Business Letters / December 6, 2018 / Betty Harvey.
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.
When you write to a title the salutation is "Dear Sir " "Dear Madam " or if you want to play it safe "Dear Sir/Madam." When you write to an organization it s "Dear Sirs " Dear "Mesdames " or again if you want to play it safe (but labor the point) "Dear Sirs/Mesdames." Your sign off will be "Yours faithfully" (UK) or "Yours truly" (US and Canada.) Less formal letters This is where you have a name. And this is where you can get into hot water if you re not sure of the gender of the person. Someone called J C Jennings could be a Jack or a Joanna. Someone called Leslie Matthews could also be either (traditionally the female version of the name is spelled "Lesley" and the male "Leslie " but I know at least one lady Leslie.) Equally beware of unisex names like Jody Jo Bobbie Alex Rob Robin Carol (yes really ) Billie Chris Darryl Eddie Sam Jackie Nicky Frances (f) vs Francis (m) Freddie Gabrielle (f) vs Gabriel (m) Georgie Gerry/Jerry Charlie Nat Harry Jessie (f) vs Jesse (m) Stevie Mel Pat Ronnie Sacha Sandy etc. And that s before we get started on names from non English-language cultures. People these days usually don t advertise whether they re "Mr" or "Ms" or whatever.
Readers do not like repetitive messages so do your best to avoid that. Scan every sentence and make sure they are essential to your message. Anything less than that should be deleted from your letter. Be Courteous and Polite This should be mandatory in writing these letters especially if you are talking to someone in a higher position. Depending on the nature of your message every appropriate courtesy should be extended to your reader. Make sure you address him properly as befitting his position. If you are writing a letter addressed to someone in a lower position do not appear condescending. Be Positive This is important especially for sales oriented letters. Use a positive tone of writing when creating your sentences. Substitute negative terms with positive ones. Using the proper words will help keep your reader interested in reading your message. Forget Creativity A business letter is not the medium for you to express your creativity. Do not use fancy words or use flowing narratives that you normally use in creative writing.
The tone used in the letter should be soft and positive with minimal self-deprecation. This type of business letter should be written as soon as possible after the event has occurred. Instead of talking about the mistake you should write about how you plan to atone. Ensure that this letter is personalized and flawlessly written with a positive conclusion including the use of phrases such as Yours Sincerely . Letter Of Appreciation The purpose of this business letter type is to show gratitude to an individual or a company. The recipient of this letter has excelled themselves and this letter is used as a means of motivation.
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.