How do you create a message that gets read? Be being strategic.

Understand readers go through 3 quick decisions when deciding how much time to allot to your message:

1. The subject line has to be meaningful to them. Keep it truthful and relevant to their needs.

2. The first line has to be meaningful to them. Write about them, not how proud, pleased or pithy you are. Tell your truth and make it about them. Answer the question they’re (silently) asking: Will reading this profit me any way?

3. “Above the fold” has to be meaningful to them. Above the fold is what they see on their screen without scrolling. Most messages should be completed by this point.


4. Have a clear, easy next step. Quickly explain to the reader why she should take it or accept it. Make it meaningful from their perspective.

5. Use your inside voice. Shouting about what you have to offer even the benefits, is old school. Don’t hype. Tell stories. Use testimonials. Link to comment sites.

6. Don’t fall in love with your words. KISS: Keep it simple and sweet is still great advice. Maybe even more important today than before.

7. Use common courtesy. Saying hi, hello or good morning is more pleasing than just starting with their name. Include a closing too. Yes, it matters.

8. If you’ve left a voice message or sent a previous email and they haven’t responded, consider not mentioning it. You’ll just remind them they’ve already blown you off. On the other hand, if you said in your voice message, I’ll follow up with an email, you have every right to show your follow-through by writing, “Hi Sophie, As promised, here is the ….”

9. End with something meaningful to them. Something meaningful to them usually isn’t something that is procedural for you. It’s poor form to write: I’ll call you Friday to see discuss the next step. It’s much better to say: I’ll call you Friday to talk about additional ideas to make your next event memorable and fun.

Try these ideas and tell me how they work for you!

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