Purpose of a Business Letter
A business letter is a formal way of communicating between two or more parties. There are many different uses and business letters. Business letters can be informational, persuasive, motivational, or promotional. Business letters should be typed and printed out on standard 8.5" x 11" white paper.
Elements of a Good Letter
The most important element of writing a good letter is your ability to identify and write to your audience. If you are addressing your letter to the department of human resources, avoid using highly technical terms that only engineers would understand, even if your letter is addressed to an engineering company, chances are that the personnel in human resources does not have an engineering background.
The next element is that you make sure your present your objective in a clear and concise manner. Don't be vague about your objective, most people will not have the patience to sit there and guess at the meaning of your letter or the time to read a long-winded letter, just get to the point without going into unnecessary details.
Another important element to remember is to remain professional. Even if you are writing a complaint letter, remain polite and courteous, simply state the problem(s) along with any other relevant information and be sure to avoid threats and slander
Sample Business Letter
Mrs. Clara Winters --------Return Address
12187 S. Polo Dr.
Fairfax, VA 22030
May 26, 1998 -------- Date
The Tiny Tots Toy Company -------- Inside Address
15456 Pyramid Way
College Park, FL 33133
Dear Customer Service Representative: -------- Salutation
I recently purchased one of your Tiny Tents (Model # 47485) for my three-year old. Unfortunately, afterviewing the components that came with the product, I discovered that four of the parts were missing. Also, the instructions that came with the tent are incomplete. Both of these situations have resulted in the tent remaining unassembled and unacceptable as a toy for my daughter.
I am writing to request replacements for the missing parts, and a copy of the full set of assembly directions for the model I purchased. If reasonable arrangements are not made within ten business days, I will return the tent to the store I purchased it from and expect a full refund. To assist you in processing my request, I am including a copy of my sales receipt and a list of the missing parts.
I have purchased other toys manufactured by your company in the past, and have always been impressed with the quality and selection Tiny Tots has made available to its customers. I sincerely hope this is a one-time incident, and that any future purchases I make will live up to the standard my family has come to expect from your company. Sincerely,-------- Closing
Clara Winters -------- Typed Name and Position
Enclosures: 2 -------- Abbreviations
Return Address: If your stationery has a letterhead, skip this. Otherwise, type your name, address and optionally, phone number. These days, it's common to also include an email address.
Date: Type the date of your letter two to six lines below the letterhead. Three are standard. If there is no letterhead, type it where shown.
Reference Line: If the recipient specifically requests information, such as a job reference or invoice number, type it on one or two lines, immediately below the Date (2). If you're replying to a letter, refer to it here. For example, ● Re: Job # 625-01
● Re: Your letter dated 1/1/200x.
Special Mailing Notations: Type in all uppercase characters, if appropriate. Examples include
● SPECIAL DELIVERY
● CERTIFIED MAIL
On-Arrival Notations: Type in all uppercase characters, if appropriate. You might want to include a notation on private correspondence, such as a resignation letter. Include the same on the envelope. Examples are
Inside Address: Type the name and address of the...
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