Copywriting Business Writing

Module 4 - Write for Specific Formats

Jim West
Jim West

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When writing for your business, you need to be familiar with all the documents that you might need and their uses. You’ll probably write blog posts and emails more than you’ll write reports, but it’s in your best interests to be confident across the whole spectrum of business writing so you can project a professional image no matter the circumstances.

In this module, you’ll learn how to write clear, compelling content for all common business formats.

  • Lesson 1: Emails
  • Lesson 2: Blog Posts
  • Lesson 3: Social Media Posts
  • Lesson 4: Letters, Reports, Proposals
  • Lesson 5: Instructional and How-To Content

Lesson 1: Emails

Use Email Wisely

Email is one of the most popular forms of business communication today. It’s an effective and easy to way to connect personally with both individuals and large groups.

But email is often overused. Many business people complain about spending hours each day going through a large number of emails, only half of which are relevant.

In order to avoid overloading recipients with unnecessary emails and to increase the effectiveness of your emails, make sure you only send essential messages and follow the guidelines below.

Your message will depend on the context of the email you’re sending.

Here are some common types of emails:

  • Lead nurturing – these emails will typically be organized into a series of messages that you set to send out automatically over a period of time
  • Stand-alone – for when you want readers to complete one action, e.g., read your latest blog post, sign up for your webinar
  • Survey emails – to send out a link to a short survey or request ideas on product or offer in development
  • Promotional emails - when you have a new product on sale or an offer coming up.

Whatever your context, if you want an immediate answer, then email may not be your best medium. You can’t assume people are sitting at their desks waiting for an email from you.

Complex and sensitive matters are usually better handled in person, and discussions involving groups of five or more people – as well as negotiations likely to generate conflict – can be more effectively conducted in online collaborative environments or meetings.

Email Guidelines

  • Write clearly and don’t overload the text. If you’re covering a number of points in one email, then use bullets and number your questions so people see them all.
  • Remember that a real person will read your emails. Consider the reader’s point of view and their possible reactions to what you’ve written, then rewrite if necessary.
  • Make sure your emails are positive and constructive. This will help you build stronger working relationships with the people reading your messages.
  • If you feel upset or angry, wait until you’re calmer and able to write a more professional message.
  • Avoid forwarding threads containing negative comments expressed by other people. Remember, you can end up embarrassed by sharing content you didn’t mean everyone to see.
  • Choose a simple layout design or send text-only messages. Many people say they prefer those to heavily designed, HTML emails full of photos. Try different formats and see if this influences the click-through rate.
  • Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile delivery.
  • Think again and check before you press “send.”

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