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Friday
Dec052014

Tutorial: Sending an Email to your Representatives

A concise, well thought out email is one of the most effective ways you can influence lawmakers. Since lawmakers get hundreds of emails every day, here are tips to make your email have impact:

Keep it professional. Just because it is an email does not mean you should be casual. It is not the same as sending a quick note to a friend. Therefore, always:

  • Use proper capitalization and grammar.
  • Sparingly use bold, underlines, italics, all caps and exclamation points. 
  • Take a minute to run spell check and proofread your email before hitting the send button.

Always identify yourself. Establish that you are constituent and a member of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Be sure to include your physical address, even in an email. This is very important.

Get to the point. Clearly and simply state the purpose of your email in the first few sentences. Don’t have them wait until the third paragraph in order to know what you are asking. A great way to start:

Dear Senator Smith:

As a concerned constituent, business owner and fitness enthusiast, I ask for your support of (or opposition to) Bill #/ Bill Name.

Make it personal. After stating the issue and your position, talk about your connection to the issue. How has regular exercise at your health club impacted the life of a particular member, or your own life? What would this bill mean to you? Don’t share your life story, but do make a compelling argument.

Back up your argument. Provide specific, rather than general, information about how the legislation affects you and others in the community.

Ask for a response. Be clear about what you would like your legislator to do—for example, vote for a piece of legislation, co-sponsor legislation, or offer an amendment—and request a reply to your letter. Note: never demand a response.

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