Business Letters Definition
Business letters are formal letters used for business-to-business, business-to-client, or client-to-business correspondence. There are a number of elements to a business letter.
1. Date & Sender’s Address
o The first line of a business letter should be the date the letter was written or completed. Directly underneath the date is the sender’s address. Do not include the sender’s name here. Sometimes the sender’s address is listed on a letterhead, in which case the address should not be repeated under the date.
o If known, the recipient’s address should include the name of the person to whom the letter is directed. You should also include a title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Dr.) in front of the name. If you are including the country with the address, capitalize the country name.
o The salutation should be the same as the name written with the recipient’s address, followed by a colon. It is fine to only use the first name if you personally know the person and you typically refer to her by her first name. If you do not know the recipient’s name, it is fine to use the salutation, “To Whom it May Concern.”
o The body of the letter should be formally written. Use single-spaced lines, except between paragraphs, where a double-spaced line should be inserted. The closing paragraph should summarize what was previously stated throughout the letter.
o To close the letter, insert a phrase such as “Thank you” or “Best regards,” followed by a comma. Insert four lines between the closing and sender’s name. This space will be used for your signature once the letter is printed.
Types of Business Letters
There are a number of types of business letters in English. Accomplished speakers of English also need to be able to write the following types of business letters to be successful in business. Begin with a clear understanding of business letter writing basics. Once you’ve understood basic layout styles, standard phrases, salutation and endings, continue to improve your business letter writing skills by learning to write the following types of business letters.
Making An Inquiry
Make an inquiry when you are requesting more information about a product or service. This type of business letter tends to include specific information such as product type, as well as asking for further details in the form of brochures, catalogs, telephone contact, etc. Making inquiries can also help you keep up on your competition!
Sales Letters are used to introduce new products to new customers and past clients. It’s important to outline an important problem that needs to be solved and provide the solution in sales letters. This example letter provides an outline, as well as important phrases to use when sending out a wide variety of sales letters.
Replying to an Inquiry
Replying to inquiries are one of the most important business letters that you write. Customers who make inquiries are interested in specific information, and are excellent business prospects. Learn how to thank the customers, provide as much information as possible, as well as make a call to action for a positive outcome.
Account Terms and Conditions
When a new customer opens an account it is essential to inform them of account terms and conditions. If you run a small business, it is common to provide these terms and conditions in the form of a letter. This guide provides a clear example on which you can base your own business letters providing account terms and conditions.
Letters of Acknowledgment
For legal purposes letters of acknowledgment are often requested. These letters are also referred to as letters of receipt and tend to be rather formal and short. These two examples letters will provide you with a template to use in your own work and can be easily adapted for a number of purposes.
Placing an Order
As a business person, you will often place an order – especially if you have a large supply chain for your product. This example business letter provides an outline to make sure your order placement is clear so that you receive exactly what you order.
Making a Claim
Unfortunately, from time to time it is necessary tomake a claim against unsatisfactory work. This example business letter provides a strong example of a claim letter and includes important phrases to express your dissatisfaction and future expectations when making a claim.
Adjusting a Claim
Even the best business may make a mistake from time to time. In this case, you may be called upon to adjust a claim. This type of business letter provides an example to send to unsatisfied customers making sure that you address their specific concerns, as well as retain them as future customers.
Cover letters are extremely important when applying for a new position. Cover letters should include a short introduction, highlight the most important information in your resume and elicit a positive response from your prospective employer. These two examples of cover letters are part of a larger section on the site providing all the information you will need on taking an interview in English during your job search
|PARTS OF BUSINESS LETTER
STYLES OF BUSINESS LETTER
The following pictures show what a one-page business letter should
look like. There are three accepted styles. The horizontal lines represent lines of type.
Modified Block Style Block Style
Different Styles of Business Letter
Skip a line after the heading before the inside address. Skip another line after the inside address before the greeting.
Dr. Calvin Carson
Cross Country Coach
Dept. of Athletics
Colorado Community College at Cripple Creek
Cripple Creek CO 80678
The greeting in a business letter is always formal. It normally begins with the word “Dear“ and always includes the person’s last name. It normally has a title such as Mr., Mrs., Dr., or a political title. The greeting in a business letter always ends in a colon.
The first line of a new paragraph is indented in the semi block style. The block and modified block style have all lines of the body to the left margin. Regardless of style, skip a line between paragraphs. Skip a line between the greeting and the body. Skip a line between the body and the close.
The Complimentary Close and Signature Line
The left edge of the close and signature line in the semi block and modified block begin in the center, at the same column as the heading. The close and signature of the block letter begins at the left margin. The complimentary close begins with a capital letter and ends with a comma. Skip from one to three spaces (two on a typewriter), and type in
the signature line, the printed name of the person signing the letter.
Sign the name in the space between the close and the signature line, starting at the left edge of the signature line. Women may indicate how they wish to be addressed by placing Miss, Mrs., Ms. or similar title in parentheses before their name. The signature line may
include a second line for a title, if appropriate. The signature should start directly above the first letter of the signature line in the space between the close and the signature line. Use blue or black ink.
(Signature goes here)
(Mrs.) Elisabeth Jackson
Director of Acquisitions