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E-mail is the most used application for online recruiting. Its wide usage over the years has led to lots of guidelines about formatting e-mail messages. If your messages tip on these standard rules, they risk being unreadable by a multiple of recipients, sometimes annoying them. Here are some tips to format your recruiting emails:

Word wrap

There are host of platforms on which you can compose your recruiting message like a word processor, a text editor, or in a window of your own email program. But your recipient can use a totally different email program, thereby making it difficult to make out the essence of your message from a quirky display.

Generally an email automatically wraps lines at a fixed number of characters. In case your lines are longer than what can be seen by recipient's email client, your words will get truncated. To avoid such display problems, wrap your lines at a reasonable length, say 60 or 65 characters per line.

Font

The same issue can also stand true for usage of fonts. You are using the default font for your word processor or mail program. But your receiver's email program may have a different default font. Consequently, your recipient might witness your email message with distorted letters at his end.

Fonts are of two types: fixed-pitch and proportional. In a fixed-pitch font every character has the same width, while in a proportional font the width of characters can vary. So a sentence in fix-pitch will look longer than a sentence typed in Times New Roman. These formatting problems with fonts create a lot of trouble when you use tables in your text. Therefore, stick to simple design while using tables.

Before shooting out the mail, check whether your message looks symmetrical in both proportional and fixed fonts.

Using HTML tags

A message composed in a word processing program has myriad formatting codes, which can disturb the get-up of your message if you just paste it into an email window. Similarly, if you compose your message in HTML, many recipients will see all the HTML tags, which will disturb them while reading the message. Therefore, before you use HTML format, ensure that all your email recipients have an email client configuration that allow viewing HTML-formatted email.

So to be on safe side, send all email marketing messages in plain text. To compose a plain-text message, compose it on a ‘Notepad’.

Here is a formatting checklist before you hit 'send':

* Compose and dispatch documents in plain text

* Keep to 60-65 characters per line

* Script preferably in a fixed-pitch font

* When using tables or other graphics, keep the simplest of
designs

* View your message in both proportional and fixed pitch fonts
to ward off formatting discrepancies

* Avoid HTML unless you are sure that all your recipients have
the configuration to view HTML

Try these email formatting techniques to bump up your open and click-through rates.

Kelly Johnson
Optinbuilders

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