Business Letters / November 30, 2018 / Lidia Jenkins
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.
If you are writing for customers do not use business jargons that they may not understand. Use the Appropriate Font Forget Comic Sans and other fonts that look "cute." Business correspondence should look crisp and formal. Standard fonts for these letters include Times New Roman and Arial. Your font should not go beyond 12 pt except if you are using a really small font. Large fonts look unprofessional and sloppy. Of course it goes without saying that all business letters should be typed and never handwritten. One needs to pay special attention to the language while writing a business letter. It should be formal and even sensitive issues should be addressed with proper care and ensure that it does not come across as offensive. For example in case of complaint letters.
There is an answer though. Use the formality of structure that makes the business letter the bullet-proof form of communication it has come to be. Combine that with the short straight-talking style of writing more common to emails and you have a good compromise. Let s start with the structure - or rather the etiquette which supplies the structure. There are variations between accepted etiquette used in the different English language markets. Here are the main British forms of address. I have also included the US/Canadian equivalents where I know them but I m afraid I m not aware of those used in Australia NZ or SA. Formal letters The addressee will either be a title e.g. "The Chief Executive Officer" or to an organization or company when you don t know to whom your letter should be addressed.