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Better #Email: How you can write for the small screen Pt 3 – write an “easy in”

You can improve ALL your messages – by using the “easy in” technique.

It’s especially valuable when writing for the small screen –  small screen devices (SSDs) such as smart phones.

Boss easy in

More and more people are reading e-mails and other messages on their small screen devices such as smart phones.

If messages look too dense or too hard to read – the messages get skipped over.

This “easy in” technique will help you get readers to read YOUR messages by making the messages look easy to get into.

So, what is the “easy in”?


Journalists are often skilled at writing an “easy in”. Journalists want readers to read their stories.

An “easy in”  (1) gets the reader into a story and  (2) encourages them to read deeper.

Here’s an example from Australia’s Financial Review. I’ll “zoom in” and break down the steps  for an easy in soon.

Boss writing

At the moment, I am not connected with the Financial Review in any way. I have helped Fin Review people in the past. I was “fan” before that training – and I am still a fan now.

fin r 1

One of the things I enjoy about flying – is getting a paper copy of the Fin Review and having time to read it.

Yes, I’m an old-school  “dead-tree” paper nerd. “Old school” does NOT mean out-of-date.

In fact “old school”, fundamental  writing tricks are so valuable to writers in the  modern, on-line news age.

And for businesses wanting to connect with their customers and clients!

And for writing for Twitter!

And for writing for small screen devices!

Anyway, let’s get into “the easy in”!

This example is from the Financial Review’s BOSS magazine – and I’ve marked what helps make an “easy in”.

Boss easy in

1. Space or “air” before your first sentence.

2. A short, simple sentence in instead of a complex, rambling sentence. Simple sentences in the ACTIVE voice work well.

Feedback (subject) is (verb) Crucial.

3. A short opening par (paragraph) – with white space after it.

4. If possible, create curiosity or intrigue in that opening par (paragraph) that makes you want to read deeper. For me, I want to read deeper to understand why feedback doesn’t work.

5. An engaging tone. The short sentences “sound” strong and confident. The contractions (it’s and that’s and doesn’t) sound conversational.

Confident + Conversational = an engaging Tone 

This example originally came from the Harvard Business Review and was featured in BOSS magazine.

My point is: YOU can use the easy in too. It may take longer to master all those 5 points above – yet you can more easily get into the habit of writing:

1. a short first sentence

2. a short paragraph (so the reader sees more white space not too far ahead)

Thank you, Financial Review and Harvard Business Review! I’m looking forward to another engaging read on a flight today!

This is my serious side!

I understand that “serious” writers in “serious” business sectors often fear simplicity and “easiness”. I know. I’m a former lawyer who tried to impress with complexity – until wonderful media bosses taught me to be simpler and to make my writing “easier”.

These days, I often help Australian and international financial institutions and law firms simplify their writing and make their writing easier to read and easier to understand.

A common business need at the moment – is writing for small screen devices such as smart phones. The easy in technique helps make messages look less intimidating.

If this area interest you – here are some previous posts.

1.Part 1: writing-e-mail-for-small-screen-devices-make-sure-you-update-your-writing-style/

2. Part 2: how-write-e-mails-for-small-screens-pt-2-test-how-your-messages-look/

release the verb

Also, you can contact me to help you and your organisation improve business  writing. It’s not as hard as it sounds. I break it down into “achievable steps” – like how to write an “easy in”

I promise I’ll be easy on you.




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