In a recent post at Rick Short's B2B Marcom Blog, Short recounts receiving two useless B2B email promotions. The first never explained what the writer's business actually did; the second repeatedly used an acronym Short simply couldn't identify. He deleted the first, and sent a cryptic reply to the writer of the second. "Frankly, the salesperson [deserved to] be embarrassed," he notes.

The experience spurred Short to offer four steps for writing B2B promos that provide enough information to a target audience to catch their interest.

Step one. Slow down. "I know we're all busy," Short writes. "Trouble is," he adds, when we race through a communication, "we start making assumptions." And that is one of the biggest mistakes a B2B writer can make: assuming your intended reader knows more than he or she actually does.

Step two. Make it a point to drastically reduce, or eliminate, acronyms from your dictionary, he advises. "See things from your target audience's perspective," he says. "They're busy, too." Don't assume they're "totally ready, and prepped, for your message."

Step three. "Set the stage for your audience—in their terms. Help them instantly appreciate what's in it for them, " Short says. Once they see how they can win with your proposition, they'll become interested.

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