Bold Highlights in a letter emailer. How effective are they?

13 Sep 2011 - 10:19am
4 years ago
2 replies
1788 reads
Sachin Ghodke

I am working on an emailer in a letter format to be sent to different promotional industry clients. 

I have two options to format the letter in.

1) Highlight certain salient points within the letter.
These are many and the letter looks like its a mistake and it gets confusing to understand if the letter is in bold or in regular font.

2) Without highlighting the important points in the letter. 
This one reads as a simple letter without formatted text.

How does the two options affect the message of the letter? Does psychology play a big part in this? Does optoin #1 distract continuous reading? Or does option #2 look too plain and mundane that the reader forgets to read it and skip the message thinking its a simple letter. 

The letter is written as a one-to-one conversation to an individual. 

I am at a dilemma and need help in understanding how this can be resolved.


21 Sep 2011 - 10:02am
Jochen Wolters


have you considered compiling the key points of your letter in a bulleted list?

I'm not aware of research into this, but I find bold words in prose text rather distracting. My eyes are drawn towards them, and this does affect my ability to concentrate on actually reading the text as a whole.

Using bold text to make headings stand out is different: With the right content in those headings, being able to quickly make these out helps skim through the text and get a rough idea of what it is about.

In your case, you could try what that letter looks like when you place your key points into (bold) headings and/or (regular) bulleted lists, which also stand out visually, allowing your readers to quickly extract the gist of your offer.


21 Sep 2011 - 11:46am
Sachin Ghodke

I agree with you. This was exactly the argument I had with my Boss but he insisted to pepper the letter with bold phrases. I stuck to my guns and did not do that. 

I find this exercise of convincing quite exhasperating. It indeed is a difficult task. On the other hand, the content has to be captivating. 

I agree that bullet points have their impact too. I was experimenting with different letter formats and found myself reading important bold text which were in the form of sub-heads or bullet points and they made sence to me and gave me a quick idea of what the letter said.

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