How To Make Your E-Mail Look Good
So That People Read It
It is easy to assume that just because people agreed to be on
your mailing list, they will read your messages. You are not
sending spam and they requested your material, after all.
Aaaah - if only this could be true...
Not in your dreams!
There are many factors determining when the message is read and
when it is not. The content, of course, and the quality of your
writing style has a *lot* to do with it. But no matter how good
the quality of your message is, the look is equally important.
Your message must be *easy* and *inviting* to read, otherwise
you might lose the competition for the time and attention of
And judging from the masses of email that I receive in my daily
correspondence, the look of the majority can be improved. Please
keep in mind that it is difficult to read from the computer
screen. Make sure that your message is as inviting as possible.
Use a lot of white space
Write shorter paragraphs than you would in your offline
messages - and *always* double space between paragraphs.
A blank line between paragraphs is a must. Use two or
three blank lines to separate between topics.
Make some sentences very short and let them stand alone
between blank lines. It helps to emphasize the point
you are making and it allows the eye to rest a bit...
There are many replacements for gestures and intonation.
- Use smileys :-) for a smile or more sophisticated [G}
for a grin. And even ;-) for a playful wink.
Use typed "vocalizations" - they are internet equivalent of
facial expression and body language and they will add life to your
email (as long as you do not overdo it). Here are some
of my favorites:
Stay away from CAPS (capitalized letters)
The human eye is trained to read by recognizing the shapes
of the letters. Take for example the word: "day" -- you can
just give it a glance to recognize three distinctive heights
of the letters and read the word easily - and instantly. If
you want to emphasize a word in email, use asterisks - like
in *this* example.
Remember that your email is the equivalent of your presence. It
speaks volumes. It creates impressions about you just like your
personal grooming does. Make sure your email is your ally!