Writing Great Emails–Making Sure You’re Understood

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) In theory: Used before something that is just a good idea, but not true.

In theory, the project should have cost $500,000 and been completed by July.

(2) In Practice: Used before describing how it actually works.

In practice, the project has cost over $1,000,000 and it’s still not done.

(3) Tip: A helpful idea

Let me give you a tip: don’t go home before your boss.

Today’s

Questions

1. Why should you write shorter emails?

a. They’re easier to write.

b. They’re easier to understand.

c. You have to be less careful.

2. Why should you write short sentences?

a. They’re easier to write.

b. They’re easier to understand.

c. You have to be less careful.

3. Why is it good to put a summary at the start of a long email?

a. The email will be easier to write.

b. The email will be easier to understand.

c. The email will seem carefully written.

7________________________

Writing Great Emails

________________________

En-velop_bleu

By Jeremy Schaar

Managers often use emails to communicate with their employees. Unfortunately, it’s a hard thing to do. In theory, it should be as simple as writing the important information in an email and hitting send. In practice, emails aren’t read carefully. People read quickly. Or they don’t read at all.

A wise man once said: “Anyone who says that they’re great at communicating but ‘people are bad at listening’ is confused about how communication works.”

So, if your employees don’t remember things you wrote, don’t blame them. Instead, write better emails.

Here are five tips for doing that:

1. Write a short email. If you write several paragraphs, people won’t read them carefully.

2. Write short sentences. People can’t remember too many things at one time. If a sentence has too many ideas, it’ll be hard to understand. Here’s an example of a bad sentence:

The marketing report I was supposed to send on Tuesday, while you were out of the office, but it’s not done and has to be finished before Mr. Smith returns from his honeymoon in Las Vegas.

That sentence has too many ideas. By the time you read “Las Vegas”, you’ve forgotten about the marketing report. Probably, you can delete some unimportant stuff. If everything is important, then make it into more sentences.

I was supposed to send the marketing report on Tuesday. You were out of the office, but it’s not done. It has to be finished before Mr. Smith returns from his honeymoon in Las Vegas.

Those periods make it much easier to read and understand.

3. Say the important stuff first. If something is really important, say it in the first sentence.

4. Choose good subjects. If the email is all about the marketing report, then the subject should be: Marketing Report. Be simple and clear.

5. For longer emails, start with a summary of the whole email. You can even make a list. For example:

I have a lot to talk about. In this email, I’ll cover the schedule for the product release, the expense budget, and what you need to prepare by Friday.

Next week, you’ll get five more tips to make sure people understand you.

Want more practice? Got questions? Comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, B, B

——————————————

You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Global Marketing Tuesday

Watch

On YouTube

YouTubeLink

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Guerilla marketing: This is low-cost, not normal product promotion. Examples include flash mobs and graffiti.

For our guerrilla marketing campaign, we had people sleep outside in January in the middle of the city to show how warm our sleeping bags are.

(2) Promotions: The part of marketing that lets people know about a product and its value.

Our product is great. The price is right. And we’re selling it in stores everywhere. Now let’s promote it with some television advertising.

(3) Buzz: Excitement for something.

The buzz about the new song is really great. I’m excited to listen to it.

Today’s

Questions

1. What do you need to open a Molson beer fridge?

a. A friend from Canada

b. A promotional code

c. A Canadian passport

2. Why did Molson make this campaign?

a. To save money

b. To build buzz

c. To get drunk

3. What emotions does Molsen want associated with Canada?

a. Cool and fun

b. Sexy and dangerous

c. Nerdy but nice

7 ________________________

GLOBAL MARKETING TUESDAY

________________________

By Jeremy Schaar

Three words: Guerrilla. Beer. Marketing.

Guerrilla is usually associated with war. It’s soldiers fighting outside of a normal army.

Let’s call beer a fizzy drink that helps us relax.

Marketing is about showing the value of a product.

What do they have in common? That’s what you’ll learn today. You’ll also learn some vocabulary that will help you on the job.

Molson is a Canadian beer. They recently had a really cool guerrilla marketing campaign. (See above.)

The campaign was this: They put refrigerators full of beer all around Europe. To open the fridge, you needed a Canadian passport. Then, they filmed everything and made an awesome YouTube video. We can see excited crowds looking for a Canadian and then parties on the street after a Canadian arrives. Great idea, right?

Why would a company like Molson choose a guerrilla marketing campaign like this? Why not just buy television commercials and advertisements in magazines? First they probably did buy television commercials and advertisements in magazines. But guerrilla marketing can do more. It can create buzz.

Buzz is a little difficult to explain, but basically it’s when people are excited about something. They’re talking about it, telling their friends, spreading information.

In the case of Molson, they created buzz for their beer. Over 1,000,000 people have watched their video on YouTube. Thousands have shared it with their friends. In connection with a series of other videos, they’re creating a feeling about Canada, Canadians, and their beer.

The feeling is that Canada is cool. Canadians are a little crazy. If you drink the beer, you’ll have cool, crazy experience. The video really shows this. Only after a Canadian arrives does the party begin.

At the same time, when people are talking about the product, they’re sharing an important part of the brand–that it’s Canadian. Most people didn’t know this before, but now? Now they do. And how.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, B, A

——————————————

You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Business Strategy Monday

Watch

On YouTube

YouTubeLink

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) To bolster: To make stronger.

We bolstered our sales with the new internet marketing campaign.

(2) To acquire: To buy another company and make it part of your company.

Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1 billion in order to expand their services and become cooler.

(3) To catch up: To get to the same position.

Yahoo has long been trying to catch up to Google in search, email, and many other areas.

(4) Payoff: Reward or good result.

The payoff from this work will be a product everyone wants to buy.

Today’s

Questions

1. When was Yahoo founded?

a. The 1980s

b. The 1990s

c. The 2000s

2. Why is Yahoo acquiring many other companies?

a. To strengthen their products.

b. To expand into new areas.

c. A and B

3. How do we know Yahoo is a struggling company?

a. They’ve had lots of new CEOs.

b. Their stock price recently went down.

c. They’re acquiring many other companies.

7 ________________________

BUSINESS STRATEGY MONDAY

________________________

yahoo-logo

By Jeremy Schaar

Check out this quote about the tech giant Yahoo:

That’s one of the problems with many Yahoo acquisitions: They seem to be attempts by Mayer to get Yahoo caught up to other major players—a strategy that rarely comes with a big payoff.

In today’s lesson, I’ll show you who said this, why they said it, and what it means. I’ll also talk about some vocabulary you can use in your job.

Yahoo was one of the most successful companies of the 90s dot-com boom. Like many, its stock price went from very high to very low, but it survived the worst. Yahoo has done well at many things like search, news, and email. Nevertheless, Yahoo has had hard times. The company has averaged a new CEO every year for over five years.

The problem is that while Yahoo has done well at many things, they’re not the best at anything.

The quote from the beginning is from a Businessweek article by Mathew Ingram.

Ingram is talking about Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer and her current strategy for the company. In short, she’s acquiring a lot of other companies. She seems to be doing this for two reasons. The first is to bolster Yahoo’s products. For example, she thinks that one acquisition will improve Yahoo’s email service. The other reason is to enter new areas. Recently, Yahoo acquired Tumblr. Tumblr is a huge social media platform, an area where Yahoo hadn’t been competing before.

So here’s the big question: Is this a good strategy? On the one hand, Yahoo is having a hard time as a company. If they acquire companies, they might bolster their products and expand into new areas. On the other hand, maybe the acquisitions will hurt company culture. Said another way, maybe everyone will work together poorly. What do you think? Post your comments below and let’s have a discussion.

In future lessons, I’ll talk some more about how acquisitions can affect company culture.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, C, A

——————————————

You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Business Strategy Monday

Watch

On YouTube

YouTubeLink

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) To bargain: To negotiate, to try and change the price.

I bargained with the car dealer for two weeks before he gave me a good price.

(2) Supplier: A company that gives you items you need for your business.

Toyota has hundreds of suppliers for all their car parts.

(3) Force: Power, energy, strength.

Porter’s five forces explain what causes companies to fail or succeed.

Today’s

Questions

1. Who is Michael Porter?

a. A manager at Pandora.

b. A professor at Harvard.

c. An investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

2. What’s an example of a supplier with low bargaining power?

a. A candy supplier with lots of stores who want the candy

b. A musician

c. Toyota buying from many suppliers

3. Who are the suppliers for internet radio stations?

a. Google Ads

b. Musicians

c. Michael Porter

7 ________________________

BUSINESS STRATEGY MONDAY

________________________

Porters_five_forces

By Jeremy Schaar

Do you know who Michael Porter is? He teaches at Harvard and is one of the most famous business school professors in the world. MBA students around the world study his articles. And business leaders use his ideas to grow their companies.

Porter’s big idea is called “Five Forces”. These are the five things that affect your business. They are:

  • Threat of New Entrants
  • Threat of Substitute Products and Services
  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers
  • Bargaining Power of Buyers
  • Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

Today, let’s just look at the Bargaining Power of Suppliers. It says that if suppliers are really important to your industry, then they can charge you a lot of money. This hurts your business.

For example, imagine a city with only one candy store. They ask the candy supplier for low prices. The candy supplier has no choice because they only have one store that will buy their candy supply. The bargaining power of the supplier is low.

On the other hand, if there are lots of candy stores and just one supplier, then the supplier is in a good situation. They can choose a high price. If a store won’t buy, that’s OK. Another store will. The bargaining power of the supplier is high.

Here’s a real life example. This is an article about how musicians don’t get paid very much money. Musicians are the suppliers here. The problem for them is that there are many musicians and few buyers. This is especially true these days. People are listening to music for free using services like Pandora. (Pandora is an internet radio station.)

Everyone feels bad for the musicians, but big companies usually don’t pay them a lot of money. One of the reasons is that the bargaining power of suppliers is so low.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, B, B

——————————————

You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

How to Teach Timing

How to teach Timing

Click here for some thoughts on what timing is and why it’s important.

Here are some ways to teach it in the classroom

Poetry Poems often have rhythm. Rhythm is the essence of timing. Limericks are especially good. Check out this lesson plan on limericks and some limericks you can use in the classroom.

Songs Songs are just poems with drums and a melody to help you use the right timing. Here’s a nice slow song you might enjoy using with your students. And here’s a lesson plan to go with that song.

And an extension… After reading a poem or listening to a song, ask the students to write another stanza/verse. Don’t worry about grammar and vocabulary. Focus on timing.

Sentence Pairs Create a list of short sentences. Read them to the students with different timing and then ask them for the differences in meaning. See this lesson plan on timing for some specific suggestions.

Special Timing Choose a paragraph for your students to read. Every time they get to a specific word (e.g. “so” or “very”), make them say it with extra special long timing. Alternatively, have them switch back and forth between long and short timing while they read. (The first time they read the word “so”, they should use long timing. The next time, they should use short timing. And so on.)

Use Your Bodies Ask your students to open and close their hands quickly for fast timing and slowly for slow timing. After they get good at that, try some other movements. They could wave, do knee bends, or spin.

Race! Have your students line up and get ready to race across the room (or go outside and do it in a yard or field). When you read something quickly, they can run. When you read it slowly, they should walk. The first person to go back and forth across the room ten times is the winner. The winner gets to read for the next race.

 

« Previous Entries Next Entries »