Web-oriented writing: 9 tips

Writing for the web obeys very different stylistic canons compared to writing for paper-based sources. As such, the type of newsletter syntax deserves to be looked at separately.

The first point to touch on, common amongst every type of web writing, is the need to be synthetic and somber. The average user looks over a newsletter in a pretty superficial way and tends to scan over the content – unless the content is very interesting.

Secondly, it is essential that the email is consistent with the original website. Adopting a snappy and flirtatious tone in the direct communication channel, when instead your portal deals with very serious topics, can be completely counterproductive.

General rules that should be adhered to, are:

  1. Text should be divided into blocks. There is nothing worse than an email with a single continuous block of text that lacks any paragraphs or has no reference points.
  2. Highlight any important elements in boldand avoid using italics or underlining.
  3. Organize the content structureaccording to a clear hierarchy. Whether there are only two hundred or one thousand words, organize the flow of information from the most important element you want to get across to the ancillary ones.
  4. From a stylistic point of view, don’t use expressions that contain more than one meaning or are difficult to immediately decipher. Remember that you have a very limited amount of time and it’s impossible to know in advance the mood of the person who’s going to read your e-mail: you don’t have to try to make it “funny” or intriguing at all costs.Always by reference book quote which can give more added up value to the content written. That gives the values that the writers have gone through various articles to give substance to the written article. Always the language should be easily understandable by any lay man. More and more people will be attracted only if the subject written, not the regular way and gives more clarity of the subject. And take a valid decision. Click for more info here.
  5. Use simple syntax sentencesthat are direct and clear, without being too intricate.
  6. Focus the key points within the first few linesof the message. When reading from smartphones it’s likely that, among other things, these are the only lines that users will skim over.
  7. Create internal links within the text: Do not include the full URL, but directly link the words instead. So, rather than www.web-target.com/en only put Web Target. This is a key step in encouraging the call to action and leads users to the reference site. However, do not overdo it. Too many links in the body of the text – especially if you have chosen to highlight them with underscores – adversely affect the readability.
  8. Rigorous editorial standards, making sure there are no double spaces between words, leaving a space after each punctuation mark, and of course, impeccable grammar are all must do’s.
  9. Finally, a handy little trick: don’t copy the message directly from a complex word processor program, like Word. Always transfer the text into Notepad first, so that it is “clean” of any additional formatting. Then with the aid of e-mail editor, you can add italics, links etc.

In terms of defining what the maximum length of the content should be, it is a question that doesn’t have one answer. The newsletter of a newspaper, for example, synthetically re-caps the website’s morning “front page”. A DEM informing users of a special offer lasting only a few days, should hopefully only have a couple of lines of text and an attention grabbing image.

As a good rule of thumb, if you haven’t got any high value editorial content to offer, try to be as concise as possible. The purpose of mail marketing or a newsletter isn’t so much to keep readers trapped inside their mailboxes, but to encourage them to check out what you’re offering.

So: always remember putting a few lines together to make the mouth water is much better. And as they say, less is more!

 

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