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A-Z of Business Letter Writing

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A business letter is an official way of communicating and sharing news with other companies. These letters are usually shared with business personalities like clients, stakeholders, and employees and follow a formal language and structure.

Although emails have replaced letter writing, business letters are still used for many vital correspondences like job offers, reference letters, verification letters, and more.

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Essential Elements of a Business Letter

Writers need to consider a few factors while writing, including the seven essential elements of a business letter:

  1. Sender’s address. Usually, businesses have their addresses printed on the letterhead, similar to the one given on the official website. Not only does it make your business legit, but it also makes it easier for the recipient to send a response.
  2. The recipient should know when the letter was composed. You can follow your preferred format or else the US format (September 30, 2021.)
  3. Recipient’s address. Including the recipient’s address makes sure that your business letter reaches the recipient safely. Write the name with honorifics on the first line, the recipient’s job title on the second, the company name in the following line, followed by other details – address, city, state, and ZIP code in the remaining lines.
  4. No generic salutations such as “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern.” Instead, do some digging on LinkedIn or Google to find the name of the person you mean to write. If not, you can call the company and get the name.
  5. Get straight to the point and quickly convey what you want to say clearly and concisely.
  6. In formal closing, don’t forget to capitalize the first word. Also, keep four lines of space for your signature and official stamp.
  7. Follow three lines space below your signature and list the additional items below. For instance, if you have three enclosures, write Enclosures (3). If you want to list them separately, write Encl: brochures (3) and images (4).

Types of Business Letters

Let us now look at the types of business letters commonly used by various companies.

  • Letter of complaintsis written by people who are unhappy with a product or service of the company. Despite the negative experience, try to be polite while writing such letters.
  • Cover letters are written to help the hiring officers know more about the candidate.
  • Letter of inquiry – mainlyfocuses on someone’s queries about a company. Make sure you conduct diligent research before writing a letter of inquiry to avoid confusion. 
  • Order lettersare business letters used for placing orders. All information must be accurate, written in simple language.
  • Adjustment letters are written in response to complaint letters. These are usually tricky, so businesses must offer suitable compensation for the inconvenience caused.
  • Other business lettersinclude recommendation letters, acknowledgement letters, and resignation letters, where each letter serves a unique purpose in a business scenario.

Writing a Business Letter: Fonts & Formats with Examples

Several business letter formats are followed by professionals while writing. However, it depends on how you want the letter to look. For example, you can use the block form to convey something more formal and semi-block to communicate with someone you know.

Below are you will find business letter examples of two standard styles –

  • Block formatting
  • Semi-block formatting

Block Formatting

Mr. John Smith, CEO

ABC Corp.

19809 Peter Ave.

Minneapolis, MN 55410

(612) 555-4343

September 30, 2021

Mr. Keith Jackson, VP of Sales

Horizon Corp.

4353 Sunway Bay

San Jose, CA 95113

Dear Keith Jackson:

I request a free consultation about Horizon’s new sales management software. ABC Corp. is a fast-growing manufacturer and has generated over 25% revenue growth over the last two years. We wish to keep growing, and Horizon’s product is just the product we need to accelerate sales. I want to discuss whether the software is a good match for our systems.

I look forward to your earliest response.

Sincerely,

John Smith, CEO

Enclosures: ABC Corp. brochure

Note: Since it is a purely professional business letter, there’s no indent.

Semi-Block Formatting

Mr. John Smith, CEO

ABC Corp.

19809 Peter Ave.

Minneapolis, MN 55410

(612) 555-4343

September 30, 2021

Mr. Keith Jackson, VP of Sales

Horizon Corp.

4353 Sunway Bay

San Jose, CA 95113

Dear Keith Jackson:

I request a free consultation about Horizon’s new sales management software. ABC Corp. is a fast-growing manufacturer and has generated over 25% revenue growth over the last two years. We wish to keep growing, and Horizon’s product is just the product we need to accelerate sales. I want to discuss whether the software is a good match for our systems.

I look forward to your earliest response.

Sincerely,

John Smith, CEO

Enclosures: ABC Corp. brochure

Note: It may look similar to block formatting, but the paragraphs are indented. You can opt for this format if you don’t prefer chunks of paragraphs with no indentations.

Font & Formatting Standards

In business letter writing, presentation plays a pivotal role. It should be well-constructed to improve the readability. So the basic font and formatting guidelines include:

  • The majority of the professional letters are left-aligned
  • Single-spaced between sentences to increase space
  • Four line breaks between closing sentence and paragraph
  • Leave space after your printed name
  • Standard fonts – Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, or similar in 11 or 12 point
  • 5” x 11” size paper
  • Sentence case capitalization
  • White background
  • Portrait layout
  • 1” margins
  • Single, 1.5, or double spacing
  • Font color: Black

Business Letter Template

[Sender’s Name]

[Sender’s Company Name]

[Sender’s Street Address]

[Sender’s City, State/Province, & Zip/Postal Code]

[Sender’s phone number and email address]

[Date]

[Recipient’s Name]

[Recipient’s Company Name]

[Recipient’s Street Address]

[Recipient’s City, State/Province, & Zip/Postal Code]

[Recipient’s phone number and email address]

[Dear Name],

[Introduction: Explain the purpose of your letter, what you need, and other details.]

[Middle Section: Elaborate with details related to what you outlined earlier. The number of a paragraph depends upon your need.]

[Conclusion: Wrap up and summarize with a CTA.]

[Sincerely],

[Signature]

[Name of Sender]

Business Letter Example

Jill Green

Kite Education Inc.

123 Vic Street

New York, NY 01218

 

September 30, 2021

 

Sarah Pine

Rose Inc.

908 Harley Street

New York, NY 04851

 

 

Dear Ms. Pine,

 

I am writing to notify you of our new price listings, effective from October 5, 2021. In addition, we will be switching to a half-yearly billing cycle from a yearly billing cycle, which may impact your existing payment plan.

We have concluded that a shift to a half-yearly billing cycle from the yearly model will benefit most customers based on extensive research and customer feedback. Hence, to suit your best needs, we have decided to adjust the changes in prices with your existing plan.

This letter informs you of the changes, and no immediate action is necessary from your end. We are grateful to have you as our partner.

Sincerely,

(Signature)

Jill Green

 

How to Write a Business Letter – 10 Useful Tips

 

  1. Don’t write lengthy business letters– keep them concise.
  2. Think from the reader’s perspective and aim to make your letter reader-friendly.
  3. No cluttering a business letter with unnecessary or extra details. Instead, include just the details in the reader’s best interest.
  4. Use a conversational yet professional tone. No bashful words or arrogance.
  5. Always start with a plan and list out everything you want to inform the reader about. You can also call the recipient’s company to confirm the details.
  6. Keep things factual, accurate, and logical. The recipients are busy people – they don’t want sloppy letters.
  7. If case technical information, attach all the necessary data along with the main letter.
  8. Eliminate jargon, overused phrases, or redundant courtesies from your letter.
  9. Sketch a rough outline and follow it while writing the letter to make sure you stick to a specific layout.
  10. Use appropriate salutation, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary. Read it a couple of times before hitting the sent button.

 

Closing Note

Business letters are a crucial communication tool for all types of businesses. Hence, you must pay heed to what’s discussed above. And the best way to gain confidence in this field of writing is to practice. You can turn shoddy, amateurish writing into expert writing skills and invite more sales with regular practice.

Author Bio

Clara Smith is a teacher, writing specialist, and blogger based in the US. she loves to blog about skill-building, education, and sports. she is also a part-time Coursework Writing Service guide at myessayhelp.co.uk where he assists students with business letters, academic essays help, and other writing assignments on request.