Good communication skills are one of the core elements of successful business relationships. That’s a rare constant in the ever-changing business world. How you express yourself in writing is sometimes more important than spoken conversation. Unlike spoken communication skills, written communication skills create permanent records.
Written communication can increase the value of your work and help you establish strong connections. Knowing how to craft effective writing for business can improve your relationship with business partners, motivate employees to give their best, and get customers to purchase your products.
If you are ready to polish your written communication skills, here is what you need to know.
1. Define to Whom You Are Writing To
The recipient will define how you need to write. The first thing you need to do is to be clear about who the reader is.
Your message can’t be the same for your potential business partners you have never met, your faithful employee, and your Millennial audience. All elements of your writing from language style to using industry jargon depends on that.
It’s also important that you look back on your history. Did you already had an encounter, or is this the first time you are writing to this person? If you know the recipient from before, you can mention your previous correlation in writing to help them remember you.
2. Adapt the Tone to Purpose
The formality of the tone needs to be corresponding to the purpose of your writing. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve?
Do you want to get the clients to sign your proposal? Or do you want to encourage your employees to increase their productivity?
Using the proper tone will make your message effective. Therefore, be certain of your intentions.
3. Get to the Point ASAP
Be direct and deliver the information that the recipient came for. Beating around the bush will make the reader impatient and uninterested.
The sooner you express your thoughts, the faster you’ll catch the reader’s interest.
Diana Adjadjl, a director of communications at bestessayseducation.com and contributor writer at Medium, shared great advice:
“Start with the most relevant information and then follow by with less important content. If you share the crucial piece of information right away, the reader will instantly realize that your message is valuable, and consequently, they will keep reading.”
4. Use Active Voice
Sentences in active voice are more clear and straightforward. Putting sentences in passive voice eliminates the information on the subject or diminishes the subject’s relevance.
Take these sentences as an example:
- Active voice: The marketing department is organizing a promotional event on Friday.
- Passive voice: A promotional event will be held on Friday.
Sentences in passive voice can sometimes look incomplete or as if you are withholding some information.
In the business world, people want to know who is responsible for which action. That is why the active voice makes you more trustworthy in business communication.
5. Keep It Short
If you want to catch and retain the readers’ attention, you should aim for shorter content. Use short sentences and short paragraphs to create such content.
For effective business writing, you should omit:
- redundant words
- unnecessary phrases
- long sentences that can be separated into two
Be direct and concise. Why write “carry out an improvement” when you can simply say “improve.”
As most people tend to embellish their writing instinctively, you might need some help at the beginning to learn how to write concisely. You can turn to writers at writing services like TrustMyPaper for that purpose. Essay writing services have writers for all kinds of tasks. Not to mention that they are affordable and fast.
Another option is to get an editor who can check a few of your written content and give you some advice on how you can communicate in writing more concisely. Writing and editing services such as ClassyEssay have experienced editors who can conduct this review in no time.
6. Emphasize Key Information
The reader should be able to come back to your message and find the information they are looking for right away.
Also, people often skim the content first and then read the whole thing. For that reason, you need to highlight the crucial points.
This is where formatting comes in the picture. To make your content skimmable, you should:
- Use bullet points or numbering (for lists or steps)
- Put vital information in bold (such as deadlines)
- Use descriptive subheadings to break up the content
7. Add a Call to Action
In effective writing for business, call to action (CTA) is the final element that makes your writing well-rounded. CTA provides the recipient with information about the next step.
Depending on the type of message, CTA will encourage action or response. Whether that is to subscribe to your Loyalty Program or to contact you for further discussion on the topic.
The CTA should be placed at the end of the email. This makes it most notable.
Also, always make sure that you leave your contact information. In case the reader isn’t clear about what action they should take, they can give you a call or email to get all the answers.
Never hit that send button before you checked what you have written. It will take you less than a minute to proofread your content, but it will make a world of difference.
Sending messages with spelling or grammar errors will make you look careless. You can invest time and thoughtfulness in crafting effective written messages, but if it’s full of errors, the quality of that message will be ruined.
If you want to speed up the proofreading process, you can use a proofreading tool like Grammarly. Grammarly can be integrated with Gmail, Chrome, LinkedIn, and other platforms and proofread as you type.
Practice your written communication until you notice the improvement in your business relationships. These tips can be applied to any sort of business communication writing. Whether you are writing emails, press releases, business letters, or memos, reflect on these pieces of advice for effective business writing.