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Eng 209/WI Business Writing

Goodwill Messages

Goodwill messages are special messages. Unlike good news message that say “yes" to the reader related to business, goodwill messages are meant to build goodwill. These messages are always appreciated.

Goodwill messages are very nice letters to receive because they often come as a pleasant surprise. Unlike good news letters that give positive news related to business, goodwill letters build relationships.

Do not use the letter to make a sales pitch. The purpose of these letters is to build goodwill without any hidden business scheme. So a goodwill message thanking a customer for his/her business would NOT include an announcement about an upcoming sale.

Finding the right words to express feelings is sometimes more difficult than writing ordinary messages. A ready-made card, even one that's well designed and attractive, simple does not have the same emotional impact as a personalized letter.

Dr. Mary Ellen Guffey, best-selling author, recommends these five S’s of Goodwill Messages:

  • 1.

    Be selfless. Focus on the reader, not on the sender. A sincere thank you to a customer should not include a notice of an upcoming sale.

  • 2.

    Be specific. Instead of vague statements (You did a good job), include special details (Your strategy for approaching customers proved to be outstanding)

  • 3.

    Be sincere. Show your honest feelings with conversational, everyday language.

  • 4.

    Be spontaneous. Strive to make the message natural, fresh and direct. Avoid

canned phrases (If I may be of service, please do not hesitate...)

5. Be short. Goodwill messages are fairly brief.

Begin your letters effectively. Because goodwill letters express the writer's feelings, these are the only letters that permit you to begin with "I" or "We." The most effective beginning is still one that expresses the YOU-ATTITUDE. End with a specific polite closure. Avoid "contact" when "call me" or "email me" are more precise.



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