A business letter is essentially a written letter from one business to another, either by direct contact or in-house. The style of the letter generally depends on the nature of the relationship involved. Generally, you will find that it is more formal, but it is not that uncommon for a business letter to be informal and conversational. This is especially true if the letter is intended to promote or market a particular product. However, most business letters are meant to be sent across as professional, business-like correspondence.
Business Letter Format
What Is A Business Letter?
A business letter refers to a formal document that is usually sent from one business to another business or from a company to its workers, clients, creditors, and other relevant stakeholders. There are several reasons why a company may want to write business letters. For instance: Business letters help to
- Sell a company’s product and services
- Seek business information and/or advises
- Boost positive public relations
- Notify customers of changes in the price of goods and services
- Notify customer or other business stakeholders about changes in business terms and policies and
- Notify stakeholders regarding the general progress of the business and its planned activities that are aimed to boost the success of the business.
The Importance of Good Business Letter Format
Important as they are, business letters should be written in an organized format – if they must achieve their intended purpose.
Unlike other types of letters you may have written before, a business letter should follow a style that makes them impressive, useful, and compact.
Sending out well-formatted letters will give the recipients an impression that the letter was written by experts – this will go the wrong way to upholding your business reputation. On the other hand, a poorly formatted business letter conveys a message that your business lacks professionalism–something that can negatively affect its reputation. Whether you have written a business letter before or are considering doing this for the first time, this post will come in handy. Here we will discuss more regarding the format of a business letter and also share some surefire tips to follow when composing your business letter – keep reading to the end.
How to Format a Business Letter
Whether your business letter will be typed or handwritten, experts advise you to use block paragraphing – this means everything should begin from the left margin. Sections of a Business Letter Regardless of the information, you wish to convey, your business letter should contain all the sections below.
Business Letter Format | A Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Writing Your Contact Information
Start by writing your address. Include critical information such as
- Your full names
- Your job position
- Name of your business
- Your business address
- Your business location i.e. current city, zip code, etc.
- You contact information i.e. phone number
- Your business email address
After writing this information, write the date and skip one line before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Recipient’s Contact Information
The second step involves writing the recipient’s contact information (below your contact details and after skipping a single line). Here you should include:
- Their full names
- Their job position
- Their Company
- The physical address of their companies
- Their current location i.e. city, state zip code
Once again skip a line after filling out these details
Step 3: Salutation
Your salutation conveys a sense of respect to the recipient. The salutation you use will primarily depend on whether you know the target audience, your relationship with them, and the level of formality. Some common salutation phrases include:
“To whom it may concern” – use this if you are not a specific person you know
“Dear Sir/Madam” – use this if the recipient isn’t a person you know much about
Use the recipient name and title if you know them well and have a formal relationship e.g. “Dear Dr. Hamton”
If you don’t know much regarding the recipient gender, consider using their full name e.g. “Dear Kris Hampton”
If your relationship with the recipient is informal, use “Dear (first name only) e.g. Dear Kris
As a rule of thumb, never forget a comma after the salutation or colon following “To whom it may concern”
Step 4: The Body of Your Letter
Here you convey your message clearly and concisely. Go straight to the point – no fluff. Use single-spaced lines and add some space between your salutation and paragraphs. Start every paragraph from the left margin. Some possible starting phrases include: “I’m writing in response to….”
“I’m writing to you in regards to…”“The purpose of this letter is to …” etc Note that you should not bother with big vocabularies or meandering sentences. Likewise, try to be persuasive with your writings – most likely you will be writing the letter to persuade the reader.
Since you are writing the letter on behalf of the company, use “we” however if you are writing your opinion use “I”
Step 5: Closing Salutation
Once you have expressed the reason for writing your business letter, now reiterate the reason once more in the closing salutation.
Also, take this chance to thank the recipient for honoring your request. Some closing phrases here include:
- Yours faithfully
- Respectfully yours
- Respectfully etc.
If your relationship with the reader is less formal, you can use phrases such as:
- All the best
- Thank you
- Best etc.
Step 6: Signature
Add a single-spaced line and then close your letter with a signature. Skip four lines and type your full name, and contact info (mobile number, email address, etc.
Surefire Tips for Writing a Business Letter
1. Use Professional Tone
Your letter should read as if you wrote it yourself and not anybody else or a machine. Make sure it’s your writing is professional but yet friendly. Strive for a tone that’s confident, sincere, and courteous.
2. Write Clearly
Go straight to the point and avoid the industry jargons that may otherwise cause misunderstandings/miscommunication. Use active wordings that will grab the reader’s attention.
3. Organize Your Information in a Logical Manner
Related information should be grouped into separate paragraphs. Organize your information into various sections each with subheadings.
4. Consider Using Color to Emphasize Certain Words/Phrases
Coloring certain words or phrases will provoke the reader’s attention –they will likely capture the information you are emphasizing easily when you use a different color.
5. Understand Your Readers
If you know who your readers are, then you know how to write content that will persuade them. Address their needs in the letter and show them how you will offer solutions.
6. Include a “Call to Action”
When concluding your letter, tell the recipient what they need to do to achieve the intended solution – i.e. tell them what they should do after reading and understanding the message conveyed.
You’ve now learned how to craft a business letter, why don’t you put this into action? Simply follow the procedure explained here and be certain that you will nail it too!
Business Letter Format Example
Name of Company
Address of Company
City, State Zip Code
November 22, 2020
Name of Representative
Title of Rep
Name of Company
Address of Company
City, State Zip Code
Dear Representative Name:
- Body of the Letter
As we discussed, there is a high demand for alternative, holistic products. I do believe that as a team we can and will be very effective in providing the best, healthy, safe, alternative products for those in the community who are looking for a substitution for prescription and over-the-counter drugs. I am honored that you have considered selling both my books and products.
A part of the proceeds will go to the store. We discussed a sample consignment arrangement. To me, this is more than pleasant. I am looking forward to following up with you to discuss how you would like to move forward. Please feel free to contact me at (864)963-2468 at your earliest convenience. Thank you.
Andrea Chachere, Health and Wellness Consultant
Business Letter Example