Before coming to the tips, let’s refresh a few simple rules in our memory:
- always indicate the subject of the letter;
- write politely and go straight to the point from the very beginning; otherwise, no one will read the message to the end;
- do not use many topics in one letter. You’d better follow the principle “one topic – one letter”;
- avoid complex grammatical structures: the text should be clear and simple;
- follow the structure: the letter should contain a greeting, main part, and conclusion;
- when sending a file, attach a couple of sentences to it (“Hello, here is the May report, if you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them!”).
To write a business letter without grammatical or lexical errors, use the following websites:
- onlinecorrection – here you can check grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation of the message, depending on the dialect.
- paperrater is a service where you can upload a document or paste the text and check it for spelling errors and the level of plagiarism.
- grammarly is a browser extension that helps you immediately find mistakes in the message.
Business letter structure
Dear Sir or Madam – use this phrase in case you don’t know whether an addressee is a man or a woman.
If all the titles and names are known, start the message like this:
Dear Mr. or Ms. + surname (you can use just a name if you want). For example, Dear Ms. Jamie Adams.
Don’t waste time, and highlight the problem:
I would like to, or I am writing to …
For example: I would like to find out about your partner program.
If you have any request, you can say this:
I would appreciate … or would be grateful if …
For example: I would appreciate visiting your conference.
When we offer help, we can start this way:
I would be happy or pleased to…
For example: I would be pleased to help you in preparing a conference report.
And if you have to refuse a person in his request, use the phrases:
unfortunately / I regret that / I am afraid that …
For example: Unfortunately, I can not write the article for you.
By the way, if you write on behalf of the entire company, it is better to use “we” instead of “I”:
Unfortunately, we can’t write an article for you.
And to show maximum politeness, you can add this phrase at the end of the letter:
Please let me know if you need more information.
Or something like “we are looking forward to your reply.”
It also depends on whether an addressee is familiar or unfamiliar to you:
Use “yours sincerely” for familiar ones, and “yours faithfully” – for the unfamiliar ones. You can write “best regards” or “best wishes” – it is universally appropriate.
In case you need to communicate via instant messengers or Skype, the level of formality is lower, and you can omit all those “best regards,” “sincerely” and “dear mister president.”
Now you are ready to carry on correspondence with colleagues and partners. All what is lacking is not to hesitate to write them first!