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Get to the point

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Andy Black

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1) “I’m writing to say ...”

Why not just say it?

“I’m writing to tell you that your car insurance ads showed when I did a search for home insurance.”

vs

“Your car insurance ads showed when I searched for home insurance.”



2) (Pet hate) “I know you’re busy so will keep this brief.”

You’re right. I’m busy. Please get to the point.



3) “Can I ask you a question?”

You just did. Why not ask the question you want to ask?



Common copywriting advice is to remove half your copy, then remove half again.

Another tip is to consider throwing away the first paragraph or sentence and get straight to the point.


(Thread inspired by observing how cold emails often don’t respect my time and that communication from successful business owners is short, blunt, and to the point.)
 

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S.Y.

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I recommend Shani Raja's course Writing with Flair: How to Become A Masterful Writer on Udemy.

A game changer!

It covers simplicity, clarity and economical writing; among other things.
 

UnrealCreative

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Hey, @Andy Black

Didn't have time to write a short reply, so I'm writing you a long one instead.

...

This is a good post. :)
 

TonyStark

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Literally just got this message from LinkedIn (1 of 100’s)

0FA34289-AC38-4752-B68B-DA633FB39959.png

I know it’s spam, but if they’re really trying to recruit people, I’m not gonna read through all of that and call them back, without at least a salary offer + hours.

(She actually replied, this is funny)

158640DB-F829-47C8-B1C9-773ECD2D265D.png

Like lead with your best offer, not a unintelligible sales pitch...
 

GoGetter24

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Definitely. "Downward pressure on verbosity" is how I put it. Terse and expressive gives the best results, and people blathering on is usually an expression of low self-esteem, aimlessness, being a time-waster etc.

Even in cafes people do it:
"hi, yeah I'd just like to get a latte please", "hot/cold?", "let's make it a cold one", "what size?", "medium would be good thanks", god damn!
Versus:
"a hot large latte please"

Don't say a single word to the customer that doesn't directly address the key things they care about, unless it's below the fold or behind a "find out more" button (for the types who need to be cajoled into buying).

"Position open for pipe sales manager for Austin/San Antonio region. $100k neg., 9-5, Mon-Fri. If interested email resume to: ...".

No I'm not interested, but now I know how much a pipe sales manager makes, and it only cost a few seconds of reading, so I'm not pissed off with you.
 

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Very simple formula taught at school.

A. B. C

Accuracy, Brevity, Clarity.

Whether speaking or writing.

Lincoln's Gettysburg address was relevant to the intended audience, not too long or too short and easily understood by the audience.

JK Rowling's Harry Potter novels are relevant to the intended audience, not too long or too short and easily understood by the audience.

Dan
 

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superb

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1) “I’m writing to say ...”

Why not just say it?

“I’m writing to tell you that your car insurance ads showed when I did a search for home insurance.”

vs

“Your car insurance ads showed when I searched for home insurance.”



2) (Pet hate) “I know you’re busy so will keep this brief.”

You’re right. I’m busy. Please get to the point.



3) “Can I ask you a question?”

You just did. Why not ask the question you want to ask?



Common copywriting advice is to remove half your copy, then remove half again.

Another tip is to consider throwing away the first paragraph or sentence and get straight to the point.


(Thread inspired by observing how cold emails often don’t respect my time and that communication from successful business owners is short, blunt, and to the point.)
Hahaha! This goes for phone calls too. I get quite a few calls on a daily basis, many of them begin this way, some of them will even be an awkward combination of 2 and 3!

Post edited multiple times in an attempt to be brief and to the point...
 
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Andy Black

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Ah ffs. Meanwhile, on LinkedIn:

 

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Maxboost

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2) (Pet hate) “I know you’re busy so will keep this brief.”

You’re right. I’m busy. Please get to the point.
What's wrong with this one? I use this for my emails to put the reader in an agreeable state and to acknowledge his time is important.

I then follow up with ONLY 6 lines or less of text all separated with no wasted language to get the point of the email.

What do you guys think?
 

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rogue synthetic

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Yo dawg I heard you like to ask questions about asking questions when u ask questions about asking questions, so I put some questions in yo questions so you can ask questions about asking questions while u ask questions
 

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Andy Black

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What's wrong with this one? I use this for my emails to put the reader in an agreeable state and to acknowledge his time is important.

I then follow up with ONLY 6 lines or less of text all separated with no wasted language to get the point of the email.

What do you guys think?
If it works then keep doing it.

From a sample size of one (me) I know that my friends don’t start conversations with me like that, but people just about to waste my time do.

You’ve a split second where I read your email, and maybe before I even open it because I can see the first few words in the email preview.

If I saw that in my split second then I hit delete.

Emails I need to action don’t start like that. I’m thinking a letter from the bank, my mortgage provider, my car insurance, etc.


“Dear Andy,

We know you’re busy so will keep this brief.

Your website is down. We’re working on it and will let you know as soon as it’s up.

Regards,
Max Boost”



When a stranger tells me they’re not going to waste my time then I figure thats exactly what they’re going to do by trying to put me in an agreeable state so they can try to sell me something.
 

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1) “I’m writing to say ...”

Why not just say it?

“I’m writing to tell you that your car insurance ads showed when I did a search for home insurance.”

vs

“Your car insurance ads showed when I searched for home insurance.”



2) (Pet hate) “I know you’re busy so will keep this brief.”

You’re right. I’m busy. Please get to the point.



3) “Can I ask you a question?”

You just did. Why not ask the question you want to ask?



Common copywriting advice is to remove half your copy, then remove half again.

Another tip is to consider throwing away the first paragraph or sentence and get straight to the point.


(Thread inspired by observing how cold emails often don’t respect my time and that communication from successful business owners is short, blunt, and to the point.)
Something I picked up from Joseph Sugarman:

1. Write the first draft of emails.
2. Go out and take a walk. Let your brain process the stuff unconsciously.
3. Come back, review and edit.

Repeat Steps 2-3 as needed until the work is concise enough.

And it actually works for STUDYING in school and college. Kids that hope to burn the midnight oil to the max actually cut their mental processes and eventual output into pieces with such bloody inefficiency.

Address by name. Or department, if you can't find any names to look for.

Nah, make a first call, ask for the receiver's name, and ask for him/her again later or use the name in email later.

Works well for many companies that usually staff the customer service department with 5-10 regulars, but I'm not sure about dealing with departments of 50+ folks.

@Raoul Duke two can play at this game.

View attachment 22478

Okay. I'm done wasting everyone's time.
Quality post

Ah ffs. Meanwhile, on LinkedIn:

I can foresee Linkedin taking a nosedive similar to that of Facebook at this rate.....
 

Jeff Noel

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My eyes can't stand all the gold you're throwing at them, but my mind is craving for more.
Thank you Andy !
 

Maxboost

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If it works then keep doing it.

From a sample size of one (me) I know that my friends don’t start conversations with me like that, but people just about to waste my time do.

You’ve a split second where I read your email, and maybe before I even open it because I can see the first few words in the email preview.

If I saw that in my split second then I hit delete.

Emails I need to action don’t start like that. I’m thinking a letter from the bank, my mortgage provider, my car insurance, etc.


“Dear Andy,

We know you’re busy so will keep this brief.

Your website is down. We’re working on it and will let you know as soon as it’s up.

Regards,
Max Boost”



When a stranger tells me they’re not going to waste my time then I figure thats exactly what they’re going to do by trying to put me in an agreeable state so they can try to sell me something.
Makes sense. What do you put on your first line? Do you use any attention grabbers? How do you increase the probability of your reader opening the email and reading all the way through? What about the subject line?
 
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Andy Black

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Makes sense. What do you put on your first line? Do you use any attention grabbers? How do you increase the probability of your reader opening the email and reading all the way through? What about the subject line?
I don’t cold email. Emails I do send are conversational, and I try to reduce unnecessary paragraphs, sentences, and words.

I like to use subject lines that indicate what’s in the email.

I don’t use click-bait subject lines. Check out the title for this thread for instance. “Andy’s Inbound Braindump” is designed to deter those who don’t like reading my stuff, and attract those who do. It’s also a braindump of my thoughts on inbound marketing (although might end up going broader than that).


I also Try Not To Use Proper Case . For me, that’s a sign of a copywriter/marketer/spammer.

When you think about it, my friends didn’t email with subject lines of “Fancy A Bike Trip To The South Of France?”
 

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