Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Long email messages: ease the reader's way

Quoted from David Angell & Brent Heslop, The Elements of E-mail Style:

E-mail messages come in all sizes. If you are sending an e-mail message that is longer than a few screenfuls, take special care to keep the reader interested. Here are some tips for creating long messages.
  • In the first screen of your message, include a table of contents that covers the important points of your message.
  • If you need to solicit a response from the recipient, do it in the first screen.
  • Include an executive summary of your message in the first screen. . . .
  • Use whitespace and other graphic devices such as lines composed of hyphens or asterisks to enhance message readability. . . .
  • [Use] headings [to] break up long messages.
David Angell & Brent Heslop, The Elements of E-mail Style 28 (Addison Wesley 1994).

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