How to write effective business letters

Whether you’re a common consumer writing to a large business about one of their products or you’re the CEO of a company sending a memo to the accounting department, good writing skills can drastically change the impact of what you’ve written.

The first step in writing effective business letters is being able to project an air of professionalism. The easiest way to do this is to take care in choosing your words, avoiding slang and abbreviations as much as possible. Use good grammar structure, avoid run-on sentences, and be as knowledgeable as you can with your message. As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression; this goes double when the first impression you make is being made with plain white paper with nothing more than printed text on it.

When writing a business letter, it is also vital that you type or print the contents using a computer or word processor. If you have absolutely no access to either of these, it is acceptable to hand-write some letters… make sure that you write as neatly as possible, however! Whether hand-written or type-written, you should also make sure that the paper you use is a sharp white. Although clouds or rainbows might get the attention of whomever you’re writing to, it’s probably not the type of attention that you’d like to get. Keep it simple and neat.

When writing to a company or other business, try to be as specific as possible. Do your homework and find out to whom your letter should be addressed; this may mean looking up things online, or it might mean making a call and asking someone directly. While it won’t always be possible to find out the name of a specific person or that person addresses when you can find a name it will likely make a world of difference.

After all, which sounds better: a letter addressed to “Mr. Phillip Jones,” or one that’s simply addressed Dear Sir or Madam or “To Whom It May Concern”? In particular, “To Whom It May Concern, while once perfectly acceptable, is now considered to be in poor taste and should be avoided at all costs.

A final point that should be considered when writing business letters-spelling. Before sending off any business correspondence you should run it through at least one spelling check, if not two. After checking the spelling, read through the letter to check for homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently), since most spell checkers can’t pick up on words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong way. While reading, you should also be on the lookout for any words or phrases that seem awkward or out of place so that you can change them before you send the letter off.

Remember though, in the end it’s up to you to find your own style of correspondence and that no guide can tell you the “right” and “wrong” ways to write in your own personal style. However, if you apply these suggestions and incorporate them into your writing practices, both your business and personal writing skills will likely improve drastically.

Remember though

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