A business letter is a formal written communication that you indulge in when you need to put plans and intentions in writing. A lot depends on how you word and present such a letter. A single word or statement which is out of place could result in the development of a bad relationship with your clients or partners. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when formulating a business letter. You need to remember to be objective, precise, brief, firm and polite, otherwise you risk offending the reader and presenting yourself in a very non-professional manner. Since most business letters these days are typed on a computer and printed on paper, you will get ample time to correct any mistake that you may have made. It is therefore important for you to review the letter carefully to find any mistakes. A business letter also plays an important role in forming opinions and decisions, both of which can be manipulated in your favour by simply employing the right methods of writing it.
Business Letter Etiquette Tips
In order to structure the letter properly it is advised that you break it up into sections and then follow all the guidelines for each section.
- The golden rule of business letters is that, if you are writing in response to a communication, then you send a response without delay. In case you need more time to form a proper response, then send a letter stating that you are working on the proposal and that you will need time to respond. Make sure that you inform the person of the time you will be sending your response by.
- When placing the header make sure that your company logo is in place and is visible. In the footer of the page you can include the complete business address and contact details of your company.
- Ensure that you address the addressee by the proper title (Mr., Mrs., Miss., Ms., and Dr.)
- When typing the letter, ensure that you use the same font throughout the letter. The fonts used should look professing and should not be fancy or overly artistic.
- Don’t use a font size greater than 12 and smaller than 10. Also avoid providing too much space between two consecutive lines.
- When greeting the addressee make sure that you attach the correct salutation (Sir/ Ma’am). You can also write your salutation using the name of the person.
- If you are responding to a letter previously sent to you by the addressee, then make sure to add a reference to that letter. If it is the first letter you are writing in response to a meeting or a proposal, mention the same in the letter.
- Make sure that the language of your letter is formal and professional. Do not try to impress the reader with complex words. Do not use colloquial language and overly elaborate descriptions or statements. Refrain from using any language that may be misconstrued as offensive or abusive.
- When writing the letter try to stick to the point and don’t wander by including frivolous or unrelated information.
- In case you do not wish the letter to be read by anyone other than the addressee, then make sure that you write “Private and Confidential” on the envelope.
- If you are expecting a response to your letter, then make sure that you mention it at the end of the letter.
- Once the letter is finished, print it out on good quality paper. Use of poor quality paper will make the addressee feel that you do not consider him or her important enough.
- Once the letter is written and printed, end the letter by signing it yourself. Ensure that your name and designation in the company is written just below your signature.
- Before you send the letter make sure that you read it once and correct any grammatical, factual or spelling errors.
Following these simple etiquettes while writing a business letters will ensure that you are taken seriously by the addressee and given your due respect.