Business Etiquette for Letters and Email

In business, you need to understand that writing business letters is completely different from writing informal letters. Business letters should be concise and crisp. They should always be accurate. If you are in sales (aren't we all!), your letter may be the first impression that you make on a client.

A well-constructed business letter is much easier to read and understand. You should plan your letter well before writing it, and be precise and to the point. Always use the minimum number of words to get your message across. It is also important to space out the letter by using appropriate paragraph breaks, to make reading it easier.

Do's And Don'ts

Do not use technical terms and jargon unless it is absolutely necessary, as your reader may not be familiar with those terms. Always use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Always be polite, and make a request rather than a demand.

If you have a detailed message to convey, it may be simpler to break it down into two letters. You could send the first letter, following it up with a phone call to check whether the recipient has understood the message, before sending the second one. You should not use informal terms in your initial business letters. However, you can be less formal once you have developed a relationship.

Never use shortcuts in formal business letters or emails — you're not sending a text message! Always keep a copy of the document sent for business purposes.

Once you have written your letter, read it before sending it and check for any errors.

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