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One of the most common mistakes in business writing is being too verbose.
The question to ask yourself when composing a business letter is, "Why say
something in 100 words, when I can say the same thing and do it more concisely with 75 words?" Keep in
mind that the intended recipient of your business letter is probably busy,
being pulled in eight different directions at once, and has a limited attention span.
In business writing, one also has to be careful about using jargon, technical words, or acronyms that not everyone will be familiar with. If you confuse or bore the person you're writing to, then your business communication will have been ineffective -- or worse, ignored.
Business letters, in order to get their point across and produce the desired response, should be well organized, broken up into plenty of paragraphs, and should transition logically from one thought to another.
Whether you're sending the business letter to one or thousands of people, it's important in business writing to convey an image of professionalism. You'll be taken more seriously and convey more credibility if your business letter is clear, tactful, and free from typographical errors... as well as any blatant abuse of the English language.
If it's an especially important business letter, or if it concerns a sensitive topic, you might want to do one of two things (or both):
1) After you've written the first draft, step away from it for an hour (give or take), and then return to it with a fresh outlook. Sometimes people lose their objectivity, when doing business writing, and need to revisit the business letter in a different state of mind. After taking a second look, you might find yourself wondering, "How could I have said that?" or realize that unless you reword the business letter, the recipient may be offended or take it the wrong way.
2) An alternative to stepping away from the business letter for a fresh perspective is: getting a second opinion. Ask a co-worker, boss, or associate what they think of the business letter and whether you are overlooking something. Ask them (in your own words) if the business letter is clear, easy to understand, and business-like without being too stuffy and impersonal.
Obviously a collection letter or a complaint letter would have a completely different tone than a congratulatory letter or a sales letter, but generally the objective of any business communication is to get your point across clearly, concisely, and, in many cases, persuasively. If some type of action on the part of the recipient is desired, it should be clearly stated exactly what you want the person to do. Sometimes imposing a deadline -- either artificial or actual -- will help motivate the person to respond in a timely way.
An alternative to writing business letters -- which, to some people, is equivalent to having root canal work done -- is to use business letter writing software.
Business Writing Tools: