Regardless of your overarching organizational scheme, adhere to fundamental principles whenever writing to persuade your reader. These principles make your documents easier for customers to understand and improve the likelihood they will choose your proposal.
Persuasive communications conform to five fundamental organizational principles:
- Organize information as directed or according to the customer’s needs. Customers expect you to follow instructions for organizing your proposal response. They are interested in what benefits their organization, so organize based on instructions, and focus on customer needs and benefits, not just your solutions.
- Group similar ideas. Paragraphs should only address a single idea. The alternative is greater complexity, length, and confusion.
- Place your most important messages first. Readers assume the first items discussed are most important; make it so. Do not bury your persuasive message.
- Keep setups short. Setups are a short introduction to a proposal section and help the reader establish context. However, the longer the setup, the more readers you might lose.
- Use headings to guide readers. Like a road with clear sign posts, headings help keep readers on track, improve clarity and understanding, and enable readers to jump to any topic of interest.
The Shipley 4-box Organiser tool helps you to sort your information so you can develop content according to these principles.