A business letter is a letter that is written from one organization to the other for business purposes. It is a formal and professional way to interact with customers, shareholders, investors, and other businesses. Cover letters, business invites, a letter of recommendation, a letter of resignation, complaint letters, order letters, and sales letters are business letters.
The reader of a business letter is impressed not only by its contents but by its form and style also. Often one likes to see a letter neatly typed, or written with a certain balance in its parts and a certain symmetry in the way the letter is set out.
Business communication is different as compared to normal conversations, In a corporate setting, communication typically takes place over the phone, via video calls, or through formal letters. Communication at work is formal and professional, or at least it should be.
In business communication, when you intend to communicate another with organziation or want to share important information business letters can convey your message in a formal, and professional manner.
Business letters are official and structured since they are typically written from one organization to another, unlike internal memorandum. However, letters can also be used for formal requests, announcements, cover letters, and a variety of other things, making them highly flexible.
Despite their formality, letters can however appear welcoming, especially since they generally open with a brief introduction before getting to the purpose. Whatever writing style you use, your letter should always be concise, understandable, and easy to read.
Why Business Letters are important?
Business letters often include private and personal information, and their content depends upon whom you are writing. The topic should be clear-cut and goal-oriented to attract quick attention.
A well-written business letter can make a difference whether you’re trying to work with another firm, persuade someone to attend your event, or simply want to say thank you.
Your customers, investors, future employees, and other businesses may get business letters from you. It tackles the current issues or agenda and offers solutions. Business letters follow a business tone and follow a set format.
When working with others in a formal setting, business letters are the best approach to connect, communicate, and collaborate. You should employ document creation software to create and preserve written correspondence, even in a relaxed society. You can draft a business letter for each speaker invitation, client follow-up, testimonial, and payment to a vendor.
You must pay special attention to the recipient if you want to write the perfect business letter. Your language should be persuasive and obvious when writing to investors. When emailing a newly onboarded client, include a timeline for the product rollout. Additionally, be sure to submit the letter on the company’s official letterhead.
What are the Essential / Non- Non-essential parts of a Business Letter?
Let’s see the important eight essential/ six non-essential parts of a business letter.
- Inside address
- Complimentary close
- Reference section
The heading tells where the letter has come from. Most professional firms have their own pre-designed letterheads. Pre-printed Letterheads showcase the repute of a company. However, smaller firms may not have it. They use their name, and address where the letterhead would be.
The date must be put precisely below the heading. The date is a significant component of a letter and serves as a point of reference. The date must be written in its whole, including the day, month, and year. For instance, May 31, 2012, or May 31, 2012.
The recipient’s name and address are the following information in a business letter. This section contained the recipient’s name, his title, and his complete address, including phone and email.
If we are writing on our own, we should write the full name of the receiver with courtesy of Mr. Miss, or Mrs. Sometimes we write titles like doctor, sheikh, etc. After the name, we write a professional title or status.
The name of the organization comes in the second line and the address in the third. When we address a firm “Messers” is used before the name, e.g.
Mr.Ali Ahmad, Director,
Messers Afzal & Co.
Shah Alam Market,
The opening word of a letter is a word of greeting. It is a kind gesture that respects the recipient. The phrase “Dear Sir/Madam,” among others, is referred to as an opening salutation.
We may write. My dear Mr. Ali, or Dear Sir, Dear Madam. We salute our friends as, Dear Ali, or My Dear Ali. When we address firms, we write ‘Dear Sirs’ or ‘Dear Madams’ if it is a women’s organization.
Sometimes words like Dear Member, Dear Reader, etc. are also used to salute.
However, the standard forms, according to the degree of formality are these.
|For Men||For Women|
|Formal:||My dear Sir,||My dear Madam,|
|Less Formal:||Dear Sir,||Dear Madam,|
|My dear,||My dear Mrs. Ali,|
|Dear Mr. Ali,||Dear Miss Kiran,|
|Friendly:||My dear Ahsan,||Dear Kiran,|
The letter’s body is its primary section. In the opening sentence alone, the letter’s purpose must be stated clearly. The body contains the pertinent topic information, which should be broken up into several paragraphs, typically three to four or more, depending on the subject.
If there are any instructions, they must be separated by spaces and either be bulleted or numerically listed. The concluding paragraph should restate the main points for the letter’s contents and offer any assistance or suggest a plan of action that is called for or directed.
The letter’s conclusion is referred to as the closing. It is polite and demonstrates respect for the recipient. Closing salutations are recognized explicitly as Yours Sincerely, Sincerely, etc.
|Sir,||Yours obediently, or|
|Dear Sir,||Yours respectfully, or|
|Dear Ali||Yours sincerely, or|
Following some spaces, sign your name. Please sign above the line where your name is typed. Black or blue ink must be used to sign documents. It is also possible to put in an electronic signature. If it complies with the requirements of your organization, a scanned image of your signature may also be utilized.
This section provides information about the composer, typist, computer directory, etc. These names appear two spaces below the name in the form of initials. Usually, two names appear in this section as MA / na. It means Muhammad Ali dictated the message and Nameem Ahmad typed it.
There are some additional parts of a business letter that you should understand and use. In most circumstances, the aim and recipient of your letter will determine which elements are to be included. Provide for a double space between all special components and the remains of the letter.
- Attention line
- Subject line
- Copy notation
- File number or mailing notation
If we want to send our message directly to some person or department, we use an attention line. The attention line is written two spaces below the inside address. It is written only when the address is an impersonal one, nor an office position.
If, for example, the inside address is: Alfa Electric House, 115 McLeod Road, Lahore, the attention line will appear like this:
Alfa Electric House,
115 McLeod Road,
Attention: Mr. Akhtar Ali
The subject line tells the reader, what is the message all about. The subject of the letter is written indented or with a left margin two spaces below the salutation. The subject should be stated in a long message only.
In a short letter, it is unnecessary. There is no full stop at the end of a subject because it is not a sentence. For example:
Dear Sir, Subject: Installation of gas plant
If you have any attachments, type “Enclosures” a few lines after the sender’s information and signature. Mention the quantity and kind of the attachments, for example, “Enclosures (2): brochure, resume.”
Enclosure notation tells the reader that the letter has some enclosed material with it. The enclosure is typed single space below the reference. It is usually written as under:
Enclosure: or Encl: or Encl: 3 certificates
This part tells the reader, who else than the addressee has received the copy of this letter. Just below the reference or enclosure, the names of these persons are written as ‘cc’ or “copy“.
The file’s name, account number, or mailing notation is given just below the dateline.
Sometimes the sender writes something he wants to add to the message or repeats some important point after enclosure, e.g.
Ps: No claim is valid after the due date is over.
Types of Business Letter
There are different types of business letter
1. Business Proposal
This letter style is employed when pitching a business idea or proposal to a potential customer or business partner. It should list the advantages of the proposal and contain any pertinent information regarding the good or service being provided.
2. Cover Letters
A cover letter is a single-page document that applicants send with their applications. It leads the employer through an overview of their best professional and personal accomplishments.
Whether you’re a student or an experienced employee, a cover letter is important to demonstrate your qualifications for the job you’re applying for as well as your skills and expertise.
- Never attempt to summarize your entire career in a cover letter. It needs to have a carefully chosen selection of tales.
- If you don’t genuinely possess a skill, don’t claim to. When you’re asked to use that talent in the interview, you’ll feel regret then.
- Keep your words brief and direct. The employer doesn’t have time to read a complete memoir in one sitting.
3. Business Invitations
These letters are a formal approach to contacting a business or person and inviting them to a gathering your firm is hosting.
An invitation letter will probably be formal, as business events frequently are. However, if you are planning a casual gathering, it should be clear in your invitation and tone.
- Create anticipation for the event through the letter’s writing.
- Mention the time, date, and location with clarity.
- Establish a cordial follow-up to remind them of the occasion
4. Thank You Letter
A thank you letter can be sent after a job interview, a business meeting, or any other professional interaction. It should express gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate the person’s interest in working with or continuing to do business with the recipient.
5. Claim /Complaint Letter
When the goods or services received are not according to the contract of sale, the customers get disappointed and they usually complain.
You can officially express your disappointment by using this letter to do so. You can let a firm know that its products failed in accordance with your high standards or that you had an unpleasant experience or received poor customer service.
The most important thing to remember when writing this letter is that, in order to be taken seriously, it should not come off as nagging.
- Avoid becoming overly sentimental or irrationally furious. Just be truthful.
- Be friendly and appropriate. Tell them the whole truth and how you want them to make up for their errors.
6. Letter of Resignation
A letter of resignation is a document that informs your employer that you are quitting your position. It’s a common practice to submit a letter of resignation before leaving your job, whether you work for a small business or a well-known corporation.
- Keep it straightforward, stick to the facts, and refrain from complaining. Letters of resignation should not include grievances or criticisms.
- Thank your manager and/or the company for the opportunities, and then list some of the most important lessons you acquired while working there.
7. Order Letters
These letters also called “purchase orders” are used to place orders for goods and purchases of materials. They serve as a formal record of the buyer and seller’s exchange of money. Usually, these letters are sent between companies in order to place or change existing ones.
- To prevent any misunderstanding or confusion, be brief and clear.
- Include everything the vendor will require to complete the order, receive payment, and send it.
- Give your contact details in case there are any follow-up questions or conversations.
8. Confirmation Letter
A confirmation letter is a type of correspondence that confirms a previous agreement or arrangement between two parties. It can be used for confirming appointments, reservations, or other types of commitments, and helps to avoid misunderstandings or disputes.
These are a few examples of the many types of business letters. Each letter tailors the specific situation and purpose, and is written in a professional tone.
9. Letter of Recommendation
These recommendations are meant to help that person get a job, fellowship, internship, or other opportunity.
Many employers request these types of documents before hiring a candidate. It explains the individual to provide that letter and list of their skills & capabilities.
- Be truthful and decline any offers to write a letter to a complete stranger.
- To emphasize the person’s qualities, skills, and abilities, use concrete examples.
- Describe why you think the applicant would excel in the position.
- People frequently ignore the value of creating persuasive business letters because they are uninterested in the idea. People lack the skills necessary to properly create a business letter as a result.
- As long as you follow the established standards for format and language, writing an understandable and brief business letter is not difficult.
10. Sales Letter
A sales letter is written to sell goods, services, or ideas. If someone wants to write an effective sales letter, he must learn the difficult art of selling. Selling is a process through which the seller presents the advantages of his goods in a way that will persuade the reader to accept the seller’s offer.
Therefore, sales letters follow a persuasive plan of writing. Such letters are very carefully written because carelessly written messages may bring a bad name to the organization.
- Be courteous and positive while drafting a sales letter.
- Explain the details about the goods and services.
- You should write effective actions to get a good ending.
What is the easy format/structure of a business letter?
In this format, all of the text is aligned to the left margin. There is no indentation, and each paragraph is separated by a single space. This is a very common format for business letters.
Modified Block Format
This format is similar to the block format, but the date, closing, and signature blocks are indented to the center or right of the page. The body of the letter is still aligned to the left margin.
Semi-Block Format: This format is similar to the block format, but the first line of each paragraph is indented. The date, closing, and signature block are still aligned to the right.
Full Block Format: In this format, all text is aligned to the left margin, including the date, closing, and signature block. There is no indentation, and each paragraph is separated by a single space.
Indented Format: In this format, the first line of each paragraph is indented, and there is no space between paragraphs. The date, closing, and signature block are still aligned to the right.
These are just a few examples of the many formats that can be used for business letters. The choice of format will depend on the purpose of the letter, the company’s preferences, and the sender’s personal style. Regardless of the format used, it’s important to make sure that the letter is well-organized, easy to read, and professional in tone.
Business Proposal Letter Sample:
[City, State ZIP Code]
[City, State ZIP Code]
Dear [Recipient Name],
I am writing to introduce our company, [Your Company], and to propose a partnership between our two organizations. As a leading provider of [Your Service/Product], we believe that our expertise and experience would be of great value to [Recipient Company].
Our team has successfully worked with a range of clients in the [Your Industry] sector, and we are confident that we can help [Recipient Company] achieve its goals in [Your Service/Product]. Our proposed partnership would involve [Briefly describe what the partnership would entail].
I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this proposal with you further. Please tell me if you have any queries or would like to schedule a meeting.
Thank you for considering our proposal. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Cover Letter Sample:
[City, State ZIP Code]
[City, State ZIP Code]
Dear [Recipient Name],
I am writing to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Recipient Company]. As a highly motivated and experienced professional, I believe that I would be a valuable asset to your team.
I have developed a range of skills in my current company that I believe would be transferable to the [Job Title] position. These include [Briefly list a few relevant skills or experiences]. I am confident that my experience and qualifications make me an ideal candidate for the role.
My resume is attached here for your consideration. Thank you for considering my application.
Complaint Letter Sample:
[City, State ZIP Code]
[City, State ZIP Code]
Dear [Recipient Name],
I am writing to show my disappointment with the [Product/Service] that I just received from your company. [Explain the issue in detail, including any specific incidents or interactions with customer service].
I have been a loyal customer of your company for [Length of Time] and have always been satisfied with the quality of your products/services. However, this recent experience has left me feeling frustrated and dissatisfied.
I would appreciate it if you could address this issue as soon as possible and take steps to ensure that it does not happen again in the future. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
These are just a few examples of business letters, each with a different purpose and format. When writing a business letter, it’s important to be clear, concise, and professional in tone.
In professional contexts, business letters are a crucial form of communication. When an organization or professional writes to another organization or individual for business purposes, they should follow an official letter of business format to make a strong first impression.
Most business letters have eight parts that are essential to write a business letter. These parts are the Heading, Date, Inside Address, Salutation, Body, Complimentary Close, Signature, Reference Section, etc.
If a sender thinks it appropriate he may use any or all of the following optional parts in his letter. Attention, Line, Subject Line, Enclosure, Copy Notation, File/Account Number, and Postscript.