In business, communication is key. Whether it’s a question of forging new relationships, presenting information about your products or services, or explaining a concept or idea, poor communication will hold you back.
And, with so many other areas to prioritise in that ever-tight budget, communication can all-too-often be a last-minute consideration. If this sounds familiar, don’t panic; use these top tips for business correspondence, so that your business isn’t let down.
How to write the address on an envelope
While you could be forgiven for thinking email has taken over the world, the traditional letter is still used in business. It is more formal than email and is often chosen when sensitive or official information needs to be conveyed. Having said that, many of us are out of practice when it comes to using the correct conventions especially writing the address correctly on an envelope. This is the first thing your client will see, so it needs to be just as professional as its contents.
Make sure you write your recipient’s address clearly in the centre of the envelope, ensuring you use the postcode. If your letter is destined for overseas, write the country in capitals at the bottom of the address. The stamp (double-check you have the right one – large letters need a ‘large letter’ stamp!) goes in the top right-hand corner, with a small gap between the edge of the stamp and the perimeter of the envelope. Your own company’s name and return address need to go on the back of the envelope, too.
Make writing a priority
Many of us spend much of our work staring at a screen. Why not approach your business correspondence differently, and handwrite your first draft? Sometimes our ideas flow better and more freely using good old-fashioned paper and pen. Jot down your initial ideas and consider getting personalised pens made. This will serve two purposes: it will help keep you focused while writing down your initial ideas or filling in the envelope. Equally, giving them to your clients shows you’re professional and serious about effective communication. Plus, whenever your client uses your printed pen, they will be reminded of your company.
When it comes to the actual content of your correspondence, less is more. Nobody appreciates jargon words, so stick to the basics. Keep your message clear and to the point, and eliminate any fad words you might be tempted to use; take a look here at these humorous examples of what terms you should avoid at all costs! Including a call to action with clear instructions is more likely to get the outcome you are after, so make it easy for your client to do what you want them to do – and give a time incentive, so they do it now, rather than filing your letter away to do later.
Whatever your business correspondence seeks to achieve, following these handy tips will help you out. So, put pen to paper and get writing!