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"Need to Get My Attention? Try This!"

By Wonder Wyant
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005

Then you might want to pay attention to what I learned this week.

I learned, for about the zillionth time in my life, that I am "average". Oh, how I hate to fit in that category. But, if you are a publisher or writer, you are probably trying to reach Mr. or Ms. Average.

I got lumped into "average" this time because I don't read your ezine. Nope, I really don't.

I get hundreds of ezines a week. And I have a life! I actually feel much better about myself having learned that the average email reader "reads" just as I do.

The average reader just scans your ezine or wonderful article looking for something of interest to him or her.

I know a lot of us put hard work in to what we write so it makes me feel bad that I have this habit. But, considering the volumeof emails I receive in a day, it's a matter of self preservation for me.

In order to assuage my guilt trip and do my penance, I wrote this article to tell you what slows MY warp speed scan down to click speed.

1. White space. Lots of white space gives my eyes a chance to refocus again. When I see line after line of type, the old brain just really seems to shift into high gear. Short sentences. Short paragraphs.

2. Headlines. Especially bold, concise headlines that sum up the paragraph to follow.

3. My name. Those of you that already use these nifty software programs that insert my first name every so often must know how well this works. It's kinda like the ol' brain says "Hey, they must have written this just for me. I'd better read it!"

4. Bulleted or numbered lists. You are giving me a list of all the wonderful benefits of your great product or how to get from "A" to "B" step by step. Please use a bulleted or numbered list. It is easy for me to scan your list and see if it pertains to my interests.

5. Emoticons. Yep, those cute little pictures that tell me you just made a funny :o) or maybe you are pulling my leg a bit ;-). Even the ones that tell me you are mad as heck about this :^( . They all draw my eye.

I hope these little hints will help you catch not only my attention but also all my "Average" kinfolk out there.

About the Author
Wonder Wyant is a retired carny and the editor of "Geeks, Freaks and Bamboozles", a free ezine about both the carnival she retired from and the one she retired to. Subscribe free at Or visit (


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