Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 4 October 2022. In this issue:
Hand on heart, how scrupulous are you at checking your marketing emails before sending them?
This checklist from Litmus is designed as a prompt to help make our emails as strong as possible. Four pages of bulleted points cover everything from planning who to send it to and your email’s objective, to getting the content right, and measuring success. Guaranteed to remind you of good practice that you may have let slide, or not yet found time to get your head around.
Our Email Marketing Workshop includes much of what’s included here, but specifically related to publishing and with plenty of examples. As an in-company tailored course we can really home in on your emails to see what’s working and what could be done differently.
Read more about the Litmus Email Marketing Checklist
“Three men on a building site were asked what they were doing. The first man said: ‘I’m putting this brick on top of that one’. The second said: ‘I’m building a wall’. And the third said: ‘I’m building a cathedral that will soar into the sky!’”
Brilliant! The wider our perspective the more we understand and the better we are at making sound decisions aligned to our objectives.
This example was shared during a course I ran at the Open University some years back, and it still resonates strongly today. Our working days may consist of bricks, but to make good decisions and plan well we need to be aligning ourselves with our cathedral.
Our Marketing Planning Workshop focuses squarely on making the right decisions for objectives, opportunities, and available resources.
Every week I pass a board outside a local shop which advertises ‘face masks on sale’. Below that it also offers ‘hand gloves’.
While this is ‘wrong’ it’s also logical, and a reminder of the extent of the challenge to anyone learning English as a second language.
Most of us work in an international context. The copy on our websites will be read the world over (we hope), and if we’re not to alienate, we need to keep it as succinct and precise as possible.
We should constantly stop to ask ourselves if a non-native English speaker will ‘get’ our references. We shouldn’t have to make them work harder to get at our messaging by hiding it in fluff (waffle) and repeating ourselves. There are many words in English which change meaning depending on context, so if we’ve used one of them, it’s time to find a synonym instead. (Get in touch = Contact us.) And we should pay attention to sentence structure, too, putting the benefit and the action required at the start and following on with the ‘how’, to match the perspective and expectation of the reader.
It’s excellent practice to regularly ask non-native English speakers from around your organisation if your copy is clear to them. Sometimes the most surprising phrases that we take for granted may be baffling in a different culture.
This is a topic always covered on our Copywriting Workshops, especially when working with ELT publishers.
We’ve all been there, when copy we’re trying to write loses focus. I just hadn’t heard it called ‘word soup’ before, but it was a phrase used on a course with Cambridge University Press and instantly resonated with us all.
The tip for addressing it will always be to take a step back and think about a single reader on the receiving end. Reminding ourselves what they need to know will always help us get back on track.
Our Copywriting Workshop has plenty more like this.