In previous section, we have learnt about addressing a letter. Now let’s discuss about how to write an effective business letter.
Email may be the quick and convenient way to relay daily business message, but the printed business letter is still the preferred way to convey important information. A carefully crafted letter presented on attractive letterhead can be a powerful communication tool. To make sure you are writing the most professional and effective letter possible, use the business letter format and follow these instructions –
- Select a professional letterhead design for your small business – Communicate high quality. As a convenient and economical alternative to using traditional preprinted letterhead, try using our contemporary letterhead and envelope design template. Simply create a letter within a pre designed color letterhead template and then print your entire piece quickly and beautifully on your computer.
- Use a standard Business Letter Format and Template – Mostly used format for business letter is Block Style, where the text of entire letter is justified left. The text is single spaced, except for double spaces between paragraphs. Typically margins are about 1 Inch (25.4 mm) on all sides of document, which is the default setting for most word-processing programs. If you are using Microsoft Word, you can turn to its built-in letter Wizard for additional formatting assistance (look at Tool menu).
- Business Letter Template Fields –
- Date – Use month, day, year format. For example – April 29, 2017
- Sender’s Address – It is good idea to include sender’s email and url, if available. Don’t include this information if it’s already incorporated into the letterhead design. This will allow customers to find your business more quickly
- Inside Address – Use full name. Mr. / Ms. is optional.
- Salutation – Be sure to use a colon at the end of name, not a comma as in personal letter.
- Body text – State your purpose of writing. Outline the solution, providing the proof through examples and expert opinions. Group related information into paragraphs.
- Closing “Call to Action” – State what the reader needs to do and what you will do to follow up.
- Signature block – Sign your letter in blue or black ink
- Enclosure – Use if you have an enclosure
- Carbon Copy – Use if you are sending a copy to additional person(s).
- Use a professional tone – Printed letters should be friendly but more professional. The business writer should strive for an overall tone that is confident, courteous and sincere; that uses emphasis and subordination approximately; that contains nondiscriminatory language; that stresses the “you” attitude. Be sure to sound like yourself, you don’t want your letter to read as if a machine wrote it.
- Write clearly – State your point early in your letter. To avoid any miscommunications, use straightforward, concise language. Skip the industry jargon and instead choose lively, active words to hold your reader’s attention. Organize your information logically. In a long, information – packed letter, consider organizing information into sections and sub heads.
- Be Persuasive – Establish a positive relationship with your reader right away. If you have a connection to the reader – you have met before or have a mutual colleague, mention this into introductory paragraph. Whether you think your reader will agree with the point of your letter or not, it is important to find a common ground and build your case from them. Understand your reader well enough to anticipate how he or she will react when reading your letter. Address his or her needs or wishes or a specific problem and then outline your solution. Provide proof in the way of examples and or/expert opinions to back up your point. Make sure to maintain a friendly tone. Conclude your letter with a call to action. State clearly what your reader needs to do or believe to achieve the desired solution and then state what you, the writer, intend to do next to follow up.
- Proofread your letter – All your careful crafting and printing can’t cover up spelling or punctuation errors, which leave a lasting negative impression. So proofread your letter before you send it. Make it a habit.