My earliest marketing experience was writing direct mail for IBM. It's great training for a copywriter because you become acutely aware that people will read your work while standing next to a trash can.
That teaches you that the first job of a marketing piece -- is to sell the marketing piece. Don't expect readers to wade through lengthy text that only gradually builds a case for your product. They're busy and just itching for an excuse to move on. The trash can beckons.
Instead, establish early on what's in it for your reader. State the key benefit in your headline, in the first sentences of your cover letter, in subject line of your e-mail. Include an up-front mention of what readers will gain from paying attention to your message.
The difference between "flush out" and "flesh out"
"The basic outline of our message is there. We just need to flush it out."
Um, maybe you want to rethink that?
When you add meat to the bare bones of an outline, you flesh it out. "Flushing it out" is more like sending it down the pipes. Not what you meant to convey (unless maybe it was).
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When you message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.