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TIPS FOR WRITING BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE BY EMAIL

Emails are a significant part of business communication, although they haven’t totally taken over from the more formal letter.

A recent entertaining article about historical guides to letter writing in the BBC online magazine got us thinking about formal business emails and the difference between emails written on behalf of a company and those you might write to friends.

Since employers often reportedly complain about the standards of literacy, written English, spelling and grammar among younger people they employ we thought a checklist of basics for business emails might be helpful.

1. Spelling and grammar are important:

people do notice and it can raise questions about the attention to detail if a company’s email communications contain these sorts of mistakes.

2. Keep it clear and simple:

when responding to a query or an inquiry answer the points raised in order avoiding the use of industry jargon or abbreviations and acronyms that the reader may not understand.

3. Avoid text speak

While the guidance of such famous writers as Jane Austen in the past on letter writing included writing as you speak, in the less formal age of text messaging and tweeting, perhaps this advice is no longer so relevant especially in the business context – so avoid using text speak like “LoL” or “IMHO”.

4. Courtesy and restraint are important:

especially when responding to a complaint or criticism. A simple thank you for bringing an issue to the company’s attention before addressing the concerns raised may do wonders to defuse the situation.

5. Sign offs:

again, courtesy and a degree of formality shows professionalism.
And finally....

6. Wait and re-read:

if there is time, it is always a good idea to leave the written draft for a while then come back to it to check once again for spelling, punctuation and clarity as well as making sure any attachments are actually attached before hitting “send”.

If you’d like to read the original BBC article on letter writing, here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/q97xbd2

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