The BLUF communication is a better way for email marketing as it can get busy people to open your email which will give you a chance to inform or educate people on what you are offering.
(A short blog post while I am recovering from the flu.)
I saw a post via the Time Management Ninja ( a good blog to follow by the way) titled “Write your emails backwards for better responses” the premise being that if you were to write the last sentence first instead of the normal introduction that many of us have been taught to do, then you will get a better response rate.
To make this easier to understand
“Put the action, request, or most important information in the first line of the email”.
I know that in real life when talking to kids and adults, it tends to drive us a bit batty when they go on and on with what they are talking about and with kids especially I have a tendency to say “get to the point” as these conversations usually happen when I am at my busiest.
A commenter on that blog post mentioned a term that I had never heard before “BLUF‘. I found out that it’s common acronym used in US military writing and that lately the BLUF communicaton has been expanding to other areas, such as business, marketing and management.
What is Bluff Communication?
BLUF stands for Bottom Line Up Front and is used to help with rapid decision making and is ( according to Wikipedia)
“.. a paragraph detailing the conclusions and recommendations at the beginning of some text, in order to facilitate rapid decision making. This differs from an abstract or executive summary in that it doesn’t necessarily summarize the arguments or evidence included. Traditionally, conclusions and recommendations are included at the end of a text, following the arguments and considerations of facts. The concept is not exclusive to writing; it can also refer to conversations and interviews”
While that may seem very logical, when it comes to email marketing what does that really mean and how can you use the BLUF communication method in your marketing plan?
I know for myself when I thought about this way of communicating for email marketing and thinking of those words “bottom up” or “cutting to the chase” I kept thinking in terms of “here is the product – buy it because its great”..because that seemed to me to be the last sentence a person would write in an email marketing message and had benefit
While that may sound good to some people, this is not the BLUF communication and writing like that will have you seen as spam and if you’re doing email marketing, I could see people unsubscribing very quickly..at least I would!
So how the heck do you use the BLUF communication in business emails or email marketing?
When you understand that the Bluf communication means writing in a way that will provide the reader a concise short summery of the important points of any given topic of an email, then the bottom line up means talking about the benefits and creating value to your readers.
Remember that the purpose of BLUF is to not bombard your reader with too much information, but to get to the point at the very beginning and then adding more detail if you want to after the fact.
Tips on using the BLUF Communication
1. Use the subject line as a way to get your message across. Using a call to action title is a great way to let your readers know what to expect ( while lengthy this is just an example)
Passive subject line: “creating email letters that will work for you using this method”
Action Subject Line “Learn the BLUF communication to improve your email”
2.When writing an email, imagine that you are writing a tweet or text to people.
3. Imagine that your email is being seen on a mobile devise. What do you want the reader to see when they open that screen?
4. Remove the Fluff. When you have finished the first draft, how could you cut to the chase and get to the main point? How can you cut the first paragraph to one sentence? To be honest, unless you are writing a blog post 🙂 people don’t want a story of how everything came about., they want the information right now!
5. I read this on a site that I unfortunately can’t remember … Do not use comma’s in that first sentence or a minimal amount of commas in the first paragraph.
6. Use short sentences and employ efficient phrases. Avoid jargon or fancy words.
To summarize, using the BLUFF communication means..
a) Putting the main point at the beginning
b) Using the active voice “The usefulness of the BLUF communication makes perfect sense for email marketing” rather than ” it makes perfect sense to use the BLUF communication your writing style when you are email marketing”
There will be those times of course when using the BLUF communication is not needed, but at this point, it is worthwhile learning how to communicate in this style ..why? Because it will be useful!
Thanks for reading and if you have found this useful in anyway, be sure to share the love to all your friends.