Home | Contact | Advertising
Small Business, Information, Resources, Articles - SmartBiz.com
Members Login:
Sign Up Forgot?
SALES & MARKETING
Marketing Online
Email Marketing
Search Marketing
Selling
PR
ONLINE BUSINESS
E-Commerce
Website Creation
Productivity
Accounting
CRM
Web-based Software/SaaS
BUSINESS STRATEGIES
Case Studies
Smart Answers
Videos
Podcasts
Smart Blog
Human Resources
Management
BITS & BYTES
PCs & Online Equipment
Mobile Computing
Security/Business Continuity
Telecom/Office Networks
Small Business Products
FORUMS & RESOURCES
Free White Papers
Tools and Calculators
SmartBiz Forum
Legal & Business Forms
News Feeds
Featured Webcasts & Videos
Franchise Offers


 
SMALL BUSINESS AND STARTUPS INTERNET TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES
Search SmartBiz:
Forms and
Downloads
Free
White Papers
Special
Offers
SmartBiz
Blog
Free Email
Newsletters
Human Resources
How to Write Business Letters That Get Results
Email ArticleEmail Article
Print ArticlePrint Article
Increase Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Decrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size
Del.icio.us
Digg This
Bookmark and Share

By Robert Bly

A simple formula lets you cut through jargon and messy language to create straightforward writing that works.

A recent TV commercial informed viewers that the U.S. Post Office 300 million pieces of mail every day. That's a lot of letters. And letters are an important part of communicating with your customers, co-workers, and colleagues.

But how many letters actually get their messages across and motivate the reader? Surprisingly few. In direct-mail marketing for example, a two percent response rate is exceptionally high. So a manufacturer mailing 1,000 sales letters expects that fewer than 20 people will respond to the pitch. If high-powered letters written by ad agency copywriters produce such a limited response, you can see why letters written by busy business executives (who are not professional writers) may not always accomplish their objectives.

Failure to get to the point, technical jargon, pompous language, misreading the reader--these are the poor stylistic habits that cause others to ignore the letters we send. Part of the problem is that many managers and support staff don't know how to write persuasively. There is a solution, stated as a formula first discovered by advertising writers, and it's called "AIDA." AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Demand, and Action--a sequence of psychological reactions that happen in the mind of the reader as he is sold on your idea. Briefly, here's how it works.

First, the letter gets the reader's attention with a hard-hitting lead paragraph that goes straight to the point or offers an element of intrigue.

Then, the letter hooks the reader's interest. The hook is often a clear statement of the reader's problems, needs, or wants. For example, if you are writing to a customer who received damaged goods, acknowledge the problem and then offer a solution.

Next, create demand. Your letter is an offer of something--a service, a product, goodwill, an agreement, a contract, a compromise, a consultation. Tell the reader how he or she will benefit from your offering. That creates a demand for your product. Finally, call for action. Ask for the order, the signature, the donation, the assignment.

What follows are actual examples of how each of these steps has been used in business letters.

ATTENTION. Getting the reader's attention is a tough job. If your letter is boring, pompous, or says nothing of interest, you'll lose the reader. Fast!


| 1 | 2 | 3 | Next page »
Add a Comment View Comments
Small Business Home

SmartBiz Shop
Promotional Items with Your logo
 
     
 
Smart Services
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
Add Your Logo Now
Spacer
Get Your Business Online
Build a Website Host Your Website Market Your Business Online
Business Form Downloads
Legal Forms Business Forms
Smart Forums
Recent Postings
Stimulus or "Pork"ulus?
Blog: How Do You Know What Insurance Is Right for Your Business?
If Layoffs Are Necessary, Protect Your Business
Blog - Do You Have Email and Internet Usage Policies in Place?
MORE
Home | Contact | Advertising
© 2016-2018 SmartBiz. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement and Terms of Service
Small Business Home | Business Tools | Online Business | Bits & Bytes | Sales & Marketing | Business Strategies | Forums & Resources
Email Marketing & HTML Email Driven By: Hosted By:   Design By:
Email Marketing
 
XML LogoRSS Logo
Receive our stories via SmartBiz XML/RSS feeds.
Include our stories on your website through SmartBiz javascript content feeds.