Check-list for making a commercial offer

An offer is an important and integral tool to attract customers. Whether your reader turns into a customer or a client or not will depend on how you write and compose it. An offer may be a failure if you do not make an offer properly.  As a rule, this part receives less attention than deserves. Here is the check-list which will help you increase the chances of a commercial offer considerably.   

  1. Make sure that the main text of your commercial offer (without supplements) is not longer than 2 pages. One page would be ideal.
  2. Check if you have been following the rule: a printed text – serif fonts, electronic text – sans serif fonts.
  3. Make sure that the font size of your letter is as comfortable as possible (for reading from the screen and in the printed form) – for example: Verdana 12, Tahoma 11, Calibri 14.
  4. Even if you are preparing a commercial offer on the base of an individual design (including a typesetting one), remember that reading “black on white” is more comfortable than “white on black”.
  5. If you use the colors, make sure that the document has not more than 2-3 color shades.
  6. Remember that a commercial offer made in colors (printed and electronic versions) is read more absorbedly.
  7. Your text should include not more than 2 different fonts, the more different fonts the less it is convenient to read the text.
  8. There is no need to specify your bank details at the top of your commercial offer near the contact data – you haven’t make a deal yet.
  9. In big companies commercial offers are registered and dated – before you send it, make sure that your offer has a date and a number (the date, by the way, should be actual).
  10. Check out that instead of the phrase “Commercial offer” you use a heading. An exception is the situation when you yourself are asked to send or prepare a specific “commercial offer”.  In this case, after the phrase “commercial offer” a short specification will be relevant. For example, “Commercial offer on promotion of the website __________ in Facebook”. It is written in two lines: the first is “Commercial offer” (in bigger font), the second – the specification itself.
  11. Make sure that the heading is not longer than two lines. 1 line and 3-5 words would be ideal.
  12. The heading of the commercial offer should be written in bigger font (comparing to the main text) and centered.
  13. Check carefully that your commercial offer does not have blank lines to fill in by hand (“________________”) – it looks like a template.
  14. Make sure that you use one type of aligning the main text (by the left side or by width), and that there are no visual blanks.
  15. Subheadings should be made in bold font. And, as a rule, they should be left-aligned.
  16. Make sure that the paragraphs in your commercial offer consist of not more than four lines.
  17. Check that the sentences are not more than two lines long.
  18. The width of the line most comfortable for reading is 60-80 characters with spaces.
  19. Make sure that the paragraphs have “the air” (a space, a blank line) between them.
  20. 0. Remember that enumerations should be made as a bullet or a numbered list (customers, advantages, characteristics, product versions etc.)
  21. Check if you have highlighted (that is, accented) the key points in your text by visual or graphic tools.
  22. Try to limit the number of words written in capital letters, especially in headings and subheadings.
  23. If you use direct speech or quotes in the text of your commercial offer – you better make them in italics or use a cursive.
  24. If you offer a product, make sure you attached a product photo to your commercial offer (from different angles). The “photos in action” work well, where the product is used for purpose already.
  25. In electronic text you should “attach” links to a certain phrase (especially when you call to action), than put them as they are.
  26. If you send a commercial offer by email,  it would be better if you don’t attach it as a document but put it in the letter field (especially in the form of a designer corporate template).
  27. No “smileys”!
  28. Make sure that in each case you use not more than one exclamation (question) mark.
  29. Don’t overdo suspension points.
  30. Make sure that postscript is visually highlighted – namely “P.S.”, not any other symbols. And moreover,  one postscript is enough for a commercial offer.
  31. The signature on the commercial offer should be made with blue paste or ink (on condition that the main text is in black).
  32. If you use supplements to your commercial offer – don’t forget to mention them in the main text. Besides, each supplement should have a number and a clear heading. For example: “Supplement #1. Efficiency evaluation”. In this case “Supplement #1” is aligned by the top right edge, and “Efficiency evaluation …” is a full-size heading.
  33. If you attach a business card to your commercial offer, don’t forget to fold the top right edge: according to business etiquette it means that you pass the business card with your own hand.
  34. Before sending the offer, test the quality of design. By email – send it to your second box. By fax – send it to another fax number and make sure everything is legible and clear.
  35. If you send a text document by email, you’d better transform it into a PDF format. You should remove visual underscore in green and red from the MS Word version beforehand, as they point out grammar inaccuracies.

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Check-list for making a commercial offer

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