Selling by the Word
When you're corresponding with potential customers by e-mail, through your Web site or through direct mail and other printed correspondence, your sales techniques need to be tweaked so that they work even though the customer can't see the enthusiasm in your face or hear it in your voice. You need to transmit it through the words that you choose and the design on the page.
It's always critical to put the most important or most attention-getting information first in order to “hook” your customer into reading further, but this counts even more when it comes to electronic documents that can be deleted or left behind at the click of a mouse. You also need to make sure that your documents of any kind are well laid out or designed. You don't want your customers to be confused or even intimidated when they look at your page, whether it's on a computer screen or sheet of paper.
Ensure that you have a good balance between text and white space so that the document looks easy to read. Use bullet points to help achieve that balance and to highlight key items. Use exclamation marks and techniques such as bolding certain words to emphasize your main points — but don't overuse them. They tend to lose their impact when used too frequently and could lead to fatigue or distraction for the reader.
Writers use many techniques to make their words more powerful. Using the word “you,” for example, can connect your readers to the text more personally. And using active verbs (run, walk, sell) instead of passive verbs (instead of to be use is, are) could add power and energy to your writing.
Above all, make sure that the document reads well — that your spelling, grammar, and punctuation reflect well on you and your business. If this isn't your strongest point, have someone such as an editor read it over. Remember that this is your first impression: Make it a good one.