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Or, better yet, split up your points into a few different e-mails. For example, if you need to tell me something important about my taxes, ask if I'm available for a conference call tomorrow, and fill me in about your hot date from last weekend, make each subject a separate e-mail. Not only will you ensure that I'll read each point, but if I need to get back to you on something, I can just save that particular message.
Mistake #3: Funky Formatting
Your e-mail program may let you underline, italicize, boldface, and color your words, but when your recipients read your messages, these features may not carry through. Text formatting rarely translates between e-mail systems, and your reader may instead get a garbled mess of abstract characters (like this: "##@@!!&&&<<<>>>") that muddle your message.
A safe way to emphasize a word is to place an *asterisk* before and after word, as I do here often in my e-zine text. Typing words in all-caps is another option. But while caps make an impact when used occasionally, they're extremely hard to read.
THE TOPS AND BOTTOMS OF CAPITAL LETTERS ARE COMPLETELY ALIGNED, MAKING IT HARDER TO QUICKLY DIFFERENTIATE WORDS. NEVER TYPE YOUR WHOLE MESSAGE IN ALL CAPS UNLESS YOU WANT TO IRRITATE SOMEONE, BECAUSE IT COMES ACROSS AS "SCREAMING." ARE YOUR EYES HURTING YET? OK, SORRY!
Typing in all caps also labels you as an Internet newbie -- many computer first-timers are inexplicably attracted to that caps lock key. (Someone should start an intervention group for that.)
Mistake #4: Operating Undercover
Ever get an e-mail from someone and you just can't figure out who it is? I've had to explain many times to associates that e-mail addresses like "firstname.lastname@example.org" don't quite let your recipients know whom is calling. Many people may even delete your e- mail, mistaking your message for spam. (And goofy screen names don't do much good for your professional image either.)
Even if your identity is obvious based on your e-mail address, it's still a courtesy to sign your e-mail. And even better, include your *signature file.* You know what a signature (or "sig") file is, right? It's that little blurb with contact info that you can automatically insert at end of every e-mail you send.
Most e-mail programs now allow you to use sig files -- even AOL 6.0. At least, just list your name, title, company, phone, e-mail address, and Web site URL. And don't think that including a sig file in every e-mail is overkill -- I find it wonderfully handy to grab a client's phone number off of her last e-mail to me.
Copywriter and consultant Alexandria Brown's FREE biweekly e- zine, "AKB MarCom Tips," gives how-to tips on writing compelling copy for Web sites, brochures, and e-zines. Learn easy ways to "write to sell" and attract new customers today! Subscribe now at http://www.akbwriting.com or via mailto:AKBMarCom- On@lists.webvalence.com