Friday, November 19, 2010

Concise and Clear Communication

By Margie Church, Copywriter and Editor
Pinpoint Direct Marketing

We’ve all received writing assignments that make us nervous. Perhaps it’s the company newsletter or welcome letters to new members. Whatever the task, your first priority is to make your message concise and clear. Tell readers what you want them to know and provide enough information for them to act on it.

How can you make your communications concise and clear?
  1. Write a brief goal statement at the top of the page (announce rate sale). Then list the most important message(s) you want to communicate. For example: X.XX% APR auto loan; $XXX to move your loan to us; new or used; apply online; fast answer; expires XX/XX/XXXX, etc. Prioritize your messages if necessary.
  2. Write your letter. Don’t be concerned about the length or the right words at this point, just get the words down. Remember to ask for the business by telling them what they should do next: sign-up, apply on-line, visit, etc.
  3. Review your goal statement and message(s).
  4. Remove everything in the letter that doesn’t directly support the goal or help the recipient understand what to do next. If your letter is about online banking services, provide solid benefits (the “why they should care” statements) and not just features (Bill Pay, e-statements). It’s not necessary to get into great detail, but you want the reader to think, “I didn’t know that,” or “that’s a good idea, I’ll try it.”
  5. Check for punctuation and spelling mistakes (beyond spell check). There are plenty of online tools available to help if you’re not sure.
The process seems straightforward, but we all know it can be difficult. Pinpoint Direct Marketing helps keep the “direct” in your direct marketing program. People are very busy these days and often won’t take the time to read a newsy communication. I always say, if you can say it in five words, don’t use 10. Pinpoint increases responses by delivering a concise, clear message in an easy-to-read way. Let us help you increase responses.

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