This is a guest article by William Grigsby. If you are interested in submitting a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
In a survey that was conducted in 2004 by the National Commission on business writing among some 120 American companies, it was estimated that major corporations spent over $3.1 billion on employees’ deficiencies in writing. Additionally, about 74% of web browsers were found to pay attention to the quality, grammar, and spelling of company websites. More than 59% of people were found to prefer not doing business with a company which has an obvious mistake in grammar in their write-ups.
The problem is, the internet has converted the business world into a small village, and such figures can translate to huge losses.
Seeing the imminent dangers poor business writing can deliver to a business, wanting to improve your skills or even those of your employees should be somewhat of a reflex action. Here are some handy tips that could help you avert a PR crisis and improve your customer conversion.
Business is all about facts and figures. The same should be reflected in your writing. You need to use facts, statistics and detailed information that can easily be substantiated. Providing relevant but concrete examples and using active and precise verbs also makes the writing more actionable and relatable among the readers.
Go all out!
The greatest mistake you can make in business writing is holding back. Your readers are in most instances looking for information and affirmation. Ensure you provide them with all the necessary information they need. Go out of your way to answer any questions asked and if not, respond to some of the implied ones. It might be a good idea to throw in some extra information that could be helpful to your customers or clients in your content.
Being authoritative is important. But, there is a thin line between being rude and authoritative. You have to be polite and always have your audience in your mind. Always consider how the message you’re trying to convey will be received. In your writing, ensure to emphasize on the use of words like “you” instead of “We” or “I.” The idea is to make it more about the audience than the business itself.
Make it loud and clear
A good writer conveys his message in the least number of words possible. The same prevails in business writing. Avoid being too wordy and having vague statements. If possible, it is best to use an active voice while trying as hard as possible not to be misquoted or misinterpreted in the process.
Take it all the way home
You have a duty to deliver a point to your audience. Don’t deviate from this. Get to the point as fast as is possible using short and effective sentences. While the sentences should be short, they shouldn’t sound choppy. Make sure your message is clear and only relevant information is included and in an active and reasonable manner.
It is commonly stated that writing in any form is a ‘personal’ thing. It is easy to let your own biases be the center of your writing. In business writing, this can prove to be suicidal. In the same light, try and avoid using the first person or using terms that are emotionally charged. For a professional and more convincing touch, present both sides of the story in each piece you write.
Keep everything simple
Unless you want your readers to make a run for the Oxford dictionary (which they will not appreciate), it is a good idea to compose your writing in simple and straightforward English. Readers love an unclouded message that hits home with ease and is even easier to understand.
Keep emails below or at five sentences
Truthfully, unless you’re explaining how your reader is going to collect their jackpot winnings, they will never read past three lines. As much as you have plenty to say, you don’t want to bore your readers to death. You want the recipient to be able to read the email and respond to it easily even when they’re using their Smartphone. Keep your emails short and sweet. Five sentences or shorter is best.
Domesticate your enthusiasm
It is usual to feel very pumped and energetic while writing. However, you might want to use those exclamation points sparingly. The more you use them, they less impact they have. Also, make sure that you keep the sign-offs professional yet warm. Use words like “Best” and “Regards” to sign off.
Invest equal effort on the headline copy
On average, eight out of every ten people will read the headline of the copy and move on. Only two take the trouble of reading the content. You have to be able to capture their attention from the headline and through the content. Furthermore, a good heading tends to attract more audience to read.
Enhanced business writing skills can make or break a brand. You’re the communication tool between the readers and the business. You create the ties between the firm and the audience. It’s paramount to make sure that those relations are positive and portray the company in the right light. These tips will surely help you make that job much easier.
About the author: William Grigsby is working in a professional writing service. He has eight years experience in business writing. He is a day writer and night dreamer. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @willgrgsb.