How to Write a Great Business Letter
Though we live in a world in which most correspondence is accomplished electronically, the old-fashioned business letter on paper is not entirely obsolete. Writing a great business letter is a skill that all business owners must have, and if you require your employees to write business letters, you must provide them with the education on how to write a great business letter, too.
Younger employees, especially, are very dependent upon writing/corresponding using only electronic media, but there may come a time when they will be called upon to write a business letter the old-fashioned way–in paragraph format to be printed out and mailed (or sent electronically). Here are some tips to write a great business letter:
- Keep it short by avoiding useless words and unnecessary information.
- Avoid cliches and other trite sayings.
- Use familiar language.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs.
- Write in conversational style, if appropriate (if it’s more formal, then use more formal language).
- Get to the point quickly (in the first paragraph).
- Stay on topic.
- Be sincere, friendly and professional.
When writing a great business letter, it’s important to use only active verbs, not passive. Here is an example of a passive verb phrase. Note how long-winded and formal it sounds:
- The documentation of the purchase will be provided by our marketing staff two weeks from today. (passive voice)
- Our marketing staff will provide documentation of the purchase two weeks from today. (active voice)
There are basically two formats used when writing a great business letter: block and modified block style.
To learn more about business letter writing and other aspects of being part of a successful business, please read other PaperDirect blogs on the subject of branding your business. And don’t forget to look at PaperDirect’s full line of business stationery, brochures, and business cards.