Effective Copywriting Tips to Help Win Your Next Bid
4 mins read

Effective Copywriting Tips to Help Win Your Next Bid

Written by

Blog hero - effective copywriting for bidsTenders are your path to winning new business. In addition to simply having the right process in place, the effectiveness of your bid response is what truly matters. You may be a great candidate, but your potential customer doesn’t know this. Here’s where effective copywriting comes into play. But what is copywriting for bids? How can you ensure a clear and persuasive response for the Buyer? And what are some helpful strategies to guarantee your content retains the Buyer’s attention? We’ve done the work for you, so read on for some valuable bid copywriting tips!

What is copywriting for bids? 

Your proposal is essentially proof of your potential as a suitable supplier. Tender contracts are competitive, and procurement wants to know precisely what you have to offer. Copywriting for bids is the process of creating clear, compelling text (copy) that reflects your capability of meeting contract requirements. The strategic content of a bid response demonstrates how you qualify and why the procuring team should consider you as their preferred supplier.

Copywriting best practices for bids and proposals

There’s no doubt that writing skills are critical regarding tenders. But there are some simple and effective strategies you can use to leave a memorable first impression along with a convincing proposal. Here are four practical steps to boost your copywriting skills:

1. Understanding the tender or bid request
Strategic processes help you navigate any project with clarity and direction. Before grabbing that pen to note down your answers, it’s essential to understand the contract requirements. Your first step in content creation and copywriting should always be thoroughly reading the tender document. A thorough read of the entire document and multiple files may require several revisits. While it’s common for tenderers to feel like they know the answers and have all the information, there’s a much greater requirement for carefully mapped-out content. Understanding what matters to the procuring team is a big step forward in your strategy to answer each section of the bid request effectively. After reading through the tender documents, ask yourself some high-level questions such as:
  • What are the key features that procurement is looking for?
  • What are the key deliverables for the contract?
  • How well does your offer or service align with the deliverables?
  • What is your unique value proposition?
  • Can you provide demonstrated experience to deliver the contract?
  • Are there any clarifications you need from the Buyer?

2. Creating a content plan and strategy
Once you’ve understood the contract and requirements and requested any clarifications, you can move to step two. Here’s where you discuss and design your content strategy. This can be done in several ways. Some organisations prefer to tackle this head-on with a team meeting. A more effective approach is using content management or project management software to break down your bid response strategy. Listing out each item of the response schedule makes it easier to plan the approach and allocate sections of the response to the relevant people. This also helps with understanding and traceability, ensuring that your team has covered every requirement thoroughly and provided attachments where necessary. You can also list your unique value proposition so that your answers represent these benefits to the Buyer. An ideal process would be to engage your team in a group discussion and then use the outcomes to fill up the content strategy board. Your project management tool is also an excellent resource for creating and adhering to your bid response timeline. Effective copywriting is critical, but a timely submission is equally important.

3. Creating a structure for your content
Most bids require detailed and lengthy answers, often due to the amount of information requested. You may have a lot to write, but the evaluation panel may lose interest without a proper structure to your response. The key here is to keep the reader engaged and ensure they don’t lose track of the message you’re trying to convey. Good practice in effective copywriting is creating clear, compelling headings for each response item. An effective heading structure can help the evaluation panel understand your content and whether you’ve answered the request in full. Here are some tips:
  • Use professional language
  • Keep headings simple and concise
  • Circle back to what’s asked and make sure you’ve covered each item
  • Add multiple headings to highlight important aspects of the response
  • Use headings when citing references to appendices or attachments
  • Use terminology that aligns with the evaluation criteria and shows your understanding of the question that’s been asked
  • Use font styles that are distinct and easily recognisable so that headings and sub-headings don’t create confusion for the reader

4. Drafting the body of the response
Now that you have the base structure of your response in place, you can begin adding content for each heading. Here’s where you’ll be utilising your strategic copywriting skills. Your goal is to answer comprehensively and back up your claims with persuasive language. The Buyer wants to know what makes you their best choice. It’s important to remember that there’s a fine line between copywriting and marketing copy. You aren’t here to sell but demonstrate your capabilities and value-add offering. Here’s how you can create copy that clearly articulates your ability to match the customer’s bid requirements.

Additional tips when copywriting for bids

  • Make sure your language is simple and easy to read.
    It’s best to avoid wordy sentences that may confuse the reader. Be clear and concise.
  • With each response, reflect on what matters the most for the customer.
    What concerns are they trying to address? Is your copy aligned with the specifications criteria? Each question is unique and should be answered strategically. This means maintaining a flow and coherence that keeps the reader interested and allows them to see how you fit the bill.
  • Focus on your unique value proposition.
    You want to highlight everything that makes you a great fit and demonstrates your experience for the contract. Read more about unique value propositions.
  • Use evidence to support your claims.
    Evidence can be in the form of statistics, testimonials, achievements, certifications, or reports that provide credibility to your statements. You’re awesome, and you know it. But they should find out this information from your previous clients or completed projects. Read more about how using evidence is critical to winning tenders.
  • Summarise key points
    If you’re referencing policies or plans, be sure to add a summary of key points from the policy within the actual body of the response. While attachments may be mandatory, specific policies or procedural documents can be difficult to skim through.
    Note: Optional documents such as appendices are not a compulsion for the reader. If you’re submitting appended documents, ensure the high-level summaries of these documents are added to your response. Appendices are only to provide further information should the customer wish to dive into the details.
  • Use clear and relevant examples to support your experience.
    Maybe you’ve worked on a similar project in size and scope. Now is your chance to highlight how you accomplished such projects and the positive outcomes or benefits for your previous customers.
  • Use visuals where appropriate.
    Visuals may include tables, charts, figures, screenshots, or infographics. These resources are extremely valuable for succinctly communicating your message. They provide an at-a-glance view and represent data with more uniformity and clarity than lengthy paragraphs of text. Adding brief notes to explain the visuals can work wonders.

Check out our resources page for more tips and tricks on how to write a winning bid.


Spread the word