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This post is continued at How can I make this sound better? ( part 2 )

Thanks for signing up for the Tip for Tip beta.

We’re really excited about the launch and we wanted to let you know hat you’ll be the first to get in when we pull back the covers.

I also wanted to mention that we're stoked you’re on board already and to show our appreciation we want to let you know you’ll all be VIP members. While we don’t exactly know the scope of what that entails yet, we do know that when we want to distribute a special feature, pricing, or other Tip for Tip community advantage y’all will be the ones who get the special treatment.

We’re going to make everyone who has signed up in the system a VIP member when the time the countdown timer ends at http://www.tipfortip.com , so be sure to spread the word so others get this one-time opportunity to be the first group and VIP in the next big thing.

Thanks again!

Cheers, Kirk and the Tip for Tip team

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You mean, that instead of hat? –  alexy13 Apr 4 '11 at 0:58
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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Okay, it's clear that you're writing this in a web-based context, so my recommendation is based on the fact that I'm a web-designer first, and a writer second.

Quite simply your text is far too long to be useful in any way.

It's a sad fact of internet life that people just do not read long-winded instructions/emails.

Steve Krug, in his book "Don't Make Me Think", notes that brevity is far, far more effective when writing for the web.

His number one tip is to write what you want to say, and then rewrite it so that you halve the numbers of words. (At which point he suggests you try halve it again, because it's probably still too long).

Use short, snappy sentences. Remove as much of the "fluffy" bits as possible. Question every sentence and every word. Don't repeat what you've already said in the title, or what the reader already likely knows. Brevity is your friend! Remember: it isn't perfect because there's nothing left to add, it's perfect when there's nothing left to take away.

If it were me, I would simply write something like this (and even this is too long, and I'd spend time trimming it down).

Thanks for signing up for the Tip for Tip Beta!

We'll email you as soon as the beta begins.

Alternatively, visit TipForTip to see how much longer until we start the Beta.

And because you signed up early, we'll be making you a VIP Member.

What does that mean? Well, we can't tell you yet; it's a secret.

Oh, and if you get your friends to sign up before the countdown finishes, we'll make them VIP Members, too!

Thanks again!

Cheers, Kirk and the Tip for Tip team

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I'm voting against the "we can't tell you yet" thing - If I got an e-mail like that, I'd delete it on general principal. I don't want someone being coy with me, especially considering that I'm probably not all that enthusiastic about the 'privilege' being offered in the first place. –  Kate Sherwood Apr 4 '11 at 10:32
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Well, to be fair, I just wrote it on the spur of the moment to illustrate my recommendations. What I wrote is not what they should use, it's a starting point to consider (which is why I said, "I would simply write something like this"). Sorry, I should have made that clearer. –  Craig Sefton Apr 4 '11 at 10:34
    
@Craig, some great insights here - thank you! –  Kirk Strobeck Apr 4 '11 at 14:54
    
This post is continued at writers.stackexchange.com/questions/2392/… –  Kirk Strobeck Apr 4 '11 at 15:07
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+1 for the marvelous definition of 'perfect' in the context of web-based verbiage - not nothing left to add, but nothing left to take away. Sound advice, snappy maxim. –  FumbleFingers Apr 4 '11 at 15:27
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I'd simplify it quite a bit:

We’re really excited about the launch and we wanted to let you know hat you’ll be the first to get in when we pull back the covers.

We ARE really excited, we WANTED to let you know - verb tense issues. Pick one, and stick with it. And mixed metaphor - 'get in' and 'pull back the covers' sound like a bed...but beds don't launch, right? Again, pick ONE.

I also wanted to mention that we're stoked you’re on board already and to show our appreciation we want to let you know you’ll all be VIP members. While we don’t exactly know the scope of what that entails yet, we do know that when we want to distribute a special feature, pricing, or other Tip for Tip community advantage y’all will be the ones who get the special treatment.

Stop 'wanting to let people know.' You're WAY overusing that phrase. Even once is a bit redundant, since the fact that you're sending them a message makes it pretty clear that you want them to know something. Just go with "We're stoked you're on board already, and to show our appreciation we've made you all VIP members." And you've got parallelism issues, I think, with 'pricing' jumping out of nowhere. I'd simplify that sentence, too, and make it more like "We aren't sure of all the details yet, but we plan to reward our VIPs with things like special features, lower prices, and other advantages."

We’re going to make everyone who has signed up in the system a VIP member when the time the countdown timer ends at http://www.tipfortip.com , so be sure to spread the word so others get this one-time opportunity to be the first group and VIP in the next big thing.

I honestly didn't understand the first part of this paragraph at all. Did you mean to delete either "the time" or "the countdown timer"? Maybe try: "This offer is limited to those signed up by the end of the countdown at http:etc. Be sure to spread the word so your friends can also take advantage of this opportunity to be VIPs in the next big thing." Or something. Like I said, I didn't really understand the paragraph, so I'm not sure if that's what you were trying to say.

Overall - extra words just get in the way. If they aren't doing a job, they need to get kicked out.

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great rundown - thank you very much! –  Kirk Strobeck Apr 4 '11 at 14:53
    
lol, btw the covers were meant to be more of a car reveal than a bed, hahaha –  Kirk Strobeck Apr 4 '11 at 14:58
    
This post is continued at writers.stackexchange.com/questions/2392/… –  Kirk Strobeck Apr 4 '11 at 15:09
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To add to Kate's answer, you start with "we" then shift to "I" then go back to "we".

Also, until you decide what being a VIP member means, what's the point in offering it?

And get rid of the "ya'll." It's not cute, it's annoying.

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good catch about "we." The idea behind the VIP is to let them know that not everyone will be equal in the end, special consideration will be made for those who signed up for something they know little about ( it helps us in testing ). y'all? no country music for you I assume :P thank you! –  Kirk Strobeck Apr 4 '11 at 14:56
    
This post is continued at writers.stackexchange.com/questions/2392/… –  Kirk Strobeck Apr 4 '11 at 15:08
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