Business Etiquette: When You Write

NOTE: This is a book excerpt from A Beginner’s Guide to Business Etiquette: Mastering Good Manners is now Blissfully Simple by Crista Tharp.
  • Always send a hand-written note to express gratitude, sympathy, or congratulations.
  • Send the note within a week of the reason for sending it, if possible.
  • Correct spelling and grammar are expected.
  • When sending a hand-written note to a business client, include your business card.
  • When sending a quote or formal business communication, use correct salutations, sentence structure, use titles, and correct names. See example of a simple business letter:

Your Letterhead


  May 1, 2013   Belle Jones Director of Communications Events Are Us, Inc. 555 Park Rd. Bliss, IN 55555   Dear Ms. Jones,   This is where you put the first paragraph. This is where you put the second paragraph. This is where you put the third paragraph.   Sincerely, Cordially, etc…     (Allow four spaces so you can put your signature here) Crista Tharp, CBSP Enclosure (If you have an enclosure note it here)
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  • Generally, business letters are done in left justification in block form.
  • When addressing envelopes, use full names with titles.
    • Business correspondence should be more formal.
    • Do not use labels, if at all possible.
    • If the letter is going to several people, list the person with most seniority first.
    • Always include a return address with your business name and full name.
  • If you are writing a personal note, the addressing can be less formal.
    • Always use Mr. or Mrs. when addressing.
    • Include a return address with your full name.
  • When addressing invitations:
    • Informal invitations: Follow the same rules for addressing a hand-written note.
    • Business Invitations: Address with full names and titles as well as their business name.
    • Formal invitations (weddings and events): Generally there are two envelopes. The outer envelope is most formal (Mr. and Mrs. Chad and Crista Tharp). The inner envelope is less formal (Chad and Crista).
      • Also, the invitation envelope states exactly who is invited, so on a wedding invitation if the envelope says, Mr. and Mrs. Chad and Crista Tharp, then just the two are invited and no children. If they put Mr. and Mrs. Chad Tharp and Family, then all are invited.
      • Often, with formal events, an RSVP card (response card) will be included for the guest to return with their answer. This card should come with a pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope with your address so they can return their card as easily as possible and with no expense.
      • Always respond within the allotted time. It is rude to not return this card, and extremely rude to show up if you didn’t reply or replied that you would not be there.
  • When writing on a blog, it is still expected that you use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation; however they tend to be a bit less informal. A blog is basically a video diary posted on the Internet. It is a way for the writer to express his/herself, and is sometimes very creative and does not conform to general and formal writing rules.
    • You still do not want to use you blog as a platform to hurt anyone personally or professionally.
    • People have a choice whether they want to subscribe to your blog or not. Do not overwhelm everyone on social networking sites with your blog posts.
    • Just like writing a book, you want to give credit to other people’s work or thoughts by linking to their website or original piece of work.
  • Correspondence by writing is a lost art form; however, it is a major type of communication and you should put enough thought and attention to detail in everything you send.

Watch This FREE Webinar!

Join us as Crista Tharp, Wedding Planning Expert, author of A Beginner’s Guide to Business Etiquette, and one of the Midwest’s most sought after event planners shares business etiquette that can make or break your career. This FREE training session is packed with simple, actionable, and crucial up-to-date information on the latest business etiquette trends. Don’t let a simple mistake cost you business or your job! One lucky attendee will receive a FREE copy of A Beginner’s Guide to Etiquette at the end of the session. Must be there live to win! Just a snippet of what you will learn includes:
  • How to make a great first impression
  • The correct way to make an introduction
  • Current Electronic Communication etiquette
  • How to use your cellphone and tablet without offending anyone
  • How to practice proper social Networking Etiquette
  • How to follow correct table manners and conduct business over meals
  • Plus a Q&A at the end
WATCH NOW ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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