5 Tips for Marketers: Write Simple, Persuasive Messages Your Audience Will Actually Read

My Post (23).pngYou sit down to write an important report or email to a client, boss, or co-worker. After much effort, you click “send”. You’ve outlined your strategies with great detail. You’ve set expectations and made recommendations. Then, your reader comes back to you with the most disappointing response of all:

“Oh, that email? I didn’t have a chance to read it.”

You could blame your audience for being too impatient to read your tome. But as Dale Carnegie said, “Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them.” Your multi-paragraph argument on the value of automated bidding may be essential to you, but long emails and detailed reports can be daunting to read. Your audience thinks to themselves as their coffee cools, “Ok…I don’t have time to read this.” Whose fault is that? It’s the writer’s fault.

How can you improve your writing to make a message clearer? How can you reduce the reader’s anxiety? Below are 5 tips on how to simplify your writing so you can easily persuade your audience and ensure your messages are read.

1. Recognize when you should NOT write

In the work-from-home world of COVID-19, you can’t walk up to a co-worker’s desk. But you can hit up a colleague or client on a Slack chat or video call, and screen share exactly what you mean instead of stumbling to write overly descriptive words.

When you sit down to write, set a timer. If your message takes longer than 3-5 minutes to write, consider using a different form of communication. Reach your audience in real-time instead, even if it’s for a few minutes.

When in doubt, say it with a screenshot. One tool I find invaluable is the Lightshot extension, which allows you to annotate your screenshots like so:

lightshot extension annotate your screenshots

2. Know your audience

All good writing starts with the audience in mind. Here are some things to consider before you sit down to write:

  • What is their knowledge base? 
    • Will they understand marketing jargon?
    • Are they “looped in” or do they need a history lesson?
    • Do they concur with the KPIs & goals you’ve set?
  • What are their expectations?
    • Does your audience think you’re credible, or do you need to gain their trust?
    • How “deep in the weeds” do they want to go?
    • What is their professional background?
    • What are the stakes?
      • Is there a boss to impress or a promotion they’re chasing?
  • What time commitment are you asking of them?
    • Are they busy? How much time do they have to read your message?
      • C-suite audiences tend to require more brevity than their grunt worker colleagues.

Knowing all of these things about your audience will help you with the next step of writing simply, which is…- Read more