Have you ever been embarrassed by a mistake in an email you sent?
Whether you’re creating marketing emails that go out to thousands of people, writing business emails that go individually or in small groups to colleagues and clients, or just emailing to your family and friends, accuracy and clarity are essential for effective communication.
Here’s a list of issues to check when you’re proofing your email messages:
Be sure it makes sense, reflects the actual content of your message, has no errors, and that placeholder text has been replaced with the actual information.
For marketing messages, the sender should be a name that will be recognized by recipients—typically an individual’s name, a company name or a combination.
Check all the text for spelling, grammar, and clarity. Short paragraphs work best for email, so consider breaking apart any paragraphs longer than four or five lines. Use a quality grammar and spellchecker (we recommend Grammarly—click here to try the free version) but remember that a human review is still necessary.
Check all the links to be sure they work. Check images—be sure they display properly and, if they link to another page, confirm that the link works. Be sure any placeholder text has been replaced with the correct information.
Check for accuracy—confirm statistics, quotes, the spelling of names, and so on. If you promised to cover five points or provide a list of seven items, be sure your content matches.
The closing should be appropriate for the message. For example, if the email is written in the first person, it should include a signature block of some sort from that person. The block should contain the name, title, website, phone, email address and other appropriate information. The sign-off line (yours, regards, sincerely, cordially, etc.) should reflect the personality of the sender and the relationship between the sender and recipient.
If you included a P.S., review it the same way you did the main body.
If you’re using an email service (such as MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact), check the footer—even if you’ve already set up a template. Be sure the content is accurate, up-to-date and compliant with both best practices and legal requirements. Replace any placeholder text with actual information. Test all links to be sure they work.
There is no way to eliminate the risk of mistakes, but taking a little extra time for proofreading and fact-checking will drastically reduce the chances an embarrassing mistake will land in your audience’s inboxes.
Check out my other posts on this topic:
She is the author of Words to Work By: 31 devotions for the workplace based on the Book of Proverbs and Finding Joy in the Morning: You can make it through the night. She is also the co-creator of several coloring books for adults.