Looking for a simple way to write more clearly and effectively? When you begin to write a letter, a memo, or an ad, start writing it to your mother.

Okay, it doesn’t have to be your mother. If you prefer, you could write to your best friend or your Aunt Agatha. The key is that you want to write to someone you know instead to of a faceless customer or peer.

For example, if you’re writing a letter to promote a product or a service, explain to Mom why she needs what you’re offering, why it’s a good deal, and how it will make her life easier. Then edit the letter gently to remove any personal references (such as comments about cousin Cindy’s new lifestyle).

If you’ve approached this process honestly, the letter, memo, or ad should be warm, friendly – and much more compelling than if you had started by writing to a generic prospect. And once you do this a couple times, you’ll find that it’s actually faster and easier to write to someone you know.