Make It Happen
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Do your readers read beyond the first sentence or two?  And do they care enough about your ideas to actually act on them?  Writing is a critical engagement skill, so a small investment in time can make your words make a bigger impact.

Here are 14 great reads that can increase your effectiveness – and your influence:

  1. Link Bait Headlines:  The right and wrong way to get the reader’s attention.
  2. Choosing your Marketing VoiceImproving resonance with the reader:  four alternatives.
  3. Remember First, Second, Third:  Improving engagement by bringing the reader along for the journey.
  4. Weasel words have no weight:  Improving trust by writing with accountability.
  5. The Sharpest Point:  Removing “debris” from our communications to focus on the important.
  6. Three Blog Archetypes: Writing for Results:  Unpacking the structure of effective blog posts.
  7. Blog Post Magic Bullet: Another take on effective blog structure.
  8. Blog Content Creation: Idea seeding:  A clever way to generate ideas efficiently.
  9. Creative Time and Place: Ideas on where (or when) to be your most creative.
  10. Marketing Fluff: Increasing your value per word:  The title says it all: here are three strategies for doing it.
  11. 11 killer copywriting techniques: Learn from the world of professional writers – a must-read for all executives and professionals.
  12. 24 Branded Content IdeasImpact can be spread across many venues: here’s the list.
  13. Stealing Ideas and Social Media: Guidelines on attribution in Social Media.
  14. Viewpoint: Expert-writers and Writer-experts:  Insights into the new rules of the game for subject matter experts and leaders.

This week’s action plan:  While writing is important, so are presentations.  As you plan your next presentation, how might the concepts within these articles apply?  Hint:  start with  Remember First, Second, Third (which really should be called “involve your audience”), and then read 11 killer copywriting techniques (which should be called “influence your audience.”)

Action plan #2:  Who else needs to read this?  (Board members, leadership, marketers, etc.)  A strong organizational voice is only possible when each “choir member” is a strong singer.  This week, share this Tipsheet (songsheet?).

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders



Have you ever considered why some emails resonate, and others seem just a bit off? While the general topic of copywriting has been handled here quite well, too often emails – especially ones that for part of a marketing automation sequence – fail because of one thing: voice.

Consider these four examples:

1) Passive Voice

Neglected fee payments will cause access to be lost.
Membership department

2) Active Voice

If you neglect paying your fees, you will lose access.
Membership department

3) Corporate Value

This is a courtesy warning that if you do not pay your fees within 48 hours, you will lose access.
Membership department

4) Personified voice

Jennifer, I’ve recently reviewed our records, and it seems that your annual fees are still outstanding.  One of the many benefits of being part of our community is our online services – available at no charge to members.

As the deadline is fast approaching (next week), can I ask you to take care of payment? Here’s [the link].

If you have any concerns about your membership, might we have a short conversation? I can be reached directly at 416-256-7773 ext. 101.

Sincerely,  Randall

Which of these four are better?  While you might prefer a personified voice (#4), this might not always be the best choice. The key point is that there is a spectrum of choices that are available, and we don’t always consider the voice that would be most effective. We think only about “efficiency” and what might sound “professional”. Default-mode writing is not always the most effective.

This week’s action plan: Voice issues creep in everywhere, from invoice transmittal emails, to broadcast emails. This week, find one email where a change in voice will improve the outcome. Then find another. And another.

Marketing Insight: Voice also creeps into our own voice. How you phrase what comes out of your mouth has a direct impact on the receiver’s openness to your message.   More than a logo, color scheme, or jingle, voice profoundly impacts your brand.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders



Marketing Fluff: Increasing your value per word

by Randall Craig August 14, 2015

When you write, does everything that you put down on paper deliver exceptional value? Or is there a certain amount of low-value filler that invades your communications? There are three strategies that can significantly upgrade your value in the eyes of your audience: Target: right audience – right message: What is high value to one group […]

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11 killer copywriting techniques

by Randall Craig July 17, 2015

Here’s a question you don’t get asked every day: how much do you really know about writing?  And more particularly, the craft of copywriting?  Unless you do this for a living or had extensive training , the answer is likely not very much. Yet no matter your particular role or responsibilities, copywriting is an exceptionally important skill: it educates, […]

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Three Blog Archetypes: Writing for Results

by Randall Craig August 15, 2014

Have you noticed that each magazine, newspaper, and TV news show has its own style?  They do so because style builds brand equity with their target audience.  But look underneath the glitz of style, these pros have structured each story almost exactly the same. They understand the power of the archetype. If you haven’t thought […]

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A Motivating Web Call to Action

by Randall Craig November 22, 2013

Have you ever been in a situation where someone has used a word that seemed wrong?  Or maybe out-of-place, suboptimal, or or ill-considered?  Each of these means something slightly different, and each tugs a slightly different emotional chord.  The words we choose have a direct impact on the recipient’s state of mind, and their motivation […]

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