Writing a business letter is not the same as putting together something less formal. There are certain types of expectations when you send this type of communication; if you fail to live up to these it will reflect badly on you and your business. Once you become familiar with the style and format of a business letter they are relatively straightforward, but there is a bit of learning before you reach this point.
Useful Tips for How to Write a Business Letter
Here are just a few ideas for how you can go about writing a business letter:
- One of the most important aspects of a business letter is the spelling and grammar. If you have even one mistake it can make your appear like an amateur and those you are communicating are unlikely to take you seriously. You should always have another person read your business letter for mistakes and don’t just rely on computer software to check for errors.
- People in business don’t usually have much time for reading so any letter you send should be crystal clear and straight to the point. The reader should not have to read until the end of the page in order to find out what it is you want; this should be clear right from the beginning. Plan the business letter carefully so that you say what you want to say in as few words as possible.
- Be careful what you write in a business letter because you don’t know who is going to eventually see it. Don’t say anything negative about other people (including the competition) because this letter could later come back to haunt you.
- Your tone in the letter should be pleasant but avoid getting too chummy. Don’t add anything if there is any chance of it being considered offensive or inappropriate. It is usually best to avoid humour altogether.
- If you are sending this letter to a large company you will need to make clear who you want to read it.
- You don’t want your letter to be too stuffy and formal but you will require a certain amount of formality — a professional distance.
- If you have had any previous communications with the company / individual then this should clearly be mentioned in the first paragraph.
- You will want to have the letter dated and there should also be details of your company address in the top left hand corner.
- There are many business letter templates available on the web and it might be a good idea to make use of these.
- A subject line is important and this should be situated in the letter before you introduce yourself. This line will be highlighted from the rest of the text and in as few words as possible indicate what the letter is about.
- Your letter should have a beginning, middle, and an end and each of these parts should flow easily from one to the next.
- Always thank the reader for taking the time to read your communication.