Business readers are content-driven, pressed for time and interested in solutions for their business issues. Show your readers that you respect their time by writing effective, concise emails. Put yourself in their shoes and reflect that in your writing: "I know you're busy, so I'll get right to the point."
Keeping this in mind, here are five tips for writing effective business communications:
1. Get to the point
- Beginning with the first sentence, your reader is asking, "Why am I reading this?" Answer the question right away. You aren't writing a suspense novel; you're writing for business readers. It's not only okay, but it's essential to give away the ending. Readers decide in the first few sentences whether or not to continue reading.2. Use simple language
- Skip grandiose language
and business lingo. No matter how sophisticated your potential customers may be, weighing down your writing with buzzwords, acronyms, or jargon can be confusing. Use simple, everyday words to communicate clearly with your readers. Make sure each word makes sense and clearly contributes to the message.3. Be concise
- Keep in mind that your readers are time-pressed, and get your point across with efficient, hardworking sentences. Shorter sentences maintain interest and give your points more impact. Don't let your message get buried in long sentences or paragraphs of text. Edit and rewrite long, complex sentences into shorter, digestible chunks. 4. Use the active voice
- Using the active voice will help you write concise and powerful sentences. Here's an example of passive versus active voice:
The flexible, easy to implement lead generation programs offered by BuyerZone make it a leading choice among growing companies.
Written in the active voice, the sentence is clear and easy to read:
BuyerZone is the leading choice among growing companies, offering flexible, easy to implement lead generation programs.
This sentence is shorter, to the point and the reader is less likely lose interest halfway through. Using the active voice brings clarity to your writing. 5. Include a clear call to action
- Clearly identify the next step the reader should take with a strong call to action. Don't be vague. Use active voice and command your reader to act: "Click here to sign up for our email newsletter."
Bonus tip: Make it easy to read quickly
- As you proofread and finalize the lay out, make sure your communication is easy to read quickly. Use headlines, small paragraphs and bullets so readers can find a particular point or piece of information quickly and easily.
All businesses, large or small, need effective marketing messages to capture the attention of potential customers and create sales. Following these tips will help you write clear, concise and compelling business communications. If you're already an experienced business writer, please share your tips below.