Insurance Marketing Idea: 10 Ways to Make Your Writing Earn an A+ From Your Customers

20 August, 2013

It’s that back-to-school time of year again. Teachers are busy preparing their classrooms, kids and parents are out shopping for supplies, and summer fun will soon give way to tests and homework.

When it comes to the subject of writing, many children become disappointed and discouraged when they get a bad grade on a writing assignment. But those same students usually perk up and get more excited about writing once they start to understand the rules of the language – especially when they learn how to manipulate it to communicate in their own personal way. When others can read and perfectly understand their writing, it's a big confidence booster for them.

As adults, we get much of the same satisfaction from "getting through" in our communications and being understood clearly. Here are 10 ways to make sure your writing is clear, persuasive, and worthy of top marks from your customers: 

1.  Get to the point – early. The reader should know after reading your subject line and first sentence or two what the purpose of your communication is. Don't waste your reader's time with too much "winding up" or "throat clearing" before getting to the point.

2.  Tell the reader what he/she wants to know. Figure out what your reader really needs and wants to know about the topic, and focus on answering those questions and addressing those issues.

3.  Make the next step clear. If you want your reader to do something specific in response to your communication, say so clearly . . . and don't forget to provide a deadline or time frame.

4.  Make it easy to skim. Many readers don't really read – they skim to retrieve the information they feel is most relevant to them. Write for these "retrievers" by using small chunks of text that are easily skimmed for pertinent information.

5.  Make it easy to respond. Don't force your reader to figure out how to respond. Make it easy by making sure all necessary contact information is clearly displayed on your communication and any attachments.

6.  Keep it crisp. The shorter your sentences, the easier and quicker they are to read and understand. Keep your sentences to 20 words or less.

7.  Use clear, simple language. That doesn't mean you have to write in a simplistic or trite tone, but avoid big, sophisticated words and jargon.

8.  Stay positive even in negative situations: Instead of saying “that’s not my job,” say “Here’s how I can help you.” Replace “I don’t know” with “Let me find out for you.”

9.  Mind your P's and Q's. You should always strive for letter-perfect communications. Use your grammar and spelling checker and proofread your work carefully. And remember, your spell checker won't tell you that "too" is wrong if you really meant "two."

10.  Know when NOT to write. There are some situations when writing isn't the best solution and a personal touch would be more appropriate. When you need to deal with a sensitive issue or give feedback, it's probably best to meet in person or pick up the phone.

Follow these simple tips to make sure your writing is making the grade with your customers.