Email Message Tip: What Response Do You Want?

You write many more business emails than you do business letters.

Here’s a tip: think about the response you want.

Indeed, you can try writing a call to action (what you want the person to do — “contact me”, “email the client and remind him”, “send me the report” etc.) first.

When I’m working with clients on communications’ training, I recommend this, and it works. If you can remember the response as you’re writing the rest of the message, it’s much easier to write quickly. You’ll procrastinate less too.

Sometimes, all you need is a quick salutation and the call to action.

Viz this informal message:

Hi Fred

Hope you’re having a good week.

Haven’t heard how you’re getting on with XYZ Corp.

Please email Tommy there and remind him about the sales meeting next Tuesday.

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Betty R.

When you’re writing email, shorter is usually better. However, give the recipient sufficient context so that he knows exactly what you’re talking about. In the above message, “XYZ Corp” provides the context.

Additional tip: leave lots of white space. Your recipients should be able to scan your messages, and read what you want them to do, without puzzling over it.

I like to keep paragraphs in email messages short; no more than three sentences maximum — often each paragraph will be a single short sentence. Chances are your recipients will read your messages on their phone; make it easy for them to see what you need, and to respond.

Everyone’s a Writer Now: 5 Tips to Make Writing Easy

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Everyone’s a writer now, and love it or hate it, you’ve got to do it. Let’s look at five tips to make it easier.

In this blog post, Angela Booth’s Writing Blog: The Best Writing Tip You’ll Ever Get, I shared my favorite tip:

“Here’s the best writing tip you’ll ever get: do more research.”

That’s #1.

1. Do more research

The more you know, the easier writing becomes, so don’t begrudge your research, but don’t wallow in it either. With luck, you’ll get the “click.”

2. Pretend you’re writing an email message

Everyone uses email, and you’re relaxed with it.

You can write the report, the white paper, or whatever it is you’re writing, right in your email program. Save it as a draft if you can’t write it in one sitting.

Then just copy and paste into MS Word.

I do this myself if I’m not in the mood to write something or other ; it’s just a psychological trick, and it works.

Once you’ve got it into Word, you can tidy it up.

3. Talk your writing

Yes, this is another trick. Talk to yourself, into a voice recorder, or into a program like Evernote which lets you create voice notes.

I like to brainstorm into Evernote during my daily walk. I get out into the fresh air, and start a new voice note. Then I just ramble into it as ideas come to me.

You can also use voice recognition software. I use Dictate, on my Mac. The Windows version is Dragon Naturally Speaking — a wonderful program.

4. Describe your writing

You can’t write if you aren’t clear on what you want the writing to accomplish. Describe the piece of writing, in one to five sentences. Keep it short.

Viz: “I want to give my boss five ways we can increase sales by ten per cent in the next quarter.”

See what this does? It gives you a structure. Just write five ways you can increase sales, and you’re done. No more staring into space. :-)

5. The “gun at your head” solution

Grab a timer, and set it for five or ten minutes.

Then write, without lifting your fingers from your keyboard.

When the time’s up, you’ll have written whatever it is you’re trying to write — or you’ll have made a good start on it.

This tactic works well if you’re convinced you have nothing to say. You’ll be surprised at how much you do have to say, when you only have a short time to say it in.

Web Writing: New Web Content Creation Series Launching

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Do you have challenges with creating Web content? If you do, you may find my new content-creation series useful.

Here’s the press release announcing it.

Web Writing Blog Launches New Series of Web Content Creation Tips for Writers and Marketers

Web writing expertise is essential for anyone who works on the Web, especially for writers. Angela Booth’s SYWON.info blog is launching a new series of of Web content creation tips for writers and marketers.

Top copywriter, author and writing teacher Angela Booth created her Web writing blog for students of her popular Web writing course, Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON), and it’s publicly available. The blog covers the skills Web content writers and marketers need in 2010 and beyond.

Many business people are using Angela’s course to start and build businesses online. Angela says: “Writing for the Web demands different skills from other forms of business writing. The Web is much more interactive and intimate. It’s an exciting environment, offering opportunities for business owners to communicate directly with their clients.”

Over the past few months, Angela has covered many different topics on the Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Blog, including: how to create and use WordPress blogs, how to get traffic and links to websites, and how to market using press releases.

Next week she’s starting a new series on the blog: “Super Simple Web Content Creation Tips — Teach, Entertain, and Sell”.

Angela says: “Information sells online, however creating reams of content can be intimidating too. It doesn’t need to be. I encourage my copywriting clients to approach content creation with the mantra ‘teach, entertain, and sell’ and it works for them. It makes creating content much easier. I’ll be sharing the tips and strategies I teach my clients with the readers of the Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Blog.”

The series will be a valuable resource for writers, marketers, and small business people — anyone who’s facing creating content, and wants some creative, yet practical ideas.

More information is available on the Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Blog.

For information on Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON) Web writing training. click here.

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