What is Business Letter?
Business letter is a medium used to send written messages outside the organization. It is very old source of communication that organizations are still using but in developed countries adopted high level of technology which has replaced business letters with emails. But still business letter is not avoided in these organizations.
A business letter is used to influence, feedback, convince, or request. Business letters have its own properties by which a reader can understand writer’s level of communication skills. A message in business letter directly influence on writer’s attitude.
How to write bussiness letter
To write an effective business letter the writer should keep few things in mind; put your feet into other’s shoes, be positive even while writing a negative statement, write your message complete, bring concreteness in your message, make your message concise, show courtesy in your message, make your message clear, bring consideration in your message, and bring also correctness in your message.
Second factor that influence which is actually first factor that is appearance of the letter. Appearance makes first impression on reader’s mood. Business letter has its own formats and its own headings. Everything arranged into a proper order and sequence.
Business letter has its own characteristics and standards, so good organization use twenty five percent cotton content, which almost twenty pound weight, and white cream or light grey colors used as their letter’s stationary paper. These organizations mostly use their letterheads may be 8½ by 11 inches size or may use 8½ by 14 inches. Letterheads contain company’s name, address, postal/zip code, telephone, registration number, fax number, nature of business etc.
These organizations usually use printed envelops. These envelops contain information like title, and name of receiver, name of the department, name of organization, name of building in which the organization is situated, street address, suite address, post office box number, city, state/province, zip/postal code, country’s name if receiver’s organization is situated outside the sender’s country.
Contents of Business Letter
As mentioned before that business letter has its own standards and characteristics that are listed below:
- Letterhead/Heading/Sender’s Address
- Inside Address/Receiver’s Address/Reader’s Address
- Attention Line (Optional)
- Subject Line (optional)
- Title/Account Number and Mailing Notation (Optional)
- Complementary Close
- Signature Area
- Reference Initials
- Enclose Notation (Optional)
- Copy Notation (Optional)
- Postscript (Optional)
As it shown by name heading contains sender’s address, name of the organization. Good companies use printed form that called letterhead which contains much information about the organization. Heading placed at the top of the page with left, centre or right margins.
Placement of date is two to six lines below the heading. Date should be placed at left, centre and middle left margins.
Inside Address/Receiver’s Address/Reader’s Address
The inside address contains name, designation, organization of receiver/reader/individual/organization/department to whom we are writing the letter. The inside address always be placed at left margin.
Attention Line (Optional)
If letter needs to be deliver to a specific person then attention line used and it should be placed between inside address and salutation with double line space before and after.
The salutation should be placed one line below to inside address and two times above the body message.
Subject Line (optional)
Subject line provides advance information about message to the sender. It is an optional part of the letter but became a trend. The word subject is excludable and it depends on writer. It is likely placed two lines below the salutation at left margin.
Title/Account Number and Mailing Notation (Optional)
It is used when sender’s and receiver’s companies want to share some important information data i-e. file, loan, tax, or account number for quickly retrieval. It is typed above the body.
Body is the main content of a letter that contains main message of the sender. Body should be placed two lines below the salutation. Mostly short letters are double spaced and letter more than two to three pages contains paragraphs.
Complimentary close is placed under the body at mostly middle left margin. In different countries complimentary close is written differently so find out your culture.
Signature area may contain writer’s name, designation, department, and company (if letter is without letterhead).
It is used for typist’s initials and is placed at the same line of signature area one to two lines below at left margin.
Enclose Notation (Optional)
If sender wants to enclose something with letter then he/she places a notation under the reference with single or double line space. It is reminder for the preparer of the letter about enclose something by the sender.
Copy Notation (Optional)
If sender wants to send letter more than one people then he/she write their name under the enclose notation or reference initials.
When writer/sender wants to deliver unrelated message or wants to emphasize more on something that already written in the message then he/she will use postscript. The sender will write it in hand writing with pen i-e. P.S, Ps, or PS:.