The Red Jacket Diaries blog

Sue Horner is a freelance writer in Oakville, Ontario, who blogs about writing, newsletters, communications and running an independent business in The Red Jacket Diaries blog.

Help readers understand when you explain

Noise is a big issue around airports. A jet taking off can produce an average of 100 to 120 decibels. That’s as noisy as it is in the front row of a rock concert. If, like airports, your business makes noise that’s affecting your neighbours, you want to show that you’re aware of the issue. […]

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Is long the best length for a blog post?

Long? Really long? Or short? You’ll find all kinds of advice on the internet about how long you should make your blog post. This is top of mind these days with the results of Orbit Media’s 2017 survey of 1,000+ bloggers, which show: The average blog post is 1,142 words. This is 41% more words […]

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What’s the best length for my e-newsletter?

“How much content is too much content in a newsletter?” wondered reader Danielle Wintrip (of Wintrip Communications) after my post with quotes about e-newsletters. Good question, which I’m going to rephrase as “What’s the best length for my e-newsletter?” The quick answer is that “too much” varies, but you’re best off keeping your e-newsletter short. […]

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‘Best, cheapest, easiest’ and more praise for e-newsletters

Do you use an email newsletter to reach customers, prospects, blog readers or employees? If so, you know that e-newsletters are far from dinosaurs, and a recent online search for comment shows they are indeed alive and well. Here’s some praise for e-newsletters from 2017 and 2016: “What’s one of the most effective marketing tools […]

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10 tips for an effective non-profit newsletter

Email newsletters are one of the most effective ways non-profit organizations can stay in touch with supporters, and an “effective channel to send prospects to your fundraising page.” So says John Haydon, a digital marketing expert who helps non-profits and charities with marketing and fundraising. Not according to a blogger I came across this week. […]

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Tragically, Gord’s gone, but his words live on

Like many Canadians, I was dismayed to hear of the death this week of Gord Downie, just 53, quirky lead singer of Canada’s Tragically Hip. His diagnosis with an incurable brain tumour last year made the ending inevitable, but it still came as a shock. Like many musicians, Gord (if I may be so familiar) […]

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Businesses lose when they don’t follow up

When a company fails to follow up with a customer who is ready to buy, or who has stopped coming back for service, you have to wonder. Is business so great the people running the place don’t care? No, more likely the problem is lack of followup. Customers want help when they’re thinking about buying. […]

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Stop email subject line fail with one last look

The subject line – “Done like Thanksgiving dinner” – probably seemed appropriate, casual and timely to the marketers who sent the email. It rounded up things that would help you prepare and serve a Thanksgiving dinner, like a roasting pan, pots, glasses and dishes. Unfortunately, the sender was Sears Canada. Yes, that Sears, which a […]

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4 steps to boost your ranking with SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a fancy way of describing how to get you or your business in front of search engines like Google. The ideal is that someone searches for your name, of course, but SEO helps if the searcher doesn’t know you or have your name in mind. “Get into the head” of […]

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How to bury negative search results

Ouch. You Googled yourself and found false and nasty comments about you coming up on page one of search results. You need to take action. If someone has taken the time to smear your reputation, they are unlikely to respond to a polite request to remove or fix the post. (It’s still worth a try.) […]

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