12 Business Writing Tips for Marketers At All Levels

The biggest challenge for many marketers is how to turn their ideas into words correctly and effectively. In this article, we will familiarize you with common rules and grammars that you can use.

1. Avoid long sentence
Many writers often think that a long sentence is impressive and nice to read. Unfortunately, a long sentence is error-prone and leads to ambiguity and vagueness. Then, you should try to start with a simple sentence like "John plays basketball." rather than "John plays basketball and he is good at it but he is unable to play in the school league because he was sick from last night's party."

2. Cut down on fancy words
Another misconception about writing is that the use of highfalutin words or fancy words is impressive. It is more understandable to use the sentence "The weather is quite stormy," rather than "The weather is super blustery."

3. Say no to fragments
Sometimes, people do not notice that their statements do not elicit complete idea like the previous statement. This is called fragments, and it is quite inappropriate to use. "Because they are lazy" is too short, "The students do not pass the exam because they are lazy." is more appropriate.

4. Avoid contractions
In formal writing, writers should not use word contractions like "don't", "it's" or "they're". Instead, use "do not", "it is" or "they are" for more formal writing.

5. Be consistent with enumeration
If you want to mention someone or something one by one (enumeration), make sure that you follow the parallel construction. For example, "Nathan is cute, handsome and intelligent." All of the characteristics of Nathan are enumerated in a form of the adjective. This is more appropriate than "Nathan is cute, handsome and is full of intelligence."

6. Don't ignore verb-tense consistency
"Rico performs in the celebration yesterday and he is so good at singing." Your readers might not notice the error in your sentence. But, the inconsistency in your verb usage will lead to confusion about when Rico did perform actually. Because you said that the action happened yesterday, but you use the verbs in the present tense. You should be reminded that the verb you use should align with the time you indicate in the sentence. In this case, when the time is "yesterday", the sentence should be "Rico performed in the celebration yesterday and he was so good at singing."

7. Read your organization's brand book
More established organizations would have a brand book that you can follow – this will include fonts, logos, presentation decks and even email signatures that you will use for official correspondence.

A brand book will also contain the tone of voice and style of writing a company requires of you.

8. Know your audience
The way you draft communications should depend on your audience. Higher level executives tend to have less time and more to understand, so it is always better to be formal, concise and straight-to-the-point. Conversely, teammates working with you will be interested in the details of a project.

9. Remember parallelism
An often-neglected aspect of writing emails and reports is parallelism. This means that statements the same parts of speech and patterns.

If you were to make a summary of a presentation in bullet points, a parallel structure will be:

- John handles production
- Shane handles negotiation with suppliers

When preparing reports or emails, always take caution to use a parallel structure so you can be easily understood.

10. Be consistent with the point of view
Points of view can either be in the first person (I or We), second person (You), or third person (They).

When writing, it is important to be consistent both in the use of point of view. When talking about a team endeavor, it is advisable to use "We" or "Us". When taking accountability or expressing ownership of a project, "I" can be used.

11. Use active instead of passive voice
In the business setting, people tend to be goal and results oriented. Using the active voice will signify ownership especially when formalized in a document. A sample minutes-of-the-meeting will look something like,

Mark will handle the delivery, rather than, Delivery is c/o Mark

12. Explain jargon and acronym
When preparing reports or presentation, it is good to assume that your readers might not have the same level of understanding of a subject matter as you. It is advisable to spell out acronyms that first time you use them. For official documents, you may opt to add a section on Definition of Terms.

- Roman, Kenneth, and Joel Raphaelson. Writing That Works: How to Communicate Effectively in Business. HarperCollins, 2000.

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Last review and update: August 30, 2021
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of BookWorm4Life. He holds a Master's Degree in business with 10+ years of work experience and 8+ years of experience in blogging and online content production. He enjoys reading books about business, lifestyle and literature and he loves to share what he learns from books. You can drop him a line via e-mail.