How to write business letters
What is a business letter?
Business writing is different.
A business letter is a type of letter which serves as a means of communication. It is written for several purposes. It can be information, application, declaration, complaint…etc. A business letter is very professional. It has an official nature and requires formal writing styles. Its content and language style are distinguished from other letters.
Business writings are quite different. Writing for a business audience differs from writing for other disciplines such as humanities and social sciences. Business writing emphasizes accuracy and specificity. When writing a business letter, you have to bear in mind that the receiver doesn’t have enough time to read every single letter. So, you have to be as specific as possible.
Parts of a business letter:
Just like other letters, a business letter has a layout that includes different parts. These parts are:
- Letterhead – this is the topmost heading on the letter. It consists of the name, address and sometimes a LOGO of the company or the organization.
- Date – the date should be exactly written below the letterhead. The date is very essential and used as a reference. The date should be written in a full format: day, month, and year.
- Receiver– receiver’s name and address.
- Salutation – salutation is an expression of greeting that you start with. It should show respect to the receiver.
- Body – the main part of the letter is the body. The body includes the message you want to get across. It should be clearly summarized and expressed. The body may include more than two paragraphs. If there are instructions, recommendations or suggestions, they have to be orderly written.
- Closing – this is the closure. An expression you use to close the letter. It marks respect and deference.
- Signature – sign your name at the end of the letter. If it is a printed letter, you can sign it using a black or a blue pen. If it is a soft copy, you can put a scanned signature.
- Sender’s name, title and contact information – this is normally included in the letterhead.
- Enclosure – if you are going to attach some documents, type enclosures few lines after your signature. Mention the number and type of attached documents.
The salutation is an important part of the letter. The expression you use will depend on whether you the receiver or not.
|To whom it may concern||Use this when you don’t know to whom you have to send the letter, for instance: when writing to an organization or an association.|
|Dear Sir/Madam||Use this when you know the receiver, but you don’t know his/her name|
Starting your letter:
There are two ways to start your business letter: You can either draw on the previous contact referring to the previous email, meeting or phone conversation…etc. or write as if it is the first contact.
|The first contact||I’m writing this letter to inform you that …|
I’m contacting for the following reasons:
I write this letter to ask for …
|The second or third contact||Based on our last meeting,………|
In reply to your request, ……
As a response to what you mentioned in our last phone call, ……..
|Make a request||I wonder if you could……?|
Is it possible to …..?
Could it be possible to …..?
|Share good news||We are so pleased to tell ….|
I’m so glad to say that ….
|Share bad news||I’m so sorry to say that ….|
I’m so sorry to say ….
- – I’m looking forward to hearing from you
- – Please, attached are some documents
|Use this if you started your letter with dear Madam/Sir|
Check this example below:
A Business letter Sample
|6123 Farrington Road|
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
January 11, 2005Taylor, Inc.
694 Rockstar Lane
Durham, NC 27708Dear Human Resources Director:I just read an article in the News and Observer about Taylor’s new computer center north of Durham. I would like to apply for a position as an entry-level programmer at the center.
I’m aware that Taylor produces both in-house and customer documentation. My technical writing skills, as described in the enclosed resume, are well suited to your company. I am a recent graduate of DeVry Institute of Technology in Atlanta with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science. In addition to having taken a broad range of courses, I served as a computer consultant at the college’s computer center where I helped train users to work with new systems.
I will be happy to meet with you at your convenience and discuss how my education and experience match your needs. You can reach me at my home address, at (919) 233-1552, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter Taken from HERE