What’s happening and why is it important to me?
Whether it’s a new business letter or email, a press release, or a brochure, it’s vital to explain relevant information quickly. Your time-pressured audience may not be reading your copy out of choice. They will swiftly reject anything that seems irrelevant.
So begin promotional documents with a ‘scene-setting’ explanation. But go into too much detail too early and the reader will move on, having failed to answer the crucial ‘why is the important to me?’ question. For example:
In difficult market conditions, businesses are being forced to extract more value from their existing technology infrastructures in order to stay profitable. This means looking for solutions that can make systems work together.
Today’s focus is on making existing technology work harder. X Consultancy has developed five steps to help IT managers do this. They are…
The second example gets the ‘scene-setting’ done in one short sentence before explaining exactly what the document is going to talk about.
In constructing a relevant introduction, brevity is best. Tell the story at the top of the page and entice the audience to read further.
If your audience decides not to read further, it’s because they know it’s not relevant to them, and that has nothing to do with your writing. The targeting of your communication may be lacking, but at least your copy can be identified as relevant — or not — very early on.