Whether you are writing an entire marketing campaign, a simple email or a tweet, take a moment to put yourself in the mind of the reader. It seems like obvious advice, but it’s worth a friendly reminder now and then.
You wouldn’t craft an email to novice scuba divers in the same way you would address expert divers. Just imagine writing a “how-to” piece to experts, and explaining the purpose of a regulator. It probably wouldn’t go over well. Likewise, if you received a special offer for new moms, but you’re on your third child, you might well assume the company doesn’t “get you.”. How about the lack of sensitivity in marketing large sized Halloween outfits as “Fat Girl Costumes” as did one famous retailer? The list could go on, but you get the point.
Consider the barrage of competition for your attention each day. It’s easy to rush through your communications and not put yourself in the mindset of the person, or persons, you are addressing. Knowing your target audience is everything.
So take a deep breath and clear the palate of your mind. Who is the intended reader? What facts do you know about them? How can you address their needs as directly as possible? Create an authentic connection, and you create value.
Craft your message to be just right. Not too long and encumbered with unnecessary information and flowery hyperbole. Not so short that you leave important bits out. Keep it simple, friendly and direct.
Ultimately, what would you like the reader to do? Should they take action or simply be well informed by your message? If there is a call-to-action, don’t bury the lead; make it front-and-center. Consider having it stand out graphically as well.
Whatever you do, don’t fall prey to a common mistake, and write to satisfy yourself. Often times, you are not the target audience, and the reader is not just like you.
As with many things in life, it’s not all about us. It’s about using targeted communication to efficiently serve your audience.