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Four Things I Do Before I Hit Send

You can create engaging and thoughtful emails and articles without being a professional copywriter or a seasoned marketer. In fact you can do better than most professionals by following the four steps I’ve outlined below.

It doesn’t matter if I’m sending an email to an individual who I really need a reply from or writing an article for morerants.com, I always follow these steps before hitting send.

1. Identify up front the one takeaway I want the recipient to have or an action I want them to take.

I won’t start writing until I have this nailed down, otherwise I’m writing aimlessly. I must understand the end in order to begin. When drafting this article I started with two goals. I want the reader to test my four step process with a few emails or articles over the next week. Second, I would like the reader to understand it requires effort to break through all the noise in someone’s inbox, but it’s possible with a process.

2. Ask yourself ‘how would I react to this email if I received it?

I read my emails many times over, even if they are just one paragraph. I ask myself ‘how would I react to this?’ I cut and paste, move things around, eliminate sentences that are repetitive or don’t matter. I work hard to think like the reader and place myself at the centre of their worldview.

3. TL;DR

Is the email too long and am I talking more about myself than the reader? I group these together because they are tightly related. People are inundated with messages from dozens of channels, email being just one of them. A rule I have for my articles is, short form on Tuesday, long form on Saturday. Saturday morning is the perfect opportunity to be contemplative, so I give a little more to think about on my weekend posts.

When it comes to everyday emails with an ask or a recap of a meeting, it’s never longer than 2-3 paragraphs. I go through multiple reads and editing before sending. I believe it’s worth the time because it’s a response I’m looking for.

4. The subject line should include urgency, a promise or be unique without being spammy.

I often brainstorm a minimum of 10 subject lines before I start narrowing it down. I’d share those with you here, but that would make this post too long.

Subject: YOU won’t believe what happened after I signed up for this class – Ugh, no, please!

Subject: Four Reasons Why I Don’t Regret Attending Lincoln’s Master Class – Much better!

 

If this was helpful I’d be grateful if you shared it with your network or a colleague.

Have a great week.

Craig