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Why Should They Read Your Ezine?

I don’t open an ezine unless something in the subject or the first line grabs me. Even when I do open it, I don’t read it unless I can find the item that grabbed me within a few seconds. If I don’t succeed at finding a quick gem, I click Delete. I don’t have time to wade through ads, headlines, and photos.

Here are ezines and emails I’m going to delete without opening:

Subject: Shift Your Summer Into Overdrive [from an airline]

Subject: Two Free Articles From Judy [from a writing coach]

Subject: Upcoming May Webcasts [from a professional organization]

I’m going to delete them because the writers haven’t grabbed me. What’s in it for ME (WIFFM)? For example:

What does it mean to me to “shift my summer into overdrive”? Delete.

Why should I want “two free articles from Judy”?  Delete.

So what if there are webcasts in May? Delete.

For the past 18 months, I have been crafting the opening of my ezine, Better Writing at Work, to grab my readers. Here are a few subjects and the sentences that follow them:

13 Secrets of Professional Proofreaders
People who make their living as proofreaders cannot afford to make errors. Apply the secrets of professional proofreaders to produce your own error-free documents.

More Tips for Email Efficiency.
Apply 26 new tips to improve your email, brought to you by employees and managers at world-class companies.

Be More Persuasive.
Everyone can write more persuasively. This newsletter tells how.

How to Write to 26,000 People.
If you write to people from varied cultures and countries, this newsletter has 20 suggestions for your messages.

If you are like most writers, you put a lot of energy into writing and inputting your ezine. If you would like your readers to open and read it, put energy into grabbing them too.

Syntax Training
Meet me in San Diego at ASTD ICE.

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

2 comments on “Why Should They Read Your Ezine?”

  • Oopsie Lynn:
    “I’m going to delete them because the writer’s haven’t grabbed me.”

    Sorry – had to grab that one for you! 😉

  • Khat, yikes! Thanks for grabbing me on that one. I guess I have to stop writing late at night!

    As soon as I post this comment to you, I will delete the offending apostrophe. I must maintain my reputation!

    Thanks again.

Comments are closed.