Concise is Nice [was Re: Email Marketing Report]

From: John Gaskill <>
Date: Mon 15 Jul 2002 20:30:40 -0500

At the risk of seeming a bigger curmudgeon than I am,
it seemed appropriate to reply to Paul Gaudet's post
in response to my post and Rob Frankel's post on the
subject of "interactivity."

One of the problems we all face with email is that we
can pound out a bunch of them in a short time. The
nature of the medium seems to promote treating our
communications lightly -- after all, "it's only an email."

That attitude is compounded when some wags suggest
that proper form and grammar are irrelevant to getting
your email read.

I've got news for you: The opposite is true.

If you send out equally witty and useful fact filled
emails (personal, spam, or newsletter -- it really does
not matter which variety) people will open the first
and subsequent messages at a higher rate if the
message is clear and concisely written, and not
attempting to mislead. Clarity and conciseness
apply to Subject and Senders as well. Remember,
it's easier for people to read well structured writing.

Clear writing makes it easier for people to understand
what your are saying, proposing, asking for, etc.
Concise writing gets it done quickly, in as few words
as are necessary to state your case completely.
The old adage, "Long copy outsells short copy"
comes with an implied caveat, i.e., the copy must
be meaningful, not trivial.

Vocabulary and spelling are important too. They
reflect directly on the sender. For your own sake,
use words with accepted definitions as often as
possible. If you wish to coin a new usage for a
term that has an almost universally accepted
other definition, be certain to explain your new
definition where you use the word so people can
get your drift --- if you know what I mean.

Treat your email preparation with the same care
that you would an important contract. Reread
emails to confirm clarity. Check spelling. Make
sure they say what you mean.

I'm sure lawyers would love to charge for reviewing
all your emails, but don't go that far. An email which
needs legal review should probably be typed on paper
and sent as a fax with a confirming mailed copy.

Back to work.

Regards all,

John Gaskill

Received on Mon Jul 15 2002 - 20:30:40 CDT


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