Knowing how much or how little to say starts with being clear about your objective. Rarely is it our job to turn readers into subject-matter experts. Mostly, we’re in the business of motivating people to action.
If your objective is purely to educate, then sure, every additional argument adds value. But if your objective is to persuade, then only the most persuasive argument is needed—anything more is a distraction.
There might be ten reasons your supporter should care or take action today, but perhaps they only need to hear one. It’s your job to figure out which one, and run with it. Cutting non-critical words, sentences, and paragraphs is hard. Consider what your audience cares about most. Are they motivated by ethics? Science? Where’s the urgency? Work with that.
If you’re struggling, try this thought experiment: Imagine you’ve just inspired your supporter with an important email (or web page). Later that day, they share what they’ve learned with a friend over coffee. Knowing that they won’t remember everything, what are the key points (or point) you’d most like your supporter to repeat to someone else? Say that.
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