When you’re creating market and communications materials, content and design are important, but there’s a third consideration that deserves your attention: the voice used in the materials. No, not talking about the voice talent used in radio commercials – it’s the voice of the items you put into print.

What do I mean by voice? Ads, brochures, direct mail letters, and other communications tools stand in your place. They sell and inform for you when you can’t be there to do it yourself. In a way, you’re quietly sending a trusted employee into the homes and businesses of your customers and prospects.

When people read those ads and other materials, they hear that trusted employee’s “voice” through the words and sentence structure. It’s not a conscious thing; it just happens. Think of the times you’ve read a novel and later viewed a movie or listened to a taped version of it. A lead character speaks, and your mind protests. “He’s not supposed to sound like that.” You’re uneasy because you already heard the character’s voice in your mind.

Be sure the voice you use accurately reflect your company and its image, and keep it consistent. To verify that, read all of your materials out loud before improving them. If they sound exactly like the way the sales rep of your dreams would explain something to one of your favorite customers, you’ve found the perfect voice.