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How to Get Readers to Read It

If you’ve been wondering how to get readers to open your ezine or email and read it, read this brief article (less than 200 words) from marketing expert Marcia Yudkin’s “Marketing Minute.”


“Catchy Lines” from “The Marketing Minute” by Marcia Yudkin:

A subject line of a news service to which I subscribe read:

Pedicures, pit bulls or polo: Which can you deduct?

On a scale of hooks from 1 to 10 (highest), I’d rate this line a 10. I dropped everything else to read the article summary, then the corresponding article, which had a headline I’d rate only a 6:

Weird tax deductions taken by small businesses

The line I originally read used the following all-star techniques to rachet the reader’s interest up several notches:

  • Involvement: The word “you” plops you squarely into the topic – it’s not something others are doing.
  • Outlandishness: Each possible deduction is pretty extreme and very specific – “pit bull” sparks attention more than “guard dog.”
  • Suspense: With the question format, you’re not sure of the answer and want to find out.
  • Alliteration: You couldn’t help but notice the repeated p’s in “Pedicures, pit bulls or polo,” right? Repeated letters and sounds always increase impact, unless the topic is too serious for such extra pleasure.

Use these methods in newsletters, blogs, articles, web pages, tweets and ads for a boost in readership.


Marcia Yudkin, my marketing mentor, practices what she preaches. “The Marketing Minute” is the only weekly ezine I read–because it’s engaging, practical, and brief. It takes just a minute to read.

Subscribe for free to “The Marketing Minute.” If you use this link to subscribe, I’ll receive a commission if you purchase a product from Marcia. But remember–her terrific ezine is free.

Which ezines do you recommend for business writers?

Syntax Training

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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.

One comment on “How to Get Readers to Read It”

  • If your blog is hard to read, or if your blog does not quickly make sense, or quickly get to the main point you are wanting to make, chances are very good that people will simply stop reading your blog and move onto the next blog.

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