While letters to the private sector are not overly stringent and rule-based, writing business mail is based on clear guidance that relates to both visual design and content. The optical design is primarily defined by the DIN standards 5008 and 676, which ensure a uniform and clear overall picture and ensure that the letters can be printed out and automatically processed in broadcasting centers.
The requirement for the content can be summarized in the form that business letters should be as long as necessary, but as short as possible. It is also important to always be as recipient-oriented and always write with a friendly, polite tone.
The section “Writing Business” contains different documents. These include, for example, invoices, offers, sales letters, inquiries and orders or reminders and complaints.
Instructions and tips for business writing
Despite the different content and goals pursued by each letter, the basic tips and guidance that the sender should learn and consider for successful business correspondence remain basically the same:
As a rule, there is a concrete occasion and a successful business letter is characterized by the fact that the message to be conveyed is expressed clearly and understandably. This means that it is not necessary to write lengthy and cumbersome introductions, but it is better to get straight to the point.
On the one hand, this includes specifying specifically what the letter is about.
On the other hand, the statements should not be unnecessarily complicated by foreign words, paraphrases or abbreviations. It is also important to make a business letter readable and easy to read. This means that you should work with clear paragraphs and possibly subheadings instead of long running texts.
In addition, if complicated content or many numbers, dates and dry facts are included, bulleted points can also provide a clear structure. However, the author should be careful with formatting sparingly, because for example, bold, capital letters or highlights by colorful colors can make a business letter look dubious quickly.
Especially when it comes to business writing, many still tend to a slightly submissive, stiff tone or a dusty official German. However, such formulations have nothing to do in a modern business correspondence. Much better is a friendly, relaxed tone, which is based on the sophisticated vernacular.
It is also important to give business letters a personal touch by the recipient is addressed not only in the salutation with his name, but his name appears in the text again. Incidentally, a friendly and polite tone is also part of letters that have a negative content.
Ironical, condescending or provocative remarks are as inappropriate in a business letter as insults, insults or a command tone. In addition, if it concerns cancellations or constructive criticism, the business letter should always contain a corresponding justification.
Once a business letter has been completed, it should be critically revised again.
In the process, unnecessary filler words and contents that do not provide any real information or are taken for granted anyway can be deleted without replacement. Long tapeworm sentences should be broken up into shorter, understandable sentences, and cumbersome word constructions redefined into a simpler language. However, this does not mean that a business letter should be written in a kind of telegram style.
When writing in the business sector, it is more a matter of formulating that the recipient is informed in a precise, understandable and friendly manner about the respective facts.