Business Writing

Photo for Business Insights blog-How to Use the Motivating Sequence for Better Open Rates

How to Use the “Motivating Sequence” for Better Open Rates

Effective copywriting is more formula and science than it is art. That’s good news. It means that even if you don’t know very much about human psychology, you can simply plug in tried and true formulas for boosting the success of your email marketing.

The Motivating Sequence is one such proven formula.

Alan H Munroe was a popular Purdue college professor in the 1930s. He realized that although one audience may differ greatly from another, people are people. Whatever speech or presentation they are listening to can be structured in such a way that it automatically improves the ability of the speaker to achieve the desired result.

This is because psychologically, human beings behave in a certain way when presented with very specific situations and stimuli. The Monroe Motivating Sequence he developed is as follows:

Step One – Get Attention

Create a need in your audience to listen to what you have to say.

Step Two – Establish the Need

Get your audience to see that there is some pressing problem which needs to be solved.

Step Three – Satisfy the Need

Provide the solution that satisfies the need.

Step Four – Envisage the Future

Get your audience to understand just how your solution will make their lives better.

Step Five – Inspire Action

Deliver a very clear and simple call to action that makes sense logically, supported by and falling in line with the previous 4 steps.

This process was originally developed by Prof. Monroe for speech writing and people giving presentations to large audiences. Somewhere down the line legendary copywriter Bob Bly got a hold of this powerful psychology-based idea.

He tweaked it slightly, and found it was very effective for email marketing. Award-winning B2B copywriter Steve Slaunwhite uses this process as well. Just remember the acronym APSPA, which stands for:

  1. Attention
  2. Problem
  3. Solution
  4. Proof
  5. Action

In your emails you want to grab your readers Attention with your subject line. Make a bold statement, ask a question or appeal to your reader’s self-interest. Since emails are generally shorter pieces of copy, you then want to quickly and succinctly state a big Problem your reader is having. This should be delivered in the first few lines of your email body.

Now it is time to deliver your unique Solution. Point out how your answer to the reader’s problem is different than any other they may have tried before. Show Proof that your Solution actually solves the problem you mentioned (through testimonials, statistics, social proof, charts and figures, case studies, etc.). Finally, deliver a strong and focused demand for Action.

Don’t ask for some action, tell your reader what to do next. If you have done your job properly in the previous 4 steps of this motivating sequence, your call to action follows logically and is very hard to resist.

The APSPA version of the Monroe motivating sequence is incredibly powerful. Begin using it in your email marketing and the success of your campaigns can’t help but improve.

Photo for Business Insights blog-Why Business Writing Is Still So Important Today

Why is Business Writing Still so Important Today

Today, you could run a successful online business without knowing a thing about proper business writing. You can write your emails, social media posts, blogs, and comments in a completely casual tone and get by. But this would be a mistake. Without a solid ability to write effectively in a business situation, there’s always a limit to how far you can go.

Even though digital communications have set the bar much lower than in the past, it’s still beneficial for any entrepreneur – no matter how big or small – to know how to write for business.

Clear Communication

Business writing states important things in a clear and concise way. In business situations, it’s essential that everyone involved understands what’s going on. This is why companies put such emphasis on clarity. If there’s a misunderstanding, or if important information is left out, it can cost a company its bottom line.

Someone You Can Trust

An appropriate and well-written business correspondence tells the reader that this is someone they can trust. If your writing is full of spelling errors, misused words, or overly casual language that’s not appropriate for the situation, the reader may not trust you as a competent business person. Setting high standards for your writing invokes trust in your audience, which is an invaluable asset.

Effective Writing Boosts Sales

A key aspect of business writing is knowing your audience. This means knowing who they are, what they know, and what concerns them, so that you can deliver the right message in the right way. Communicating effectively in this way leads directly to higher sales. You can tell your reader how your product or service will help them, and what they need to do in order to get the benefits you promise.

Leading Your Audience to Action

Good business writing is persuasive. Whether you want your reader to click on a link to sign up for your site, or you’d like to arrange a meeting with a professional you recently met, there’s always some persuasion involved. The ability to write well in a business context involves knowing how to persuade with words.

Showing Your Reader Respect

Proper business writing is about courtesy. If you’ve ever written a formal email before, you’ll know that how you phrase certain things has an effect on the reader. When you know how to address someone and talk to them in a formal manner, this demonstrates respect. You can also show this level of respect in other communications, such as blog posts, articles, social media content, or marketing materials.

A Tool You Can Use Everywhere

Business writing is a helpful skill in all areas of business. Even if you’re not writing but communicating orally, you can use what you learn to be a better communicator. With writing, there’s always something new you can learn, and there are always further benefits to sharpening your skills in the long-term.

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Most of us aren’t naturally good writers. Luckily, anyone can learn how to improve their communication skills and master business writing for better results.

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