A colleague of mine recently reminded me of this great book that I read quite some time ago and following is a summary of it which explains to us the system of how to write in modern language, to stand out, and get through to people…. It goes against the grain of more traditional and grammatically “correct” thinking that we were taught at school, so here’s a quick summary… It’s not surprisingly an easy read… from memory I read it on a plane journey somewhere…
Think Out Side The Box
- Use plain modern English, write like you speak
- Use Single word sentences
- Use “And” & “But” to start sentences
Just like an ad, readers want the letter to tell them WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)… You should use words and phrases like… “so”, “what that means is”, “so you”, “so that you”, and “you see”, to talk to them.
Grab The Reader
- Has to be a great beginning with bite, headline
- Start with “Good morning” or “Hi”… Never “Dear XXXXX”, as that’s not how we speak
- Make it short, snappy and with a punch
- Adapt to who you are writing to, out of pain or towards gain. Different ways to get the same result
Get To The Point
Use phrases like… “Let me explain” and other links such as “picture this” or “consider this”.
Build a Great Body
- WIIFM for them all the way through… eg “so that you”, and “what that means to you is”
- The more involved the reader is the more likely they are to take action
- Indents, bolding, italics
- Make it easy to read
- Who’s in control?
- Plain English
- Make an offer, 300% more effective
- PSs and * always intrigues people so are usually read.
When Writing Quotes
- Put the Price early
- Again, lots of WIIFM, not a list of prices and products… build the emotion
When Collecting Money
- Be nice, help them help you
- Get deposits
When Building Relationships
- Thank people – they love to receive your gratitude
- Make Special offers and rewards
Everyone receives lot’s of different written work daily, so you need to have your own style and try to be different to everything else.
In the book there are about 58 letters as examples also included…
Thanks to Michael Cowley for the basis of this summary which I have plaguerised…