Tips for writing a tip sheet.

Grabbing attention is tricky, especially for a 10-item tip sheet written for an upcoming green sale. One reader in Portland asked for some advice on writing quick, concise tips. Take a quick look at what she had, then we’ll discuss some ideas to tighten it up.

“Reduce Super Market Packaging—It’s Super Easy!
Buy bulk to reduce packaging waste and to ensure that you only buy what you need. Fill up your own reusable containers at the store to eliminate the need for plastic bags. You can even bring your own measuring cup or scoop so you don’t have to eyeball the quantity. Buy less, spend less, waste less.

Storables Solution: Snapware Bulk Food Totes with handles.”

It’s concise, it reinforces the message of the sale, and it offers a useful tip.

A few basic observations:

  • Avoid repeating ‘buy’ and ‘need’ in the first and second sentences (respectively) by using synonyms or rearranging the words.
  • Let’s assume that grocery stores prefer customers use the individual scoops they provide for each item.

Now, Portland has many eco-minded inhabitants, but we can’t assume that everyone is on the bandwagon of reducing waste. Let’s broaden the appeal of the message by speaking first to the immediate benefits of buying bulk:

  1. It saves money. Packaged goods include the cost of designing, printing and assembly.
  2. It makes for a tidier, less cluttered kitchen. How? No more identical, half-full jars of spices, two or three opened packages of pasta, or other duplicate ingredients. It inherently forces organization on the kitchen.

Here’s what comes to mind first:

Reduce Super Market Packaging for Super Savings!*
Buying in bulk saves you money, tidies your kitchen and eliminates packaging waste. Bring your own reusable containers to the store and say ‘good-bye’ to accidentally buying what you already have at home. This small choice has a big impact as you’ll also reduce your need for plastic bags. Grab a Snapware Bulk Food Tote with handles to buy less, spend less, and waste less.

*What can I say? I’m a sucker for playful language. In all seriousness, a jovial even jocular tone with a little tongue-in-cheek lends itself to the friendly, inviting tone needed to attract customers to the sale. We are more receptive to ideas when we’re relaxed, so the light tone may even make the conservation message more palatable to skeptics.

***Do you have a question about writing? Would you like a fresh set of eyes on what you’ve got so far? Send it my way for some friendly, anonymous discussion on the Pivotal Writing Blog.***

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