Have you ever received an email with a link that could probably be published as an eBook? Besides taking up valuable space in the email and looking ugly, half the time the link doesn’t work! You know exactly what I’m talking about. Here’s an example just to be sure:
Hey Jim. Check out this great article about “How to Coach Your Boss” – http://michaelhyatt.com/how-to-coach-your-boss.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+michaelhyatt+%28Michael+Hyatt%29 ~ Wayne
Frustrating. Let me help you help others with a few simple tips to clean this mess up. This email could look like this instead:
Hey Jim. Check out this great article: “How to Coach Your Boss“! ~ Wayne
Tactical Tip: The Embedded Hyperlink
Most people don’t want or need to see that hyperlink. Probably the biggest exception to that rule is if you are trying to tell someone the actual name of a website. For example:
“Hey Jim. Check out this great blog for pastors and church leaders I found at www.transformingleader.com!”
Even in that example I embedded the actual web address so that people don’t see the http:// at the beginning. This simple task will take you approximately 10-20 extra seconds, but it will be well worth your while.
- Your readers will be less distracted or frustrated.
- You will be able to represent yourself and your church with a greater degree of professionalism.
- You will feel personal satisfaction in upping the excellence of your communications.
- Copy Web Link
Your first step is to copy your web link. In your web browser, go to the exact page you wish to send people to and highlight/copy the entire address in the web address field. Note: you will also find that some websites will offer to copy the appropriate address for you. For instance, youtube.com offers a ‘Share’ button that will then give you the best link to a video clip.
- Switch to Your Email Client
Now that the web link is copied to your computer clipboard, go to your email page or program (like gmail.com or Outlook).
- Write Your Email or Document
Now write your email (or document) the way you want it to appear. Don’t worry about including the embedded link yet. Just write it the way you want to say it. You may consider helping the reader know that you’ve embedded the link, depending on how the email is written. If you’re referring to a website using the web address, like www.transformingleader.org then you’re fine. Sometimes, you’ll want to give instruction to your reader though. For instance: “Learn about creating an email signature right here.” Of course, sometimes it’s just obvious: “I recommend you read this email tip: Tactical Tip:Say ‘Thanks’ in Your Email.”
- Highlight Your Text
Now highlight the text where you want the link to appear. Don’t forget this step!
- Embed Your Link
Now it’s time to embed your link. You need to teach yourself this short step depending on your email client. There are two popular ways that links can be embedded that I’ll outline right here.
- Right Click. One popular method is to right click on the highlighted text and select a menu option that says something like “hyperlink” or “link”. This will bring up a dialog box where you can paste your copied hyperlink.
- The ‘Link’ Tool. Many web clients, like gmail.com, offer a button or menu item that should be clicked after you’ve highlighted the text. This should bring up a dialog box where you can paste your copied hyperlink. Note: sometimes the dialog box will be in two parts. One part should include the actual hyperlink text and the other part should include the actual text you highlighted or want people to see.
- Format Your Link
To add an extra layer of excellence to your communication, format your link appropriately. If the link is the main focus of your document, then you may want to bold it. You may also want to check the other colors in your document and make sure the hyperlink colors don’t clash or disappear. Finally, whenever possible, underline the text (I’m breaking my own rule on this blog. There’s something wrong with the template I’m using that won’t reveal underlined hyperlinks.)
- Test Your Link
This is an important step we so often fail to do. After your link has successfully been embedded into your text, double-check to ensure it actually works and goes to the appropriate page.