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Emails that connect as the heart of your mktg: Showcase your small business through writing for connection, simplicity, & intention.
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Why are emails a great platform for marketing small business?

  1. Email marketing requires few skills that can’t be learned quickly and then practiced.
  2. The skills needed to do well are ones that serve us well in all areas of life (communication, writing, persuasion, showing up consistently).
    If you already have them, you put them to further use; if you don’t have those skills, you can start practicing in a low-pressure environment.
  3. It’s wonderfully asynchronous and done on your own time.
  4. It’s incredibly low cost.
  5. It’s respectful communication.
  6. It scales impeccably.
  7. But you can keep it really small and still do very well.
  8. It’s challenging in the right ways.
  9. It encourages…

A child reading a story to her stuffed bear.
A child reading a story to her stuffed bear.
Photo licensed from Adobe Stock by author.

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“…Once you know what pain point you’re trying to avoid and what benefits you’re trying to amplify, other approaches emerge.”

That observation, written by Cal Newport in A World Without Email, referred to the ways people and companies have chosen to combat relentless email overload. This essay isn’t about the email conundrum, however.

We all face problems, some mundane and commonplace, like email overwhelm. Others are momentous and consequential, such as a scary health diagnosis.

Regardless, our options to respond to any given problem span an entire spectrum. On one end, we can merely shrug our shoulders and accept that…

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Have you ever persevered outside of the mainstream? Something that seemed strange, even suspicious, to your spouse, your parents, or your neighbors?

I’m imagining big things like downsizing your home, going back to school at age 40, or traveling the world instead of buying a house with the $30,000 you had saved. Smaller life choices also count, like landscaping with native plants, fasting for 48 hours, or taking a solo vacation to the Caribbean.

Any of these choices are still weird enough that people in your circle will try to dissuade you.

When someone pushes back, even on a choice…

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I’ve been feeling low-level, chronic burnout for weeks and weeks now. I mostly ignored it and was trying to push through, putting pressure on myself to reach a certain milestone before an arbitrary date.

Despite feeling that deep mental tiredness of burnout, I still didn’t want to take time off.

But because I was tired, uncreative, and unfocused, I was getting very little done during my workday. (My three “most important” tasks have been on my to-do list for at least 4 weeks! ouch.)

That led to working frequently in the evenings. That, of course, meant I was more tired…

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They exist at opposite ends of the Respecting-the-Reader spectrum, however.

Since email subject lines also have the same purpose, where should they fall on the spectrum? Think about how headlines and subject lines make you feel.

How do you feel reading these headlines?

  • A Man in His 30s Explains to Me What’s Wrong With Women In Their 30s
  • Tim Cook’s 5-Word Response to Facebook Is Brutal and Brilliant at the Same Time
  • ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found at the Top of Mt. Everest
  • A Leaked Email From JIF Peanut Butter’s Brand Manager to an Influencer

When I read these random internet article…

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After a longer-than-planned break of about 10 days from writing my emails, I’m rested and ready for action.

Several of you replied, concerned about me and offering some suggestions for how to recognize, anticipate, and stop burnout before it takes hold. Thank you, Anne Marie, Irene, and Leah!

Almost immediately after taking some time to myself, I could identify a few reasons for my recent case of burnout. I’m certain many of you will recognize these feelings.

  • Forgetting to make sure I have (non-food) things I enjoy at hand, like new books from the library
  • Lack of fun new…

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It’s part vulnerability hangover and partly that everything I write since feels like it lands in the 50% of Your Writing is Below Average category.

But getting that off my chest helps. Thanks.

I’ve also spent hours lately thinking and writing about the true practicality of setting limits and keeping balance as an entrepreneur, while not inadvertently playing small and hiding behind those ideas — and where or whether discipline comes into play.

Even though I often mention the importance of focus and ignoring the pressure of hustle culture, and I put massive effort into keeping my business focused and…

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A vignette is a short description of a scenario or feelings.

A story has conflict, resolution, and a message or a moral.

Most people use vignettes instead of stories in their marketing emails, for good reason. They’re fun, simple, pretty fast to write, and still show your personal side for your readers to love.

(Here I wrote a vignette about my ideal Mother’s Day:

Stories, on the other hand, usually take more time and emotional energy to write. …

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Occasionally, historical and political figures place ideas in my lap via their biographies and autobiographies. Once before, it was Madeleine Albright. This time, it’s Winston Churchill.

Churchill took time in the middle of The Blitz to tell his Cabinet members to keep their memos (the 1940s version of emails) short and to the point.

He said, “To do our work, we all have to read a mass of papers. [ Let’s substitute the word emails.] Nearly all of them are far too long. This wastes time, while energy has to be spent in looking for the essential points.”

“First, set…

Andrea Morris

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