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Bill Platt of the Phantom Writers, invites you to reprint this article in your print publication, ezine, or on your website. This is a Free-Reprint article. The only requirements for publishing this article are:

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    Thank you for adhering to these four very simple rules.
    Writing Tips for Email Distribution of your Article or Message
    Copyright 2004, Bill Platt

    It has long been understood that writing for the web is 
    different than writing for a print publisher. There have 
    been volumes written on this subject. 
    I am here to share with you some important lessons that I have
    discovered about Writing for Email. 
    Now the techies in the audience are scratching their heads and
    mumbling under their breath that I am a fool... No biggie... I
    have been called that before.
    From the technical side of the equation this statement is 
    wrong. I will fess up on that. 
    But, for the purposes of this article, it is the absolute 
    truth. Let me explain.
    There are type types of email readers:
      * AOL Email Reader
      * All Other Email Readers
    This is an important distinction, because all email readers
    will automatically hyperlink an Internet URL, except for the
    AOL Email Reader. In order for the AOL Reader to hyperlink
    the URL, it must have the HREF tag from HTML in proper format.
    For example, all other readers will provide a hyperlink for
    the following bit of text:
    On the other hand, email destined for an AOL member must be
    formatted like this:
    When you are writing an article or an ordinary piece of email,
    white space is very important to help aid your reader in getting
    every word read. 
    In an ordinary letter on a written piece of paper, it is fine 
    to place your text with no blank lines between paragraphs and 
    with only a indention at the beginning of the paragraph. If you 
    were to do this in an email message, all of the text would tend
    to run together making your message monotonous to read. 
    Blank space enables you to get your message read more thoroughly
    and completely. This is why within this article you will see a
    blank line between every paragraph and two blank lines between
    every sub-section of the article.
    The typical ezine is deliberately formatted to 65 characters
    width. This is done to enable easy reading for all people
    viewing the ezine. 
    On the web, it is important to serve the lowest common 
    denominator. While you and I may use higher resolution on our
    computers, most Internet users do not. Many are still utilizing
    the 640 x 480 video resolution. And many more are still using
    outdated email software. 
    The 65 character width enables everyone to be able to read
    the ezine on their screen without requiring them to scroll
    right to left to take in all of the text in the ezine.
    When listing a URL for a website, it is thus important to make
    sure that the URL does not exceed 65 characters in length.
    There are fr`ee services available to help you to do this. One
    such program can be found at:  http://www.shorturl.com/
    'Above the Fold' is a term that comes from newspaper publishing.
    As you might be able to imagine, they are talking about what
    appears above the fold on the newspaper and in the display
    area of the paper in the newspaper machine.
    'Above the Fold' is the element that most affects the impulse
    purchases of the newspaper.
    In an email message, 'Above the Fold' is the amount of text 
    seen before one has to scroll down. As with a newspaper, the
    'Above the Fold' text in an email will determine how many 
    people may or may not read all of your message based on their 
    impulse decision to do so.
    Similar to what I was talking about in the previous section 
    about the email readers, it is important to always use the
    full http:// address in your printed URL's.
    If you were to list your URL without the http:// , then your
    URL will not hyperlink. If you are reading this message in a
    standard email reader in text format, you will see what I mean
    Then again, if you do use the http:// , the URL will 
    automatically be hyperlinked in the email:
    The reason why this is actually important to you is that the
    non-techie reader might find it difficult to know how to copy
    the URL to their Internet browser. I know for most of us, this
    is hard to believe, but I have seen it first hand when people
    were asking me how they could copy the URL to their browser
    for viewing.
    If you include an email address in your email text, and you
    want people to be able to click that link to send you an email,
    you must list your email address with the mailto: prefix.
    Otherwise, your email address will not hyperlink.
    Here is the proper method to hyperlink an email address:
    Here is another factor that might seem odd on first look.
    When you list an email address or URL in your email copy, and
    you have followed the steps to hyperlink the email address or
    URL, you must make a point to break proper sentence formatting
    if a punctuation mark should follow your hyperlink. 
    Most people who end a sentence with a URL want to put that 
    period at the end of the sentence. Don't! If you must, put a
    blank space between the actual URL and the period. The same
    concept must be applied to commas and semicolons. 
    When you are working with a straight domain name, it is not 
    really an issue. But when you are using a page on your domain,
    the improperly placed punctuation could break the URL.
    For example, the other night, I clicked a link to a website
    that was formatted like this:
    The email reader sees that final period in the URL as part of
    the URL. When this happens, it is like putting a period at the
    end of any URL. Test it on your own to see what happens. Ah
    yes, the dreaded "404 Error - Page Not Found."
    This is why we want to put the extra space between the end of
    our URL's and our punctation marks, just like this:
       http://thephantomwriters.com/link-builder.pl .
    These tips are offered to help you get your email messages
    read more often. They are also offered to help ezine publishers
    provide their readers a better and more valuable ezine, and 
    to help writers to offer publishers a better formatted article 
    for simple copy-and-paste reprint.
    For those of us who use the web in a commercial manner, all of
    these tips will help us to sell more of our wares and widgets.
    After all, that is why we got into business in the first place,
    isn't it? 

    Bill Platt owns http://thePhantomWriters.com . Do you need free content for your website or ezine? Our archives deliver more than 350 free-reprint articles available for your use. http://content.thePhantomWriters.com . Do you write your own articles? Let us distribute them for you to our network of 6000+ publishers & webmasters http://thePhantomWriters.com/distribution

    More Articles Written by Bill Platt

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    Our client has purchased thePhantomWriters.com / Article-Distribution.com Distribution Services, and we have distributed this article to over 6,000 publishers and webmasters. As part of this service, we offer this page and the Copy-and-Paste version of this article on autoresponder.

    Are you curious about where this article has been published? This article was first distributed on:
    Thu May 6 03:46:28 EDT 2004

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