Business Letters / December 4, 2018 / Hilary Kirby
They have a deep mistrust of email and for good reason as its confidentiality can never be guaranteed. Business letters are at least fairly private - you have to assume it s easier and faster to snoop on email than it is to steam envelopes open over boiling water. In other instances too printed letters provide a more tamper-proof formal record of business arrangements complaints employee warnings/terminations and other issues that need to be carved into tablets of stone. (Well paper anyway.) Old fashioned structure modern style Highlighted and ridiculed by the casual nature of email the quaint formality of the old fashioned business letter seems positively Dickensian and totally inappropriate for the way we do business now.
Hence their search phrase of "business letter". I often get e-mails from people asking me if I have any business letter templates or if I can write them a business letter. Invariably I have to reply to them asking "what type of business letter what is the specific purpose"? The fact is; "business letter" is a very general term that can mean one of many different specific letter types. Accordingly the rest of this article is going to explain exactly what business letters really are. Despite the widespread use of e-mail in commerce today traditional business letters are still the main way that the majority of businesses officially communicate with their customers and other businesses.
This is especially true when businesses want to formalize an agreement or an understanding. So far emails are great for all of the preparatory work but a formal business letter is still most often needed to "seal the deal". There are two overall categories of business letters: business-to-business and business-to-customer. BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS LETTERS Most business-to-business letters are written to confirm things that have already been discussed among officials in meetings on the telephone or via e-mail. Can you imagine the letters that would have to go back and forth to cover all of the questions and possibilities that can be covered in a one-hour meeting a half-hour phone call or a few quick e-mails? The main purpose of a typical business letter is to formalize the details that were arrived at in those discussions and to provide any additional information that was agreed upon.