Saturday, April 7, 2012

Five Tips for Writing Effective Messages

Every time you write an e-mail, a letter, a Facebook message, an article—wherever you say it with words—you have an opportunity to make something happen. Before you choose the words you want to use, keep in mind the following easy guidelines.

1. Identify the recipient’s characteristics.  

Is it someone who is always in a hurry and thus will only read part of your message?  Is it someone who needs to be convinced, requiring more details?  Is this a procrastinator who you know will need follow-up messages to achieve action?  Is this a group of people

2. Know what you want to accomplish.  

What is it you want your reader to do?  There are many reasons for writing: introduce yourself or your company; correct a mistake – theirs or yours; complain about poor service or a defective product.  
If you are clear in your own head what you want to accomplish, you will have direction when you write.  This is true for the simplest e-mail.  Just ask yourself when you start writing it:  What do I want the recipient to do?

3. Inform the reader immediately what you want—in the opening statement. 

There are some exceptions to this rule, but in general your first sentence should be an action statement:  this is what you want them to do or this is what you want them to know.  I find it exasperating to get a message that doesn’t tell me until the end what I’m supposed to do.  Or worse, the requested action is buried in the middle somewhere. Often, I miss the requested action, and neglect to respond appropriately.   If you tell us immediately what you want, we are more likely to read on to understand why we should do it, and are more likely to do as you request.

4. Provide supporting statements. 

After you have stated what you want, amplify your request.  This is where you provide the details for the reader to give your message credibility.   When you have clearly stated your goal in the beginning, these supporting statements help to convince the reader to do what you want

5.Inform the reader clearly what the result or benefit will be of doing what you ask. 

 Make a simple concluding statement:  the result of learning about my new company is that you will have a place to go to buy the most unique widget.  When you need a widget, you will be happy that you know about it.

Joyce T. Strand, Author
Jillian Hillcrest Mysteries

1 comment:

  1. These are very logical and should be easy to follow. Thank you