Making Sure Your Emails And Event Invitations Get Read
Whether you are sending email to a colleague or inviting people to register for an event, sending well formatted and well written email is a reflection of your professionalism and will determine how well your message is communicated.
Poorly formatted messages are often deleted as they appear confusing, or if they are read, their meaning is not fully understood as readers just skim the text.
Following a few basic guidelines that you probably already know will keep people reading, understanding and hopefully responding to the emails you send.
- Use a signature – Including a signature line with your name and contact information is easy to do and makes it easy for the other party to contact you. Even if they already have your phone number it may save them looking it up.
- Avoid stationary and sound clips – These may be cute sometimes, but are really not appropriate for business communication.
- Use numbered lists – If you are asking someone to respond to several items in your message, number them on separate lines. There will be a better chance that they will respond to more than just the first one or two.
- Use BCC when sending an email to a group – People don’t want their email address broadcast to everyone on the list. Neglecting to do this may result in unfriendly replies.
- Use a meaningful subject line – Not only will this help get your email read, but it is helpful when searching for old email. A meaningful subject line will also help you when you receive a reply.
- Use proper case – All upper case can be difficult to read and can mean that you are shouting or angry. Not using upper case at all is just as bad as it makes the beginnings and endings of sentences hard to find.
- Use appropriate punctuation – It is hard to read text that doesn’t have periods, commas, and other necessary symbols. Over punctuating such as several exclamation points put together or a long line of periods between sentences should be avoided too.
- Spacing – It is very hard to read a solid block of text. Use line breaks to separate out paragraphs so there is a blank line between each.
- Always use your spell checker – Spell checkers will catch a lot of mistakes, but watch out for words that are spelled correctly, but are wrong for your sentence.
- Don’t abbreviate excessively – There are many short forms of words that people use online, but not everyone understands them and they don’t appear professional.
- Read through your messages before sending – It is easy to make grammatical errors, miss words, etc. as you are composing your message.
- Watch out for autocorrect – If you use the autocorrect feature in MS Office, watch that it is correcting your words to the ones you want.