Postal rates go up in May and there’s even talk of cutting service back to five days a week. This fuels desire for e-communications, particularly newsletters and mail blasts, which cost less and are more likely to be opened than snail mail.
Hold your horses. Just because you CAN send e-communications doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Further, if you don’t write well, your e-blasts might do your business more harm than good.
Tips for the intrepid, go-it-alone types:
- Give yourself a quota on passive voice. Writing 200 words? Three instances of “to be” is sufficient. You can do it. Search for “ing” in your document and re-write those sentences with active verbs.
- Discipline yourself. As a freelance journalist, I learned the importance of “killing your darlings” because print and airtime are scarce. What’s a darling? Force yourself to cut a sentence from a short piece or a paragraph or section from a longer one. If it doesn’t hurt to strike it, it isn’t a darling. Keep cutting! When you come across something you love that isn’t essential to the message — a darling– kill it.
- Single out your best customer or most coveted prospect and ask yourself, “Why does Janice need to know this?” If you can’t come up with at least two reasons, overcome your desire to hit the “send” button.
- If you simply aggregate news stories and personalize them with a cover note, you should blog, not blast.
When I speak at Connect the Dots March 9 someone will win a drawing for a free newsletter consultation. Will it be you?