Good Email Advice

Most of us get entirely too many emails every day and most of them are spam that we automatically delete.  In the midst of all the clutter we may accidentally delete something important once in a while.  One way to avoid having the messages you send going into the trash folder is to make sure you use a good subject line.  While you’re limited to the number of characters you can use, you can usually create a pretty good summary of what the message is about without running out of space.

Besides cutting down on the possibility of your message going into the trash unread, a good subject line makes it easier for the recipient to locate the message in the future.  Generic subject lines force the search program to dig into the body of the message and the search can take a very long time.

Thanks to Steve Jeffery, Senior Vice President of our Household Sewing Division for the following tips on email subject lines. 

Don’t be too general.  The overall subject may be an upcoming event, but the detail might be about advertising.  A good subject line would include the name of the event and the word advertising.  If you’re expecting a reply by a certain date, you might include the abbreviation "PRB" (please reply by) 8/1/07. 

An example might be "Subject:  Sidewalk Sale-Staffing PRB 7/20/07" 

We’re all in a hurry and it’s tempting to spend as little time as possible, especially when sending short messages.  But if the message is important, and we assume you wouldn’t be sending it if it wasn’t, it’s worth our time to make sure that the message isn’t deleted as "junk" and that the recipient can retrieve it later if necessary.

One other tip, most email programs allow you to change the subject line on messages that you receive.  There’s nothing wrong with giving an incoming message a new title before you file it away.  You may want to give the message a new subject followed by the original subject either in parentheses, or using the word "was".  That way, if the sender refers to the original email, you can still find it using the original subject. 

For example, if the original subject was "St. Louis" and you want to change it to "Travel Arrangements for July Trip", you could make the new title "Travel Arrangements for July Trip, was St. Louis."

Again, a little time spent today may save you a lot of time and aggravation later, when you try to retrieve the information from your email folders. 

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