I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy!Tash

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Reading efficiently saves money

Last September I wrote about a report that showed efficient writing can save money for businesses. Obviously, the second part of that is reading…

So as well as writing efficiently and avoiding unnecessary words, you can save money by making it easier for people to read the words.

Making reading easier

You may want to get all your team to do a speed reading course, but I think there are probably better ways to help people read your business materials 🙂

So here are some simple to implement tips for making documents easier to read:

  1. split long paragraphs into shorter ones whenever possible – long chunks of text are harder to read and absorb, plus they look more intimidating
  2. keep decent margins on the page so the text is not overwhelming
  3. be generous with headings and subheadings – not only do they make the text easier to digest, they make the page more visually appealing
  4. use the layout and images to make the page inviting – the same information will be read more if it looks interesting and easy to read
  5. work to avoid paragraphs and lists being divided across pages – it is distracting to turn a page part way through a sentence or idea

Thinking about documents you find easy to read, what features do you find helpful?

If you haven’t thought much about the look of your writing, why not try adjusting the appearance of a page of your existing text and see if you can see a difference – or test different looks on different people. I’d love to hear your results!

Take a reading…

Tomorrow is the first of July and first of a new financial year.

One task I noted for today was to check my odometer readings so I can finish last year’s care records and start this year’s. Even if you don’t use the car a lot for business, it is still useful to note the readings at this time of year.

What other things do you need to take note of today (or tomorrow) to track your business for marketing and growth purposes, as well as accounting purposes?

Email subjects

Like the heading of an ad or article, the subject of an email is important.

For one thing, if someone needs to find some information you sent them, it is much easier to sort through emails if the subject clearly identifies the email contents. I have been known to send the same person three emails in a row so that each topic is in its own email for easier sorting and answering, rather than one long email covering three topics.

If you are emailing someone new or sending out an enewsletter, your choice of subject can mean the difference between someone reading it or deleting it. Some points to consider in writing your subject are:

  • avoid hype and over-used words as many people can’t be bothered with more of the same
  • be honest. For example, I recently received an email via my website with the subject ‘business cooperation’. The subject interested me so I read it only to find it was purely an ad for their services. Not only is their subject dishonest, it annoyed me so much I would never use their services and added their email address to my junk mail list.
  • relate it to the reader –  and that is easier when you know more about who you are emailing in the first place. As an example, “help with your marketing” has more appeal than “we offer great marketing services” but neither will appeal much to a retiree or a school child!
  • personalise it if you have the technical ability to do so – but be warned that trying to personalise it and getting it wrong is not good. Yes, I have received emails addressed “Special message for {add name}” – the word ‘you’ would have been a better, safer option
  • add an enticement or call to action – sometimes a time frame can help, such as “sale this weekend only”
  • keep it as short and simple as possible – for one thing, some people’s email system doesn’t give much space for the subject so if it takes too long to get to the point, people may miss the point altogether

How often do you put much effort into your email subject? And I’m curious – do you usually write the email or the subject first?

Happy writing!