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Monday, January 4, 2016

One essential skill for students

There was a time when high school students learned how to write business letters. This part of the curriculum has not been updated and replaced with teaching how to write professional emails. 

Additionally, most colleges teach email writing only as part of marketing courses. 

As a result, most students are ill prepared for the professional world that awaits them.

Communication in the professional world: 

  • Workers spend about 11.2 hours or 28% of their workweek dealing with e-mails. 
  • Consistently, business owners and marketing people name email as their most powerful tool to convert potential customers into buying customers.
  • International trade demands that sales people and service providers communicate with their customers around the world by email.

In contrast: 

  • A 2012 study by Pew Research Center showed that 63% of all teens say they exchange text messages every day whereas only 39% pick up the cell phone to call and only 6% use email as a way of communicating.

In short, teens do not practice email writing.

The result of this is that even a graduate student wrote me this email (apparently without doubts):

Dear Gisela, 

Thank you for ur reply. 

Ur idea sounds really good, I will think of making some more market research and convert my dissertation into an ebook...that would be very beneficial for my name would be more recognisable ;) 

Anyway, I reckon u r a very busy person...but if you want, I could send you a set of questions I am addressing to various individuals about their reading experiences and views on print/ebook. It’s ten questions which need descriptive answering ;) 

Anyway, if you don’t want to get involved, that is absolutely fine :) 

I appreciate ur help already :)
Thanks a lot for everything.
Let me know what do you think of that.
Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Best wishes,

[Yes, I too wondered which college this graduate student attends.]

This is sad.

It is ironic that in the “olden days,” when competition wasn't as fierce as today, students were better prepared to communicate well in the business world.  

Today, the average American student who attends public colleges wrecks up $26,600 in college debt by the time they graduate. If they marry another student, together they owe $53,200. 

Getting a great job is the first step to paying off these debts, which is why learning how to write effective emails is so important. 


Email evangelist Gisela Hausmann is the author of ‘NAKED WORDS 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email’ and "NAKED TEXT Email-Writing Skills for Teenagers."

Her brand of ‘naked books’ tell things as they are - without fluff. 

Gisela graduated with a master's degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria.

If you like this blog please share below. RYX6ZF8QT9YW
Copyright 2015 by Gisela Hausmann

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Write Your Emails Like a Soldier in the Field

Imagine yourself being a soldier in Vietnam, long before cell phones, social media, and video chat were invented.  The only way you would have been able to communicate with family and friends was via snail mail. 

Replies meant that your base cared about you, that you were still ‘in the game’ even if it had been months since you saw your people last. Of course your family would never forget you but what about your girlfriend? Was maybe another guy trying to score with her and promising her bigger and better things? And, what about your buddies from school? Were they pushing their careers and maybe forgetting about you?

Considering that there was not going to be an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting anytime soon, you‘d weigh each word carefully. You’d brag a bit about heroic acts while at the same time you’d assure everybody that you were with a great team, that you had the very best support in case things got tight. You would write about your platoon and describe how they contributed. Also, knowing that each letter might be your last one, you’d make certain that you wrote how much you thought and cared about your loved ones. 

Most certainly, you’d never write platitudes, because every single word was part of shaping the life you would enjoy – if you made it out of the jungle.

In 2003 Donald Trump told Mark Burnett, the producer of ‘Survivor’, to forget ‘his Amazons and Africas’; in Trump’s opinion New York was the real jungle. Together they went on to produce ‘The Apprentice’. The show’s candidates wrote ‘letters’ too, only these were emails. They too weighed every word carefully; surely none of them wanted to get caught forgetting to put something important in writing, 

There are many more similarities between the war in this jungle and in that jungle. Not surprisingly, “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has become a cult book for business leaders. There are many parallelisms between the two, like focusing on the task at hand. Everybody has to succeed with his own mission and not worry about some distant front.  

Today’s business emails are as important as the US troops’ letters to their loved ones and friends; they are the building blocks for our future in business. Therefore

  • Never send a canned email. They hardly ever lead to exceptional success, just like military awards and decorations aren’t given for doing ‘canned actions’.
  • Mention your team, often. Nobody believes that a ‘lone wolf’ can be successful forever.
  • Write often to stay in touch. Everybody likes to read a friendly email for no reason, instead of only being asked for ‘care packages’.
  • Make each word count! When writing important emails apply Steve Job’s concept of wondering if he was doing what he would do if he knew it was the last day of his life. Similarly, write each business email as if this was your last chance to pull a major business deal ashore. This will lead to success.
  • Be personal! Just like the letters written during the Vietnam War your emails are the lifeline to your future. The result of each email should be furthering a relationship that will last a long time.

Email evangelist Gisela Hausmann is the author of ‘NAKED WORDS 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email’ and "NAKED TEXT Email-Writing Skills for Teenagers."

Her brand of ‘naked books’ tell things as they are - without fluff. 

Gisela graduated with a master's degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria.

If you like this blog please share below. RYX6ZF8QT9YW
Copyright 2015 by Gisela Hausmann

Friday, December 18, 2015

Why your subscribers don’t read your marketing emails


In his book “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers,” famed marketing guru Seth Godin pointed out the value of attracting people to subscribe to a newsletter or a blog; it gives producers an opportunity to collect the email addresses of potential customers. 

Word has gotten around since Godin penned his famous book in 1999; by now everybody tries to get permission to send “stuff.” 

Almost all marketing experts advise “Give your potential customers a free gift, something they want or might be interested in, and build your list.”

As a result the “permission-marketing-thing” is out of control! 

It’s become a vicious cycle!

People try to come up with enticing offers, other people subscribe to get these “free deals.” When the free deals turn out to be only teasers for expensive products, people are disappointed or not able or willing to buy the “real deal.” That lets the senders/sellers believe that they don’t have enough email addresses to sell enough goods, so they come up with more or better offers, and send more emails ... which their subscribers don’t open any longer ... and so on.   

One reason why people may not be willing to buy the real deal is because the many enticing offers of other producers who woo the same customer pool make buyers believe that they will get the information they are looking for – for free – somewhere else.  

Indeed, the efforts to collect email addresses have become quite creative. These days, around 20% of e-books contain an offer for a “free gift,” – a second book or a “free program.” Of course, to receive it readers have to surrender their email addresses.

Some email hoarders enlist the help of others. They collect addresses by running contests. People who want to participate need to motivate their friends to surrender their email addresses when they vote for their friends’ picture of the most adorable baby, cutest pet, or most beautiful book cover. 

I have a special, separate email address which I give at such occasions. I use it as my “probably-won’t-read Inbox.” Whenever I open that Inbox I delete 99% of all emails without ever looking at them. Most of my friends take similar steps; and, polls have revealed that the Millennials, who grew up with computers, change email addresses periodically, simply to erase all contacts with organizations, who they no longer want to hear from. 

Worldwide, these types of counter measures cause frustration to millions of business owners and marketing people who wonder what they can do so the people, who gave them permission to send them stuff, will read “the stuff.” Even though marketing experts like to talk about open rates, maximum delivery, and conversion rates, the small business owners who deal with the issue know this is just talk; they themselves delete marketing emails from others, every single day. 

In short: The concept of permission marketing email campaigns no longer works, and 

here is why:

Godin penned his book in 1999. Basically, he extended the concept of mail order marketing and adapted it to include the new tools – email and the Internet. At the time this concept was revolutionary and brilliant.

Seven years later, on September 26 a social media platform named Facebook invited everybody over the age 13 to join and share information just like so, which includes that we can read “stuff” without having to subscribe to everything that a particular source produces. The same year the online social networking service Twitter was founded. And, the photo sharing website Pinterest was launched in March of 2010. These are just three social media platforms of the many who invite us to “follow others” instead of having to give others permission to clog our Inboxes.  

At the same time search engines and blogging platforms became more advanced too, which combined with the fact that every elementary student knows how to search on Google made the need for marketing newsletters obsolete. If we want to know something, we can google it. Additionally, our friends who know us and who know what we like share postings, blogs, and visuals they think will interest us. 

If the Internet is a highway,

* the best marketers are like the drivers
who know that they are “sharing the road.”
If everybody wants to take the same exit
at the same time, it’s going to get clogged,
and traffic will come to a stand-still.

* social media platforms are like travel stops
where people meet and relax, chat,
have a cup of coffee, and
take their dog out. 

* blogs are like luxury group tour buses
which bring like-minded people
to vacation destinations.
Often, travelers form lifelong friendships
while traveling together.

* emails aren’t supposed to be seen as Greyhound buses
which provide cheap travel for many;
emails work best when we think of them
as limousines with liveried chauffeurs

who address each customer’s needs door to door,
and open the doors, too.


E-mail evangelist Gisela Hausmann is the author of  
“Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email” and 
Naked Text: Email Writing Skills for Teenagers.”
Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine. She is also a frequent guest on her local TV-station WYFF4-TV. 

Visit her at her website

© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann
© 2015 pic (traffic) by Double Brain via Shutterstock

Monday, December 14, 2015

2 simple action steps that will jumpstart every student's career

Once the New Year arrives high school juniors and seniors will turn their attention to the next  school year. There is lot to do and to think about: learning for standardized tests, researching and visiting colleges; and, seniors will be filling out college admissions applications and financial aid forms. Parents will advise and guide them and hope that their child will make best decisions for a successful career, which will also make them happy. 

There are two more actions that will have a major impact on students' success; luckily, they are relatively easy to do. 

1) Set up a Linkedin profile 

Opposite to setting up other social media profiles, creating a Linkedin profile will take some time. Also, if possible, students should try to get recommendations, which again will take time. Having a Linkedin profile demonstrates a professional attitude; additionally, the profile can serve as an extended resume.  

2) Learn how to write effective emails with personal appeal

Never mind how popular texting is among teenagers, nobody can text their way to a job. Since unfortunately, email writing skills are not taught in most schools, and not even in most colleges, learning how to write effective emails with personal appeal will help any student get noticed. Here is why. 

Students will need to write emails to apply for internships (and jobs) 

Studies show that 7 out of 10 internships turn into full-time employment. Internships are the fastest way to college credits, work experience, and making money.  Plus, internships are cool. Even Malia Obama interned last summer on the set of HBO’s “Girls.”

Excellent planners may be able to shortcut their way to earnings

Students who plan ahead and make contacts on Linkedin, for instance in Linkedin groups, will be able to contact influencers directly, via email. This may enable them to get their foot through the door of a company before a certain position is even advertised.  

Eventually, everyone who works in an office needs to write emails

A 2014 survey about the role of digital technology in online adults' work lives by Pew Research showed that the target group, online adults who also have full- or part-time jobs in any capacity, considered email their most important tool. 

This skill is even more important if a student wants to start his/her own business or a start-up for additional income. 

One-in-ten U.S. workers is self-employed and this number may be rising very quickly. Millennials are embracing entrepreneurism. Then again, three -in-four of all self-employed workers don't have any employees. That implies that they personally handle all business tasks, including writing business and marketing emails. 

The need for best communication skills won't go away

If we have learned anything over the last decade then it is that we don't know what is going to happen. The two things we do know is that the need for best communication skills as well as for expressing who we are and what we represent won't go away.

Currently, the average student loan debt for graduates from a 4-year college or university (graduating with a Bachelor's degree) stands at around $26,000. Which explains, why getting internships is so important. As mentioned, 7 out of 10 internships turn into full-time employment.

Students, who set up their Linkedin profile and work on their email writing skills right now, will be ahead of the crowd.

The time to act it now.


E-mail evangelist Gisela Hausmann is the author of Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email and "Naked Text: Email Writing Skills for Teenagers,"

Gisela Hausmann graduated with a masters degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine and many other publications. She is also a frequent guest on WYFF4-TV.


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Why the Famous ‘Edison Story’ May Hinder Small Biz Owners to Succeed

You have heard it…

I have heard it…

Our children have heard it and will hear it…

It remains to be seen if our grandchildren will hear the story correctly.

The story of Edison and his 5,000 light bulbs…
(This story is also being told with 700 light bulbs, and/or 10,000 light bulbs.)

No, I am not going to get into a debate whether Edison did invent the light bulb or not. For the sake of this story, let’s assume that Edison did invent the light bulb (which he did not per se) because this elaboration is not about the invention itself but about Edison’s famous quote:

“…I have not failed 5,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 5,000 ways will not work…”

Typically, this story is being told as an encouragement to not give up and/or to change one’s viewpoint on how to see failure.

For example, when speaking to a child, frequently, people say:

“Think of Edison, trying to invent the light bulb... 5,000 attempts... But, Edison did NOT give up… So, neither should you.”

The story is being told as a story about ‘endurance’ or about ‘viewpoints’. The poor children who hear this story probably envision Edison, sitting in a dark and moldy basement, sweat dripping from his forehead, checking off failed attempts,  and they try to ‘feel’ like Edison, never giving up and seeing things from an optimistic viewpoint.

Somehow, this version of Edison’s story always sounds like an epic Sisyphean task. That is because this approach puts emphasis on the wrong topic. In fact, many of the children who have heard the story this way may have grown up to become small business owners who may have failed because the wrong light bulb story was lingering somewhere in their subconscious minds.

The naked truth is that Edison did not know how many attempts it would take him. After all, he could have been successful with the 3rd attempt, or with the 17th attempt. Surely, he did not start out thinking, “Well, if I proceed quickly, I can go through 100 attempts till the next weekend.”
Edison’s story should really be a story about CREATIVITY.

When we fail, we need to focus on whether we can come up with a new, better way to attempt a solution to our problem.

•    Will we walk away or will we re-attempt with a new creative solution?

•    If and when we run out of ideas, can we partner with somebody who will find more creative solutions?

•    Can we form a think tank?

Additionally, the various retellings of the light bulb story never mention that Edison started out at Menlo Park laboratory, the first industrial laboratory ever, an ‘invention factory’, which in today’s language could be called a think tank. He was not working in a moldy basement.

The 21st century asks for more creativity than ever before in history. Should you get stuck in a brainstorming session at your company, you could tell Edison’s story all over again, this time, as a story about creativity and working in a conducive environment.


Gisela Hausmann is a marketing and mass media expert.

The author of seventeen books, she publishes books under her "naked" brand of books, meaning Gisela publishes "no-fluff" books.

Born to be an adventurer, Gisela has also co-piloted single-engine planes, produced movies, and worked in the industries of education, construction, and international transportation. Gisela's friends and fans know her as a woman who goes out to seek the unusual and rare adventure.

If you liked this blog please share!


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

For 2016 - My top 10 quotes on ACTION

An "old" year is almost ending and a new year is about to begin.
With it come hopes and plans.
We'll have to take action, personally and professionally.
Read my 10 favorite quotes on "action."


Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs


The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. –Amelia Earhart


The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb


When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. –Erma Bombeck


You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky


Eighty percent of success is showing up. –Woody Allen


You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus


Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair


Start where you are. Use what you have.  Do what you can. –Arthur Ashe


Gisela Hausmann is a marketing and mass media expert.

The author of seventeen books, she publishes books under her "naked" brand of books, meaning Gisela publishes "no-fluff" books.

Born to be an adventurer, Gisela has also co-piloted single-engine planes, produced movies, and worked in the industries of education, construction, and international transportation. Gisela's friends and fans know her as a woman who goes out to seek the unusual and rare adventure.

If you liked this blog please share!


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann

© picture by Frank Fiedler (Implementation of the Fibonacci sequence)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Marketing people know that “I…I…I… ”- emails don't work

Find a list of all my blogs about the presidential candidates' e-mails here.


These six presidential candidates sent out less than ten campaign emails since August 21.

Jim Gilmore   0
Rick Perry      0
Lincoln Chafee    1
George Pataki  1
Mike Huckabee   2
Jim Webb   5
Scott Walker  7 (+ 2 after his campaign ended)

Supposedly, Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, and Mike Huckabee are still running, though I haven’t seen or heard much of what they are doing. 

Rick Perry, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb, Scott Walker, Larry Lessig and now Bobby Jindal have dropped out. 

Probably, the concept that if you can’t or won’t hire an excellent email writer your campaign can’t really take off has merit. Larry Lessig dropped out because he was not getting invited to the TV-debates. 

However, Bobby Jindal, who dropped out of the race on November 17, appeared in four debates. Plus, he and his team sent 52 emails to his supporters. 

So, what went wrong?

Bobby Jindal holds the distinction of being the only candidate who never greeted his subscribers with even the briefest of all greetings – “hi.” 

This led to 17 of Mr. Jindal’s emails, a whopping 35%, beginning with sentences like:

(no greeting)
  • I just landed in California...
  • I just left the stage at the Reagan Foundation...
  • I wanted you to be among the first to know some exciting news: I just qualified...
  • I just released my new tax reform plan for America...
  • I know that we have been emailing you a lot lately...

“I...I...I...” Clearly these emails radiated that Bobby Jindal’s campaign was about him and not about the voters. 

Bobby Jindal’s latest, maybe final campaign email, began with the words: 

  • I cannot tell you what an honor it has been...


Another “I”...

  • How about thanking your supporters for showing up at campaign rallies and for donating money to your campaign? 
  • How about thanking your staff, who probably put in long hours... [American voters can relate to that and would value such a gesture...]
  • One brief, unspecific “thank you” in the subject line was all you could muster, Mr. Jindal?

Personally, I also find it interesting that these self-focused lines come from a man who called Donald Trump a narcissist and egomaniac at the National Press Club, September 10, 2015. 

Donald Trump’s campaign emails read:

  • Welcome to Team Trump! Thank you for signing up...
  • Please join us...
  • Dear Gisela Hausmann, Thank you for watching!...

Obviously, Donald Trump, who must have dictated thousands of business letters in his life, is aware that that positive words which acknowledge the recipients, help to spread the message. 

So far this presidential campaign has been full of surprises. It remains to be seen if we'll see more of that and Donald Trump will adapt his speaking style to the style of his emails. 


E-mail evangelist Gisela Hausmann is author of Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email and "Naked Text: Email Writing Skills for Teenagers,"

Gisela Hausmann graduated with a masters degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her work has been featured in hundreds of print and online publications. She is also a frequent guest on WYFF4.


© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann