A part of
Increase Your Profits:

Business Writing Made Clear

by Jennifer Hicks, CEO, WordsWork

Make It Snappy: How to Get People to Read What You Write

How much "junk" mail have you thrown away today?

Now, think about your audience--those people who get your flyers, brochures, press releases, newsletters, and information kits. Have they thrown away your words?

Issue #6

originally posted

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 1998

"Remember that whoever your target audience is, they don't really care about you."

If they have, you're out of luck. You can add another name to the growing non-prospect list.

We're all inundated with information. It comes from TV, newspapers, magazines, the Web, direct mail, and more. To maintain sanity and survive this glut of information, we pick and choose what we read.

How can you get your name in front of them and have it stay there? After all, you are trying to sell yourself, your products, your services.

First. Remember that whoever your target audience is, they don't really care about you. They care about what they need. They care about what they want.

Appeal to their sense of what they believe, of what they think they need. Be as personal as you can.

Most of us believe we need to increase profits. Tell your prospect how your service or product will do that. Look at your audience. What characterizes them? Look at those characteristics and address them in your copy.

Gain Their Attention

"You're also selling an image."

Remember, you're not just selling a product or a service. You're also selling an image. What will happen if someone buys from you? Will they be more beautiful? More in control? Better than their competitors?

What do your prospects need? Sure, you think they need what you have to offer. But, from their standpoint, their needs may be quite different.

For instance, I really don't need another magazine subscription. I already have too many. But the one that says it can cut my reading time in half, just may get another look. After all, the person who wrote that recognizes that I'm busy, that I'm important, that I don't have time for frivolity. What does your copy recognize in your client?

Appeal to the person. Use the word "you".

"What does your copy recognize in your client?"
"Most of us scan instead of read."

Start of with a strong lead. Most of us scan instead of read. Does what you want them to remember stand out? Will they be hooked and read on? Will they get the most important message in those first seconds? Or have you saved your big finale until the end?

Check the lead you've written. Does every word serves a purpose? Can you read it aloud easily?

When in doubt, make it short.
Make it snappy.

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Want to read more?

Go back to
Issue # 5,

ahead to
Issue # 7 - How to Reach Millions
of Future Clients on the 'Net

or visit the


Jennifer Hicks is CEO and President of WordsWork, a communications consulting firm that works with clients to provide for their training, writing, editorial, and research and communication strategy needs. Since its start in 1996, the company has experienced tremendous growth and has grown from a one-person show to a staff of more than 25 full- and part-time people. Clients have ranged from start-ups to companies in the Fortune 500. While their trainers, writers, and editors have expertise in a variety of areas including technology, business, education, and medicine, they are renowned specialists in communications for the healthcare industry. For more information, contact info@wordswork.com
Phone: (774) 368-0514
Fax: (508) 374-8389

Text © Jennifer Hicks, 1998. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at www.sideroad.com.