss or other MDs, it will receive the highest priority. 

The other thing that matters are subject lines. A lot of people don't know how to write a subject line that gets noticed. Over decades of working in banking and sending emails to people who are equally busy, I have adopted a technique that works.

It's simple: in the subject line of the email, you add the recipient's name. You can just do that and nothing else, or you can add their name and then what you want to talk to them about. 

It's actually quite a common trick in banking. I use it a lot and I know other people in the industry do too. Outside of banking, it's far less common.

I'm not sure why it works - maybe just because people feel an added sense of urgency when their name is in the subject line. But if you're applying for jobs, and you don't do this, your email will almost certainly go unseen.

Miles Jackson is a pseudonym

Photo by David Rotimi on Unsplash

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AUTHORMiles Jackson Insider Comment
  • ph
    10 August 2023

    Piles of spam I get have either my name or email address in the subject. How about a short concise description of the subject?

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