E-mail is now common place in the work force, and yet it’s surprising on how little people know and understand its ability. What works in an email? And what doesn’t?

  • Provide a proper subject line, one that will make a person want to open your email. With all of the known viruses plaguing emails, people will more often then not delete an email if they are unsure what it’s about.
  • Do not make your email downloadable.  Provide an email that explains what you are sending, and then use attachments. Again, with viruses plaguing emails, people will not open up a document if they are unsure of what it is.
  • Keep your email short and to the point.
  • Provide name, addresses, email address, web site addresses, and phone numbers. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to contact someone for more information, and not knowing how.
  • Hyperlink all web addresses for ease to the reader.
  • Check all links before sending the email. If you are unsure of what you are sending, send it to yourself first, check all hyperlinks, and then send to your client.
  • Check spelling! If you can’t figure out to spell check in your email program, type up your email in Word, spell check, than copy and paste the message back in your email program.
  • Do not use all capital letters. So much is written on this subject, and yet I still get emails that are capitalized. Capitalized phrases are the same as screaming – you don’t want to be screaming at a potential client.
  • Do not include images in your email. Instead, direct them back to your web site for more detail descriptions.
  • If you are going to be emailing people on a regular basis, get permission. Simply put a clause at the bottom of the email that gives them a way of taking themselves off of your list. You do not want an irate customer if you can avoid it!

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Lori Osterberg has been marketing online since 1995. Her popular online newsletter is read weekly by small business owners from around the world.