End-of-year letters don't have to be dull and worthless. Earn trust and build loyalty by following these simple tips.

Annual wrap-up letters don't have to be dull and worthless. Earn trust and build loyalty by following these writing tips.

Company leaders often write wrap-up messages to turn the page on the current year and set the tone for the upcoming year. Great letters can build trust and increase loyalty with employees and clients. Warren Buffett's shareholder letters are legendary. Unfortunately, a poorly written message can have the opposite effect.

Before you hit send, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the message authentic? It's been a challenging year for most people and companies. Acknowledge the pain points and show appreciation for what worked well. Don't treat 2020 like every other year.
  • Does it set the right tone? Share one or two anecdotal stories that encapsulate what you're trying to say. It makes the copy intriguing and helps people connect emotionally.
  • Is the message concise? No one is interested in reading long prose. Keep it to one page with short paragraphs. Highlight essential content or include subheads and bullet points to make it skimmable.
  • Is the message valuable? Your audience is giving you the gift of their time. You must respect that time by providing something worthy of their attention.
  • Is your subject line catchy? If you want people to read your message, you need to get them to open it first.

Happy holidays!