Proper Message Formatting – The SUBJECT LINE

Improperly formatted messages take time to handle, slow down traffic and cause Dev-T for everyone. Correct formatting ensures your message is easily duplicatable by those receiving it.

The subject line is the most important point of any message. It is the only way members can tell whether a message is of interest to (or even has anything to do with) them. The subject line must be specific. Generalities, come-on or mystery sandwich type Subject Line or headers are not acceptable and will not be forwarded.

One major and frequently omitted datum in Subject Line is a geographical orientation for the message. TheRazzLine Email Service is an international comm line. The majority of members are located in the Greater LA area, followed closely by the Tampa Bay area. There are also a good number of members from all over the rest of the US and Canada, plus the UK, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, etc.

If a message is about an event, something needed, etc. in a specific region, it is REQUIRED that the region be named in the Subject Line. Be specific!

DO NOT use a “:” after the region as it disappears when the message is forwarded. Please simply use a dash. Ex: Atlanta – Seeking a dog.

If a message is on a general topic and doesn’t apply to a specific geographic location it doesn’t need a geographic indicator.

PLEASE, TAKE A MOMENT AND READ YOUR SUBJECT LINE TO ENSURE IT COMMUNICATES ENOUGH FOR SOMEONE TO KNOW WHAT THE MESSAGE CONTAINS AND IF IT MIGHT APPLY TO THEM.

Examples:

1. A Subject Line such as “Woodworking” does not give the reader enough information to determine what the message is about. Are you looking for someone who does it, want to know where to study about it, need to borrow some tools?

Correct: “Need recommendations for books on Woodworking.”
Correct: “LA – Anyone do Custom Woodworking?”

2. Likewise a Subject Line of “Postulates Seminar” doesn’t communicate –

Correct: “NYC – Postulates Seminar every Monday night – all welcome”
Correct: “Does anyone have experience delivering Postulate seminars?”

3. And another = “Looking for a part time job.”

Correct: “Glendale/Burbank, CA – Part-time job wanted”
Correct: “Looking for work I can do from home via the internet”

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: Members look through the subject lines and delete anything not of interest or not applicable to them personally. Not having specific Subject Lines can lead to people either feeling they have to read every message or that they don’t want to read any! This will end up destroying the line as people cancel membership due to either feeling unable to handle the huge amount of traffic or that there is nothing of interest to them.

The reason this guideline is in place is because this has already happened in the past!

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