What is the best way to format form letters that will be used for emails?

Form letters are edited in Microsoft Word, but there are certain functions in Word that do not render in email. Here are a few things to keep in mind about formatting between Word and email:

  1. Special formatting like bold/underline/italics may not be consistently maintained between the Word document and the email unless the formatted line is within its own paragraph (like a header sentence to a section of a letter).
  2. The "tab" keystroke in Word is not recognized in emails. It is automatically collapsed.
  3. An empty line between paragraphs renders best via email since the "tab" keystroke is not recognized in emails.
  4. If you plan to include a link in your letter, include the full URL rather then hyperlinking text to ensure that the URL will function properly in email and to ensure that the printed copy will also give constituents access to the online information.
  5. Text will be left-aligned by default.

It is always a good idea to test any new form letters in both print and email formats before sending to constituents. To test a letter, add yourself as a contact, including both mailing address and email address. Create a new activity with an Out Type of Print and select your new letter. Click Send to print. You can then reopen the same activity, change the Out Type to Email, and then click Send to email. 

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