Many people consider their goal or purpose when writing letters, articles, newsletters and emails. They should also think about the reader. Marketers and advertisers do this very well, as they carefully choose their words and images to ensure that they appeal to specific audiences. They focus on the benefits to the user as opposed to the features they want to promote.
Thinking about the reader when writing will give you a different perspective. By putting yourself in the reader’s position, you will be able to think more about what’s in it for them than what’s in it for you. You will also become more capable of speaking in the reader’s language and appealing to their interest.
To put yourself in the mindset of thinking about the reader first, ask yourself the following questions.
- What is the reader’s level of education or vocabulary? Would they understand business terminology or longer words, or are you better off with simpler language?
- What is the reader’s age? Would they understand historical references? Would they respond to a formal or informal tone?
- What is your relationship with the reader? Are they employees or bosses, clients or suppliers?
- What is your reader’s occupation? What level of understanding do they have of the topic?
- How often have you interacted or communicated with the reader? How much background information do they need to understand what you are saying?
- Why is the reader interested in this information? Is there a personal or professional reason for them to want this information?
- What is the reader’s economic or financial situation? Will this impact what they do with the information and how they respond to it?
- What length of document does the reader read regularly? Should you keep it short or do they regularly read detailed documents?
- What does the reader need to know to take action? What information do they need to proceed?
- What do you want the reader to do with the information? How do you want them to react?
Answer these questions to get a better handle on your reader, and make your writing much more effective. You will be more successful at getting your point across and getting a reaction from the reader, which should be your main goals for writing.
Do you need help with writing for your reader? Let me know – contact @ davidgargaro.com.