Hi All,

I'm writing a business offer in English, but I'm not a native English speaker, so I've faced a number of trubles. I would like the following things to be corrected if there are any mistakes:

1. Articles (in russian we don't have them, so it's quite difficult to manage them)

2. Punctuation (english punctuation differs from ours)

3. Grammar (tenses, statements, setexpressions, ets.)

4. Spelling

5. Synonyms (one russian word can be translated into one of several english synonyms which can have different meaning, but it's hard to choose the correct one)

6. Style (some decisions depends on the text style. So the letter must be written in official business style)

The whole text is about 2 print sheets, so I decided to split it into small parts. Any thoughts are appreciated very much. And please point whether you are a native english speaker or not. Thank you very much for your help! Emotion: smile

Part 1.

New degree of perfection

Dear Mr. John,
The aspiring of Advertising Company to be a leader of visual communications is deeply appreciated by our company. We can see continuous work from your part on services quality and a desire to be ahead of your competitors. In spite of the fact that you are generally recognized and perfect in your business we would like to offer you to make one more step on the road to irreproachable achieving your mission statement goals.

If you are interested in:
• Decreasing of ad face’s average idle time;
• Increasing of ad face’s average cost without demand reduction;
• Making your customers be keenly aware of your company and rendered services;
• Extending the set of rendered services and bringing them up to modern standard;
• Producing a considerable effect with minimum costs,
then we are glad to offer you and your customers a set of unique services which will solve the mentioned problems efficiently.
1 2
Grammatical issues aside, I don't like the tone of the opening paragraph much, I'm afraid. To be frank, it sounds patronising. I would cut all the congratulatory stuff and just make a brief and factual statement of your purpose in writing to them, taking into account your existing relationship with them (if any).

If John is the recipient's first name then you should just say "Dear John" (though some people might find this a bit over-familiar if you do not already know each other). If "John" is his second name then "Dear Mr John" is correct.

Some comments/suggestions on the bullet points:

• Decreasing of ad face’s average idle time; -- This isn't grammatical, but unfortunately I don't understand what it means. I wondered if "ad face" and "idle time" were standard terms in the jargon of the industry but I don't get any clue from Google search.

• Increasing of ad face’s average cost without demand reduction; -- Normally anything to do with increasing costs is a bad thing. It doesn't sound very desirable even if it's meant to be someone else's costs. Do you mean that you can help them sell the same advertising space for more money? Again, I don't really have any idea what "ad face" means.

Improving customer awareness of your company and the services you offer;

• Extending your range of services and bringing them up to modern standard; -- "bringing them up to modern standard" sounds insulting, implying that what they currently offer is out of date.

Producing a considerable effect with minimum costs -- To me, this seems too vague to be worth saying.
First of all thanks a lot!!! I couldn't imagine that there were so many issues in my letter. Sorry that I wasn't clear enough. I should clarify things a bit before continue. The company I'm writing to is a world-wide organization. In Russia it is the biggest company in the OOH (out of home) advertising industry. So the letter I'm writing shouldn't be one of the hundreds of the letters they recieve every day. It mustn't be an ordinary letter. Otherwise they just wont notice it. They are ahead already of their competitors and don't need any help. So it's very important just to make them think a bit about our offer which can realy improve their business. So,

Mr WordyGrammatical issues aside, I don't like the tone of the opening paragraph much, I'm afraid. To be frank, it sounds patronising. I would cut all the congratulatory stuff and just make a brief and factual statement of your purpose in writing to them, taking into account your existing relationship with them (if any).
the first paragraph shows that we deeply understand the mission of the recipient company and that we realy have some ideas how to improve the performing of their mission and achieve aims. So I would like to leave the paragraph but without grammatical and style issues.
Mr Wordy
If John is the recipient's first name then you should just say "Dear John" (though some people might find this a bit over-familiar if you do not already know each other). If "John" is his second name then "Dear Mr John" is correct.

John is the first name, but we don't know each other.
Mr Wordy• Decreasing of ad face’s average idle time; -- This isn't grammatical, but unfortunately I don't understand what it means. I wondered if "ad face" and "idle time" were standard terms in the jargon of the industry but I don't get any clue from Google search.
The "ad face" is a term of industry and it means a side of advertisement construction. For instance, take a look at a billboard. It usually has two sides (front and back), if one side is used to place ad on it then such a side is an 'ad face'. I don't know about 'idle time' exactly, but it seems to be a common term for 'time of not using of smth'. I've found the following translations in the dictionary "stoppage, standstill; idle time, downtime". It's a time when an ad face is empty and waiting for order.
Mr Wordy
• Increasing of ad face’s average cost without demand reduction; -- Normally anything to do with increasing costs is a bad thing. It doesn't sound very desirable even if it's meant to be someone else's costs. Do you mean that you can help them sell the same advertising space for more money? Again, I don't really have any idea what "ad face" means.


Yes, I had meant the exactly what you wrote. We are going to help them to rent their ad faces for more money.
Mr Wordy• Extending your range of services and bringing them up to modern standard; -- "bringing them up to modern standard" sounds insulting, implying that what they currently offer is out of date.
Ok. I just want to say that we can improve their services by introduction of some modern technologies and tools. How is better to say that?

Mr WordyProducing a considerable effect with minimum costs -- To me, this seems too vague to be worth saying.
Consolidation usually implies certain amount of work and costs from the both sides (parts). I would like to say that amount of work from their part is much less than from ours. In other words - they do nothing and get a lot.
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shurman81the first paragraph shows that we deeply understand the mission of the recipient company and that we realy have some ideas how to improve the performing of their mission and achieve aims. So I would like to leave the paragraph but without grammatical and style issues.

Some suggestions:

New degree of perfection [No! Horrible!]

The aspiration of [Advertising Company] to be a leader in visual communications is well recognized by our company. [although it's a positive word, "aspiration" does actually imply that they are not currently a leader.] We understand your commitment to service quality as well as your desire to remain ahead of your competitors. Although you are already generally recognized and perfect in your business [?? You can't say "perfect"; I'm not sure what to substitute. Perhaps you could say "recognized as top performers in your industry"?], we would like to offer you an opportunity to take one more step on the road to irreproachable achieving your mission-statement goals.

I'm still slightly worried that this lavishing of praise and telling them how much you understand and admire the way they run their business might be seen as presumptuous and ingratiating. But, hey, that's just my personal opinion which you may entirely disagree with.

Also, the opening paragraph also doesn't tell them anything specific about who you are or why you're writing. I've read all the way through to the end of the bullet points and I still have no real idea what sort of company you are or exactly what you are trying to sell. I think it would be a good idea to address this because some people get very quickly bored with (no disrespect) generic waffle. You could begin something like "We are a company specialising in [whatever it is]. I'm writing to you [explain why you're writing] ..."

I'll get back a bit later on the rest of your points.
Reply continued...
shurman81John is the first name, but we don't know each other.
It's a matter of personal preference, but if I was sending an unsolicited business letter to someone I didn't know then I would address it as "Dear Mr <surname>" rather than "Dear <first name>".
shurman81The "ad face" is a term of industry and it means a side of advertisement construction. For instance, take a look at a billboard. It usually has two sides (front and back), if one side is used to place ad on it then such a side is an 'ad face'. I don't know about 'idle time' exactly, but it seems to be a common term for 'time of not using of smth'. I've found the following translations in the dictionary "stoppage, standstill; idle time, downtime". It's a time when an ad face is empty and waiting for order.

Right. You know more about this than I do, but I'm just slightly puzzled that I can't seem to find any relevant Google hits for "ad face" (lots of hits, but nothing obviously related to this meaning). You're sure it's a standard English term and not just a literal translation from another language? "Idle time" is a legitimate English phrase but it does not seem very appropriate here. Assuming "ad face" is OK, you could perhaps say:

"Reducing the amount of time your ad faces stand unlet."

This also assumes that "letting" is the appropriate term for what the company does with these ad faces (I think the term would be OK for billboards, so I'm guessing it's also OK for "ad faces").
shurman81Yes, I had meant the exactly what you wrote. We are going to help them to rent their ad faces for more money.
You could perhaps say:

"Obtaining higher rent from your ad faces without affecting demand."
shurman81Ok. I just want to say that we can improve their services by introduction of some modern technologies and tools. How is better to say that?
You could perhaps say:

"Enhancing your services using the latest technologies and tools."
shurman81
Consolidation usually implies certain amount of work and costs from the both sides (parts). I would like to say that amount of work from their part is much less than from ours. In other words - they do nothing and get a lot.


I wonder if it might be easier to work this point into the sentence following the bullet points:

"... then we are glad to offer you and your customers a set of unique services that will solve these problems efficiently and with minimum effort and cost to you."
Mr Wordy
New degree of perfection [No! Horrible!]

Amazing! In Russian it sounds pretty good. Now I don't believe russian-english dictionary Emotion: smile. I just don't want to use a title like 'A business offer'. It should attract reader's attention. I would like it to say about new (high, modern, up-to-date) level (degree, extent) of quality (professionalism, perfection). Is it possible to fromulate that somehow?

Mr Wordy
The aspiration of [Advertising Company] to be a leader in visual communications is well recognized by our company. [although it's a positive word, "aspiration" does actually imply that they are not currently a leader.]

Maybe it's better to replace 'aspiration of [Advertising Company] to be a leader' with 'aspiration of [Advertising Company] to stay a leader' or something like that. How do you feel?

Mr Wordy
We understand your commitment to service quality as well as your desire to remain ahead of your competitors. Although you are already generally recognized and perfect in your business [?? You can't say "perfect"; I'm not sure what to substitute. Perhaps you could say "recognized as top performers in your industry"?], we would like to offer you an opportunity to take one more step on the road to irreproachable achieving your mission-statement goals.

I'm still slightly worried that this lavishing of praise and telling them how much you understand and admire the way they run their business might be seen as presumptuous and ingratiating. But, hey, that's just my personal opinion which you may entirely disagree with.

Actually, I understand your warries. I'll probably contract the paragraph a bit, but I believe it should be like it is. But thank you for advice nevertheless.
Mr WordyAlso, the opening paragraph also doesn't tell them anything specific about who you are or why you're writing. I've read all the way through to the end of the bullet points and I still have no real idea what sort of company you are or exactly what you are trying to sell. I think it would be a good idea to address this because some people get very quickly bored with (no disrespect) generic waffle. You could begin something like "We are a company specialising in [whatever it is]. I'm writing to you [explain why you're writing] ..."

Here I agree with you. I should mention the sort of our company. But I believe it is minor information in comparison with the information about what profit we can bring to them.
Mr WordyRight. You know more about this than I do, but I'm just slightly puzzled that I can't seem to find any relevant Google hits for "ad face" (lots of hits, but nothing obviously related to this meaning). You're sure it's a standard English term and not just a literal translation from another language?
To tell you the truth, I have spent a lot of time to find out the english equivalent of such russian term. Google didn't help me too. But fortunately I found the 'ad face' term on the english site of the company I'm writing to. They use 'ad face', 'advertising face' and 'advertising space'.
Mr Wordy"Reducing the amount of time your ad faces stand unlet."

This also assumes that "letting" is the appropriate term for what the company does with these ad faces (I think the term would be OK for billboards, so I'm guessing it's also OK for "ad faces").

"Obtaining higher rent from your ad faces without affecting demand."

"Enhancing your services using the latest technologies and tools."

I wonder if it might be easier to work this point into the sentence following the bullet points:

"... then we are glad to offer you and your customers a set of unique services that will solve these problems efficiently and with minimum effort and cost to you."
Sounds very good for me. Thank you a lot.

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shurman81Amazing! In Russian it sounds pretty good. Now I don't believe russian-english dictionary . I just don't want to use a title like 'A business offer'. It should attract reader's attention. I would like it to say about new (high, modern, up-to-date) level (degree, extent) of quality (professionalism, perfection). Is it possible to fromulate that somehow?

The dictionary is probably fine, but word-for-word translation is a risky business (as evidenced by the garbage spewed out by machine translation!). I personally think that "A business proposal", though not startlingly exciting, is not too bad. Or you could perhaps say "Modern, professional solutions for your business", but I'd be tempted to try to say something more specific about what sort of product you offer. If it's IT, for example, then you could say "Modern, professional IT solutions for your business".
shurman81Maybe it's better to replace 'aspiration of [Advertising Company] to be a leader' with 'aspiration of [Advertising Company] to stay a leader' or something like that. How do you feel?
A desire to remain as something you already are doesn't seem much of an "aspiration". Perhaps "The desire of [Advertising Company] to remain a leader..." would work.
shurman81Here I agree with you. I should mention the sort of our company. But I believe it is minor information in comparison with the information about what profit we can bring to them.
I don't agree that it's "minor information". It may not take up many words compared to your explanation of what you can offer them, but I think it's the first thing I would want to know if I opened your letter. I guess you have your letterhead with your logo and so on, but even so my first thought would be "Who are these people? Why are they writing to me?" (I'm assuming they don't already know you, as I think you indicated). If I had to first read through a lot of generic stuff that doesn't actually tell me this then I might get frustrated and lose interest.
shurman81To tell you the truth, I have spent a lot of time to find out the english equivalent of such russian term. Google didn't help me too. But fortunately I found the 'ad face' term on the english site of the company I'm writing to. They use 'ad face', 'advertising face' and 'advertising space'.
If they're not a company from an English-speaking country then this doesn't necessarily prove anything. The quality of English-language material produced by non-English-speaking companies -- even big companies who you'd think would be able to pay for decent translators -- is often surprisingly bad. We get product guides from big Japanese companies, for example, that are truly shocking.

I've never heard of "advertising face" either. "Advertising space" is natural English, but doesn't specifically mean advertising constructions or installations. It could, for example, refer to magazine and newspaper ads. "Billboard(s)" is also fine, but may be too specific for what you have in mind. A "billboard" is a large flat panel erected at the side of a road or on the side of a building, on which a poster ad is pasted.

However, "ad face" may be fine; I really don't know. I'm sorry I can't help you more with this.
Thank you, I will take into account your remarks in the final version of the letter. And now I would like to present the essece of the offers. I wonder if the 'EXCHANGE' is a correct term. By 'EXCHANGE' I mean the palce where a lot of companies offer their advertisement spaces and advertisers can select the appropriate ones.

The following options at your service:
Option 1. Connecting [Advertising Company] up to ALL-RUSSIAN ONLINE AD FACE EXCHANGE. Only ACTUAL DATA on current and future ad face status and cost is published there. TWO-WAY REAL-TIME DATA SYNCHRONIZATION is required. Ad face details are accompanied by information about [Advertising Company] and order/reserve controls. The service is provided FOR FREE in case of direct order. In case of order via the EXCHANGE you are to PAY INTERESTS. If an ad place is sold with extra profit we pay you a part of it. The EXCHANGE has a lot of unique services which make it irreplaceable tool for planning, realization and analysis of advertising campaign. At the moment there is no similar service. At the first stage the EXCHANGE will consolidate the leaders of advertising industry and cover about 50% of all ad face offers. At the second stage it will become the main access point to UNIQUE ACTUAL GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL AD FACE DATA BASE which functions in real-time. We will be glad to send you an exhaustive description of the service on your demand.

Option 2. Publishing of detail information about [Advertising Company] and about the ad faces you owns on our thematic web-sites (about 20). Ad face data on current status and cost is published. RECURRENT ONE-WAY DATA SYNCHRONIZATION is required. Ad face details are accompanied by information about [Advertising Company] allowing direct orders. The service is provided FOR FREE.

Option 3. Publishing of detail information about [Advertising Company] and about the ad faces you owns on our thematic web-sites (about 20). Ad face data on current status and cost IS NOT published. Data synchronization can be performed VERY SELDOM. Ad face details are accompanied by information about [Advertising Company] allowing direct orders. The service is provided FOR FREE.
"exchange" is a general word for a place (physical or online) that matches buyers and sellers and facilitates transactions between them, so it seems appropriate here.

General point: don't use CAPITAL LETTERS for emphasis; it's bad style and seems as if you're shouting at them. You can use italics or bold for emphasis, if required. I'm not sure whether all the text you've capitalised actually needs emphasising though. For example, I would not put "exchange" in bold every time you mention it -- it would get very tiresome. (My bold below shows things that I changed, not things I think should be emphasised, but I'm sure that's obvious!)

Some suggestions on the text:

The following service options are available:

It seems slightly odd to me to present a list of "options" without having first given at least a brief overview, in general terms, of the nature of your business. Sorry if I'm beginning to sound like a cracked record!

Option 1. Connection of [Advertising Company] to our [I'm assuming it's yours; you need some word here, anyway] all-Russian [since you later say it's planned to be "international", do you want to say "all-Russian" here?] ad face exchange. Only actual data on current and future ad face status [I'm wondering if "availability" would be a better word here] and cost is published here. Two-way real-time data synchronization is required. ["required" tends to sound like a difficulty, not a benefit. I'm wondering if there's a more positive way to say this.] Ad face details are accompanied by information about [Advertising Company] and order/reserve controls. [I don't personally understand what "order/reserve controls" means, except in the vaguest terms, but I assume people in the industry will?] This information publication service is provided free of charge, and no charge is applied if clients place direct orders with you. A small [if you can reasonably say this] commission is charged on orders placed via the exchange. [I've rewritten this part according to how I understand it] If an ad place [do you mean "face"?] is sold with extra profit, [add comma] we pay you a part of it. The exchange has many unique features which make it an irreplaceable tool for the planning, realization and analysis of advertising campaigns. There is currently no similar service available through any other provider. In phase one, the exchange will ["will" is a very definite word. You shouldn't use it unless a reasonable observer would agree that what you claim is sure to happen.] consolidate the leaders of the advertising industry and cover about 50% of all ad face offers. In phase two, it will [same comment as before about "will"] become the main access point to a unique actual global international ad face database which functions in real-time. We will be glad to send you an exhaustive description further details of the service at your request. [I'd be inclined to put this at the end: "If you need further information about any of the services we offer then we will be glad to send you..."]

Option 2. Publication of detailed information about [Advertising Company], and about the ad faces you own and their current status [same comment as before about "status"] and costs on any [?] of our 20 thematic ["thematic" doesn't seem to be the right term. I'm not really sure what you mean; you may mean "sector-specific" or something like that?] web-sites (about 20). Ad face data on current status and cost is published. RECURRENT ONE-WAY DATA SYNCHRONIZATION is required. [Again, "required" sounds like a burden. I would try to express this more positively.] Ad face details are accompanied by information about [Advertising Company], [add comma] allowing direct orders to be placed. This service is provided free of charge.

Option 3. Publication of detailed information about [Advertising Company] and about the ad faces you own, as in option 2, but without details of current status [same comment as before about "status"] and costs. Data synchronization can be performed VERY SELDOM. [Sounds very negative] As in option 2, ad face details are accompanied by information about [Advertising Company], [add comma] allowing direct orders. This service is provided free of charge.
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