Business English Writing Tips
If you are a non-native speaker and you do business with native English speakers, you will need to learn to write effectively.
Writing perfectly isn’t really the main goal. What is important is learning the art of efficient communication. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing emails.
1. Keep them as short and simple as possible.
People in business are busy and don’t have the time or the energy to read a long email. This is not joy reading. They want to know the important information and nothing else. If you are scheduling a meeting, make the time, date, and location incredibly clear. Don’t waste time writing about other stuff that isn’t important to your objective.
2. If you aren’t sure how to use a word, don’t use it.
This is not the time to try to show off your new vocabulary. Most native speakers write in a simple manner anyway, and using unnecessary vocabulary looks unprofessional. It really looks bad if you try to use a word and use it in the wrong way. Stick to what you know.
3. Make a list of questions you think the other person would like answered.
Make sure you answer all the questions on that list. It is annoying to read someone’s email and find out you need to send them another email because they forgot to mention some important information. You could lose business deals this way and it makes your company look unprofessional.
4. Make sure you focus on what the other person wants and not what you want.
People would be much more likely to respond to an email that could help them. Imagine writing emails to companies asking them if you could buy something from them or telling them you would like to sell them something. Almost everyone will respond if you want to buy something from them. If you want help from someone else, make sure you can show them how you can genuinely help them. You always need to think win-win. People will usually be glad to do business with you if you can show them how they can benefit too. A lot of businesses make this one major mistake.
If you use these tips your writing could be much more effective in a business sense than even the writing of a native speaker who doesn’t follow them. The quality of the writing isn’t nearly as important as the clarity of ideas and the content. A long as you can get your point across, don’t worry too much. With that said, you still want to try your best and be careful. It looks better if there are less obvious mistakes. That is one extra benefit of keeping your writing short and simple. There will be less chance of making mistakes.