Business Letters / December 5, 2018 / Melinda Lucas
When in doubt don t risk embarrassment; phone the organization concerned and ask. Some people borrow an awful technique from email and use a person s whole name in the salutation e.g. "Dear Suzan St Maur." I don t know about you but this irritates the h*ll out of me and I would not recommend it. So when your letter is addressed to "Mr J C Jennings" your salutation is "Dear Mr Jennings." If the information you have is simply "Joanna C Jennings" you can probably take a chance and write a salutation of "Dear Ms Jennings." I don t know many male Joannas but don t count on it... Writing business letters is a skill that a person should have since it involves creating formal correspondences concerning your company product or service.
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.