Keeping It Interesting

Keeping It Interesting

Whether it’s a sales letter, proposal, or other business correspondence, it’s important to keep things interesting to the reader. A couple of ways to do that are to make good use of white space, bite-size paragraphs, and an enticing first paragraph.

Good subject line:
If your writing has no subject line, you’re likely in trouble from the start. Since no one has time to do anything these days, spending 10 minutes to read through your whole paper is going to be out of the question for all but the Maytag repairman.

That said, how should your subject line be? First and foremost it should offer a very concise, one-line summary of what the paper is all about. A secondary consideration—but a very important one—is that it should, if possible, be likely to appeal to or interest the reader. Always use a “What’s in it for the reader?” approach.

White space:
One sure way to keep your writing from being read is to have a huge block of text with no breaks. To the reader, it looks like an impenetrable brick fortress that it’s best to just leave alone. After all, it’s no fun to read halfway through something like that, only to lose your place and then have to find it again. So, keep the paragraphs short, say, between two and five sentences.

Captivating first paragraph:
If you can’t grab the reader’s attention within about 5 seconds from the time your paper is first examined, it’s likely going to end up in the dustbin. What you need in this part is a tasty little summary of what’s in the paper, or of what your company can do for the company to whom the correspondence is addressed. The point is that you want to make the reader interested enough to read the rest of the document.

These are just some of the ways to help make sure your business writing gets read and acted upon. For more tips, keep checking back.