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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Link to relevant information

When writing about a product or information elsewhere, ensure people know what you are referring to. Your words will then make sense, especially if you are giving instructions or reviewing the item in question.

For example, I just read an email that said “Just go to the very bottom of the page and find my items” There was no link and there were no items listed at the end of the email, so I had no idea what page I should be looking at the bottom of!

If you are sending an email and referring to a particular product, webpage, article or whatever, include a link to it or attach it to the email. That way people are not confused and don’t have to waste time trying to find what you are writing about.

Likewise, if you are writing in your blog or on your website, add links to your products, articles and testimonials instead of referring to them and letting people find the information themselves. For example, my article about clear communications may give you more information about why to include a link. But are you going to search for it? Much easier if I say the article is available by clicking on this link, isn’t it?

Grabbing attention

When writing for your business, it is critical that you grab people’s attention quickly – there are too many websites, blogs, newsletters, direct mail letters and emails for any of us to read them all just in case they hold something good further down the page.

Having said that, you need to grab their attention in the right way or it can actually be damaging rather than a marketing opportunity.

What is the right way? Well, it varies according to the situation of course, but when preparing an opening to a document/webpage/newsletter consider:

  • make it relevant – no point grabbing the attention of people interested in retirement villages if you sell motor bikes
  • keep it honest – don’t promise a discount unless one is really on offer
  • keep it appropriate – swearing, sexual references, hateful comments and so on are not necessary and are unlikely to win you good customers
  • keep it as short and/or visual as possible – a half page paragraph is not going to grab like a 6 word word heading
  • aim it at what your customers want to hear, not what you want to say – I recently read an email which started by saying how great their two organisations were – the final paragraph was about a competition they were running. It would have been much more effective to start with the competition to grab my attention.
  • be realistic – or so far over the top that is obviously humour. An almost believable claim probably won’t build trust so people will move on
  • be sparing with bad (or gimicky) spelling – preferably stick to good spelling altogether and be as grammatically correct as possible
  • make it interesting or ask a question – or ask an interesting question!