If you are looking for a business letter writing guide, then this blog post is for you. We will give you the tools and tips that all successful business people need to know in order to create an impressive letter that will get your message across!
What is a Business Letter?
A business letter is a type of correspondence written to correspondents or third parties. Business letters can be considered as formal and informal communication methods. The main purpose of writing a business letter is to make a business transaction official. However, it’s important to know that there are no hard-and-fast rules on writing or addressing a business letter, but in general, it should be addressed to the recipient (by name), address and date on the top left corner of the letter.
What is the Purpose of a Business Letter?
All businesses are based on mutual trust and respect. Good communication is the key to a successful business transaction. Business letters help in maintaining good relations with your clients, customers and other associates. It’s an easy way of conveying necessary information about current projects or plans, ideas etc.
Types of Business Letters
Formal Business letters:
Formal business letters are used to discuss the most important issues and company-related matters. They should be short, simple and precise. These letters include the ‘date’ on the top left corner or right corner of the letter, salutation and complimentary close by your name.
Informal Business Letters:
Informal business letters are not usually written for serious discussions and negotiations. Instead, these letters are often used to send a quick note or request information from other parties involved in a business transaction. There would be no need to deliver it by hand or use formal language while writing an informal letter with a simple layout that is easy to read.
Examples of Business Letters
It’s a letter that introduces your resume to the recipient. The letter should be succinct while providing a brief description of job experience, personal qualifications, career goals etc.
It’s a letter used to express your dissatisfaction with a product or service. A complaint letter should be written in a formal tone while describing with reasons as to why you are not satisfied with the services rendered.
A compliment letter is sent when you want to thank someone for their service, help or guidance. It can also be used to acknowledge an achievement by someone else that you found out through media reports or other sources of information etc.
A demand letter is written to communicate your expectations from another party regarding a particular matter. It should convey certain actions that need to be taken for the problem to get solved, etc. Demands usually come along with threats of legal action if the demands are not met within a specified period.
It’s a letter written to ask for something else such as a resource, space or anything that belongs to someone else. You need to be courteous while addressing the request.
Letter of Resignation:
A letter of resignation is usually written to notify your current employer about the plans, the reason for leaving etc. It should be devoid of negative comments or criticism. Always remember to proofread before sending it out!
Thank You Letters:
A thank you letter can be used before meeting with a customer or potential investor to express gratitude in advance and convey the prospect that your organization will do everything possible to provide excellent service.
Letters Proposing New Projects:
It’s a proposal letter that communicates an idea for a new project and some pertinent information such as financial gains, detailed plan etc. Written communication is important not only during business hours but also outside working hours. Spread corporate goodwill by showing appreciation towards customers and associates handwritten cards, letters or gifts etc.
Parts of a Business Letter
It’s the part of the letter where your business name, logo and contact information is printed.
The date is the part where you mention the date on which the letter is being written.
It’s the part of your letter in which you introduce yourself to the recipient and state your relationship with them who is being addressed or if you are unknown, use this section to introduce yourself.
It’s a phrase that marks an end to your business letter, so include it at the end of each business letter. If you want to send multiple copies, add ‘cc’ (Carbon Copy) after complimentary close and address all recipients along with salutation part as per their job title, e.g., To Whom It May Concern. You can also add ‘bcc’ after compliments closing to acknowledge other parties
It’s the greeting section of a business letter where you mention to whom it may concern or directly address an individual, group etc.
As per the rules of formal letters, the complimentary close should be used at the end of each paragraph to convey a closure by your name.
The main part of your letter should include all the relevant information in the form of descriptions, sentences, or paragraphs with supporting data.
It’s a closing section that is used to communicate your good wishes for future progress by organizational staff and ends with complimentary close.
The signature is the last line of your letter, including your name (if a formal letter) and contact details, e.g., phone number, address, etc. It’s a good practice to add ‘Yours Sincerely’ or ‘Kind Regards’ before you sign off your business letter to convey politeness
Business Letter Styles
It’s the most common style of writing a business letter if you are not familiar with a business letter’s basic formats and rules. Use this style of writing if you are new to the concept, no need to create paragraphs between each section such as greetings, complimentary close etc.
It’s also known as ‘modified block’, where some space is given within linear text for better readability. The complimentary close will remain on the same line to maintain consistency. We recommend this style over block style letters because it’s easy to follow and allows you to write large paragraphs with supporting data without worrying about spacing or format.
Modified Semi-block style:
It’s also a kind of semi-block style that is used mainly in personal letters.
If you are writing a letter on behalf of the organization, use the lined format as the layout portrays your professionalism and conveys an organized message to clear business objectives etc.
Tips for Writing an Excellent Business Letter:
It’s good to keep your sentences short and precise to convey your business message effectively.
Include all the relevant information that is needed to communicate your message.
Include only the main points or key points that you want to highlight.
Use clear and descriptive words to avoid any further confusion.
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