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Then you go to write an email…and it’s like *crickets.*
Oh, I hear you!
I’ve never liked starting with a blank page. One minute you have all these great things to say, and the next you’re like, “What’s a sentence?”
With a background in writing (I have degrees in advertising and history), I’ve got some tips for getting those words down on paper — er, Word Doc — including my favorite tool to help you get all of your ideas into words.
Before you start writing an email, ask yourself:
What is the One Big Idea of this email?
Or what is the one thing I want people to walk away learning, remembering or feeling?
When I worked in video production, we would walk clients through this exercise all the time. Just because you have 16 programs or 4 different services doesn’t mean you need to explain all of them in one email.
If the goal is to give an overview of the range of services you have — let that take the wheel, not going into too much detail and overwhelming your reader.
Get clear on what you want to talk about. And if you’re not sure exactly how to hone in your message, this next step will help.
It’s one thing to organize thoughts when they’re scribbled out on paper, but it’s another to have all those thoughts crammed up in your beautiful brain and not know how to spit them out on your keyboard, am I right?
By using an AI (artificial intelligence) software, you can record your thoughts AND transcribe them. It’s a great way to run through all of your ideas at once without feeling rushed to take notes or worry that you’ll forget something you said. (It’s a major step up from the classic Voice Memo app.)
Yes, I am most definitely encouraging you to talk to yourself but you’re not doing it alone — you’ll have a tool to remember all you’ve said!
Talk out loud for a few minutes and get your thoughts “written out.” Use this as an opportunity to work through your One Big Idea and how you might present it, what tidbits of information you want to make sure to include, and any stories you have that might help it sink in with your readers.
It’s the external processor’s dream!
You can use it to:
Transcribe conversations in real time, whether on a phone call or during a meeting
Upload a video or audio file
Record your thoughts as you process them out loud
I use it for half a dozen purposes — one of which is helping me determine what to say in my broadcast emails.
Otter.ai is free for up to 600 minutes (that’s 10 hours!) of content each month, it’s fast, and it allows you to click on the transcription to hear the audio and make sense of anything that didn’t transcribe perfectly. Watch this video for some behind-the-scenes of Otter in action.
That being said, it is not 100% accurate. If you’re looking for verbatim geniuses, they’re over at Rev.com. But if you want a fast turnaround — in minutes — for some quick and dirty notes to help you with something in the moment, Otter is your friend.
And when it’s all done transcribing, move into the next step.
This is where you’ll revisit your One Big Idea before you start writing. If talking through your thoughts helped you identify your one main theme of the email — run with it! And if you revealed more than one theme, you may have yourself more than one email to write 🙂
Copy bits of text from Otter into a Google Doc, then develop a framework (also known as an outline). Make sure you have space for:
An introduction — why are you writing?
Body copy — your main talking points
A conclusion — include a clear Call to Action
Now that you have a framework for how to organize your email content, you’ve got your creative juices flowing and some words on paper, it’s time to fill it in!
At this stage, you can feel confident that you’re writing about one clear topic, your messaging will be presented in a way that makes sense, and you’ve hashed out any small details you want to make sure and include.
When you’re not sure where to start, try this process and see what you capture. Get your smart ideas out of your head and into the hands of the people you’re serving.
It is no secret you have good and wonderful things to share. I hope using a tool like this will help you get it out of your mind and into the world — faster, with less hassle and more confidence.
If you’re ready to get more done, check out Otter.ai today!
If you’re not welcoming new subscribers and pointing them in the direction of your best, most beloved content — or you feel like the one you have isn’t doing the trick — it’s time we fix that. Use this free 5-part framework to make a meaningful & lasting first impression as you write your first welcome sequence for new email subscribers!
FYI : I sometimes talk about and link to tools, sites, books, and resources that I LOVE. Sometimes those companies give me a little gift for sharing if you choose to purchase something through my affiliate link. I promise to be straightforward with you and to only share things I personally use and would vouch for 100%.
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We’re Duett, an email marketing agency specializing in email strategy, email copywriting, and email automation setup with a special place in our heart for bloggers (especially those who make delicious food). If you’re a content creator craving to authentically connect with your audience so you can build lasting relationships, increase site traffic, and put your best offers forward — Let’s Duett!