Writing Business Letters and Emails: Effective Guide

If you want to demonstrate the level of your proficiency to your potential business partner, we assure you that business letters can help you reveal your professionalism to the full by creating positive impression about you as an employee. Just think how many business letters you read on a daily basis. The number is impressive, isn`t it? Of course, to reach your goal, you should write much more than just a business letter free from any grammar and spelling errors as it requires much more efforts. However, if writing business letters and emails is not one of your strengths, we recommend you to read the following guide and it will help you master the essentials of business writing. Regardless of the format of your business letter, you have to understand its significance and follow a specific procedure of business letters-emails writing. We have created a list of the most common business letter types so that you could familiarize yourself with essential rules of their writing.

Business Letter Formats: Essential Information

To understand the peculiarities of writing formal business letters and emails, you need to know the definition of a business letter. A business letter is an instrument of communication that is written in formal language and is usually used by employees of a company, by representatives of different companies, or potential clients, etc. These letters perform various purposes including communicative, informative, persuasive, and descriptive ones.

In a historical perspective, people used to do business correspondence via the “snail email.” However, with fast development of modern technologies, business communication has improved its channels and became more convenient. When it comes to business communication, the right format of a business letter is a particularly important thing. As such, all business letters should be written, formatted, and proofread according to the specific rules of business writing. When writing the business letter of any type, one should not forget about the salutation and closing phrases, as well as the information like the name, address, job title, and phone number. Let us have a closer look at the common types of business communication.

Traditional Business Letters

Although the technologies are developing with incredible speed, a traditional business letter remains a common mean of business communication. Perhaps, it is nowadays the fastest and the most convenient way to reach the employee, potential customer, or a partner. Almost all formal letters are typed. Handwritten business letters are now very rare in the business world. A well-composed business letter usually includes the following information:

  • The contact information of the author (the name, address, email, and phone number);
  • Date;
  • The contact information of the recipient (the name, name of the company, and e-mail address);
  • The salutation phrase;
  • The main body (usually takes 2-3 meaningful paragraphs);
  • The closing phrase;
  • Signature.

The body of a business letter should be focused on the main goal of writing. Moreover, you need to write it in such a way to make your reader focused as well. In the first paragraph of your business letter, you need to introduce yourself and your company. The second and third paragraphs should be used for explaining the reasons for sending a letter, its primary goal. In other words, you need to inform a recipient what you want from him/her. Do not forget to complete your business letter with words or phrases of appreciation. For instance, “Thank you for attention,” or “Thank you for your time.” One more point that should be taken into consideration when writing a business letter is formatting. As such, you need to select a common font such as Times New Roman or Arial and make spaces between your paragraphs. Every business letter should also contain the signature of its author. 

Business Letters

When you need to write a business e-mail for professional purposes, you also need to format it properly as it is required by standards of business communication. However, even if your e-mail is formatted properly and is free from any grammar errors and typos, it is not enough. 

The question is, “How to write a great business e-mail that will be interesting to a recipient and will not get lost among other e-mails?” Most probably, your e-mail will have only one chance to be noticed. Therefore, you need to pay attention to every detail when writing your e-mail. Keep your letter specific, short, and personalized, and try to avoid using the meaningful information. First and foremost, clarify the reason for the current letter. The recipient should understand what you want from him/her from the very beginning. Indeed, time is a particularly precious resource in a business world; therefore, not so many people read business e-mails beyond the first paragraph. Sometimes, writing business letters and emails requires files attachment. Make sure you attach everything in one e-mail since sending files in another e-mail will serve as proof of your obliviousness. As for the personal information that should be mentioned in your business letter, apart from your name, company`s name, and address, you can also include the address of your LinkedIn account. 

Cover Letters

A cover letter is a basic instrument in business communication that is sent by an applicant for a specific work position. In order to succeed, the applicant should be aware of specific rules of its writing that are discussed further in detail. First and foremost, you should understand that a cover letter is not a copy of a resume. Yes, it aims to interpret the information mentioned in a resume, but still, it is a separate document that outlines skills, qualifications, and competencies necessary for a specific position. In your cover letter, you need to “sell” yourself to your potential employer explaining what your knowledge and skills will help improve the work of the company or a specific department. Make sure your cover letter is tailored to the requirements mentioned in the advertisement. If you want to succeed, your letter should be totally customized, which means it should fit the offered position. In addition, do not forget about the salutation words and closing phrases, as they are the inevitable parts of business communication. 

Farewell Letters

If you are leaving your job, it is always a great idea to write a farewell letter, especially if you want to stay in touch with your colleagues. Such a letter will help you share your personal information with different people. Remember that it should be polite, even though you are not very happy about leaving the company. Share your gratitude and everyone will remember you as a great and professional person, who knows how to keep emotions under control.

Writing Business Letters and Emails: Conclusion

In a business field, the ability to write good business letters is highly valued. Although there are many different formats, writing business letters and emails is not that difficult. You may find a lot of well-written samples on the web and learn how business communication examples should look like. Moreover, from the cover letter to the farewell e-mail, you will polish your writing and communicative skills, which will help you become a valuable asset in any organization. All in all, if you want to create great business letters and format them correctly, just follow the simple steps suggested in our article and remember that practice makes perfect!