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Tips to Getting Your Email Opened and Read

I recently wrote an article about the top three email mistakes to avoid.  I want to continue along in the vein of how to use email properly.  Instead of what to avoid, I want to make this article geared toward what to DO.

Here are some of my best tips:

If your message is really short, just put it all on the subject line.  Example:  Meeting changed to Tues. at 3pm – Please confirm.  And if you do this, go ahead and use a closing along with your name and signature information in the email body.  This is especially useful when you’re sending email through a mobile device, or texting.

Don’t over-format. Under many circumstances, people are still using Plain Text instead of HTML formatting.  The biggest reason for this would be to avoid being tagged by a spam filter.  Statistically, HTML formatting has a much higher chance of being labeled SPAM as Plain Text.  If you do use HTML, make sure you use easy-to-read fonts.  The industry standards that are easy on the eyes, are Verdana, Times New Roman, and Arial.

If you are tempted to use decorative stationery, colorful backgrounds or cute little graphics (animated or not) such as Emoticons, in a word – DON’T. Leave that stuff for personal emails at home.  Never use these things for a business email.  It’s no only unprofessional, but it’s likely to get your email tossed into the Junk Folder or blocked by a Spam filter.  Also, don’t use a fancy graphic-like signature for your name.  I had one large client that called me and asked me to stop this a couple years ago.  Just having my signature in a script font was hanging up my emails in their mega-spam filter.

Resist the temptation to forward a chain email, no matter how urgent or interesting it seems.  This would include emails alerting you to missing children, health risks, or any other warnings.  If your curiosity can’t take it, logon to  www (dot) truthorfiction (dot) com or www (dot) snopes (dot) com.  You can use keywords to do a search and the source of this information may be revealed and you can find out whether this is anything close to the truth.  Either way, I wouldn’t forward it.  Your time is more valuable than that, isn’t it?

Never Assume Privacy.  Don’t write something in an email that you wouldn’t mind having posted on a billboard on a busy highway.  Emails can have a very long life, so be careful.  If it’s a really sensitive issue, just pick up the phone or make a personal visit, or use snail mail.

Visit Business Training Team to get more information about how to spiff up your business communications.