A major reason people do not read e-mail messages is because writers are sloppy about subject lines and, as a result, fail to pull the reader in.

The subject line is the first place you are communicating with a reader, the first place you are saying to the reader, “Here’s is why you need to read this.”

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Most people have heard that it is important to include the five Ws (who, what, where, when, why, and we add in “how”) to make a message clear and complete, and that’s true. But do not try to squeeze them all in the opening paragraph.

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Direct, forceful writing is built on strong verbs, and it is not a technique used only by storytellers. Corporate professionals can use the same tool to strengthen everyday business writing.

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