A business letter is a type of letter that requires professionality and specificity rather than being something creative and informal. The business world communicates in a manner that is more formal and accurate so the business letter you produce should reflect this ideology. Do not confuse with what is a formal letter as the two names, business letter and formal letter, are sometimes used interchangeably.
It is also important to remember that recipients of business letters do not usually have a lot of time spare to particularly read through every detail of your message. They will most likely want to skim through the most important parts and be able to rapidly reply to finish the matter. This is important to take into consideration for your business letter format as you do not want to be rambling on for many pages as this will ensure your letter to be thrown away.
The Main Parts of a Business Letter
Looking at a business letter format will give you a more detailed idea of what needs to be included in your letter, however this is a good summary to help you understand the basics.
- Salutations: both at the beginning and the end, this is very important to get right as you want to know who you are directing your letter at and how to respectfully address them.
- Main body: your information should be specific and accurate so that your recipient can make their way through it quickly and have an understanding of what is expected from them.
- Attachments: it is important to let your recipient know if you are sending any additional documents with the letter and alert them of what they are and their importance within the letter.
- Format: this concerns the way the letter looks and is presented as there are many different styles to choose from.
Reasons for Writing a Business Letter
Here are a selection of reasons why you might want to write a business letter:
- As a business-person to another business-person at the same, or different, company regarding an important matter.
- A person writing to a company to comment on a service or product.
- A person writing to a company to make a suggestion.
- Writing to a business to enquire about a particular product or some information.
- An apology to or from a person or company.
- A business replying to a person after receiving a letter.
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