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Wrap Your Lines at 65 Characters or Less

Whenever you write an email, always format the lines so that they’re 65 characters, or less, across. To do this, you may need to do a “hard return” by hitting “Enter” at the end of the line.

There are two reasons that “less is more”:

  1. The first thing to remember is that looking at a computer screen for a long time causes eye fatigue for many readers. The shorter span of characters across the screen makes reading easier and more appealing to the recipient of your email message.
  2. The other reason to go short instead of long is this: some email clients automatically enforce wrapping at 60-65 characters on received messages. If your email is wrapped at 70, the content will arrive all “chopped up.” This makes it unattractive…and worse — unappealing.

    • Email clients such as Outlook Express allow you to set the line wrap to any character-width you choose. That means you won`t have to hit Enter each time after typing 65 characters.
    • You can type 65 asterisks or dashes in a Notepad file to create a template. Then paste your email below it to see if any lines extend too far to the right.

Be Careful Using All CAPS

How many times have you changed the TV channel to avoid listening to a screaming car salesperson? No one likes a screaming salesperson…and no one likes a “screaming” email message, either. Odds are, when someone has over-amped the volume of their message by using too many capital letters (not to mention too many exclamation points and other punctuation) – you’re going to be turned off.

Consumers buy from a source they trust. Emails in all caps are perceived as “shady” or uneducated, and have an appearance that damages the credibility of an offer.

Watch Your Spelling and Grammar

Would you be influenced by an email selling you something that had noticeable spelling and grammar mistakes? Sure you would…and the influence would be negative, not positive!