How EOM Makes for Better Emails

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EOM stands for "end of message." In short, it's a quick and effective way to indicate that the message is over and that there's nothing else to read. Using EOM is particularly helpful when sending emails.

If EOM is included at the end of the email's subject line (and the recipient knows what it means), they don't have to worry about opening the message to read anything in the body because it's assumed that there's nothing there. It quickly explains that the entire message is in the subject line.

It's clear the time-saving benefits EOM can bring to email, but it's not just a recent thing. Wherever, whenever, and however messages are exchanged, it always is and always has been useful to know whether the complete message has been transmitted.

A relatively recent use of EOM was the original ASCII scheme for encoding characters digitally in computers. Derived from Morse code, ASCII included EOM as a control character. The Morse code pressing for "end-of-message" is di-dah-di-dah-dit.

As an alternative, you could instead use SIM (Subject Is Message) or any other convention you coin, but EOM is by far the most commonly understood indicator.

Pros and Cons of Using EOM

The advantages of using 'end of message' in your emails might not be seen immediately but there are definitely measurable benefits:

  • Your message will be read since most recipients will at least read the email's subject.
  • You're encouraged to keep your email short since you want to contain the whole topic in the subject line. This saves you time and forces you to come up with a new way to write and avoid unnecessary words, sign-offs, and salutations.
  • Only one topic is covered in the email, which will not only make it easier to find the email later but easier to keep track of emails.
  • It saves the receiver time because they don't have to open the message only to find that it's blank.
  • Others might start seeing the benefits of using EOM and use it in their own emails, which provides a snowball effect of time-saving messages.
  • You will most likely receive a shorter email in reply, which can save you even more time.
  • You might start writing better emails. Instead of relying on so many words in the body to do the lifting, you get your point and message across succinctly, which helps everyone involved.
  • It's easier to write emails from your phone or tablet since it will be much shorter than writing things in the body of the message.
  • Because email subjects aren't usually very long, it becomes much easier to copy the email down or record a reminder/calendar event based on the message.

However, there are also some disadvantages to EOM:

  • You might confuse people. If they don't know what EOM means, they'll probably check the message's body for an explanation or even reply to ask you what it means, which only serves to waste even more time.
  • Some email services and programs might not treat the subject as expected. For example, if the subject is too long and the email program truncates it, the recipient might be confused since not only is the subject seemingly abruptly shortened but the body has no content.

How to Use EOM in Your Messages

It might seem senseless at this point to explicitly describe how to use EOM but we'll look at the details anyway.

Quite simply, all you have to do is add the letters EOM at the end of a subject. Once you've completely written the subject, just enter EOM with or without quotes, or maybe even in parenthesis if you like.

You should also try to keep the total character count under 40 characters to make sure that the last three letters will fit nicely.

Here's an example:

The party will be at 4 PM Sunday (EOM)