Updated: Jan 25
Online and offline, effective writing is an important aspect of any organization. As a frequently used form of communication, writing can provide information, offer detailed instructions and can even relay ideas and suggestions. Create a checklist that includes essential steps necessary to effectively write communications so that your next writing piece is engaging and error-free.
Before you sit down to write, identify your reader. Get a clear idea of the person or persons who will read the communication you’re writing. Determine what questions they expect you to answer, what tone is appropriate, whether they are a busy executive or a loyal customer. Knowing the audience can help you select the format of your communication.
Email is the most used form of written communication in because of its rapid delivery, ease of use and ability to reach large audiences. We must understand the importance of professionalism when sending email as well as responding to them.
A Concise, Direct Subject Line
Every email you send should have a succinct yet descriptive subject line. This will help recipients determine its importance. Avoid relying on the "Importance: High" flag as so many people overuse this feature that its impact has diminished.
A Proper Greeting
It's become common for people to eliminate greetings in emails altogether. However, a greeting can help people easily determine to whom a message is directed, especially as cc'ing and replying to all have become common.
That being said, avoid replying to all unless everyone on the email chain really needs to read your reply. The same goes for cc'ing too many people on a single email. Be selective with your information, as most folks are dealing with overloaded inboxes.
Proper Grammar, Correct Spelling
Lingo and abbreviations that originated in the realm of instant messaging and texting have made their way into email. Even if your coworkers and clients don't call you out on your use of such shortcuts, avoid using them. An email could get forwarded to another client or a supervisor who may be appalled at your seeming lack of written communication skills.
Only Essential Information
It's fine to be friendly and a bit familiar in emails; however, try not to be too chatty. Put vital information as close to the beginning of your email as possible to ensure that your recipient actually reads it. If your messages run longer than a paragraph or two, they may not get read in their entirety.
A Clear Closing
End your email so that it's clear what you're expecting of the recipient and when. If you aren't specific, you probably won't get the response or action you need. If you want an opinion or permission, ask for it. If you need it by Tuesday, say so.
Finally, only use return receipts when sending a critical message that requires you to know when a message has been received and read; it's an invasive tool that could rub colleagues the wrong way.
Many now offer customer support via text messaging. And why shouldn’t they? It’s fast, convenient and efficient for both parties. Instead of hopping on a phone call, you can answer questions with texts or just check in without having to get on a phone call. Convenient, right? With SMS technology improving every day.
We know that over 39% of businesses already use some form of text messaging to communicate with their customers. And that many more are expected to adopt the technology in the coming years.
We also know that customers check their phones all the time. And that 67% would rather text with a business than talk or email.
There are also clear advantages to texting your customers. Text messages have up to a 90% open rate and a near 45% response rate. Compare that to email with a 20% open rate and 6% response rate.
How Can 3LS Global Help
Effective Business Communication (Speaking)
Understand how to ask open-ended questions
Recognize and decipher body language
Choose communication methods
Learn to be eloquent with all forms of communication
Develop impromptu speaking skills
Learn to read an audience in order to present information
Addressing Audience Interests and Objections