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Write a stronger opening line

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Whether you are writing a sales letter or sending an email to a potential client, the opening line of your message is the most important—if not toughest—line to write. Three tips:

1. Start the sentence with “I am writing to …” While it can seem unnecessary, the statement forces you to focus on your purpose for writing and prepares your reader to focus on what you have to say.

2. Answer the question “What is this message about?” Avoid wordy, nonessential introductions, and get right to the point. Example: “I am writing to explain the discrepancy in the financial report.”

3. Use “you” and “your” if you want to persuade. For promotional messages, immediately draw readers in by focusing the message on them. Example:  “You can take your productivity to a new level.”

— Adapted from “How to Write the Opening Sentence,” Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, Business Writing Blog, www.businesswritingblog.com.

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