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How To Create an Effective Business Letter

Tools and plans used to create an effective business letter

Introduction

A business letter needs to be clear, concise and have a single business purpose. It should prompt the reader to take some action. Personality does not usually come into it. This differs from a personal letter which more accurately reflects the personality of the writer; where longer is usually better, and it does not have to influence someone to take action.

Properties of a business letter

These are the properties of an effective business letter:

  1. Uses the company's letterhead.
  2. Provides sender's contact information
  3. Includes a date of when letter was written
  4. Provides recipient contact information
  5. Includes a subject line, if appropriate
  6. Focuses on only one topic
  7. Uses opening salutation (ended with a colon)
  8. Provides closing salutation
  9. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization have all been checked
  10. Use simple fonts and format

Affect of a well-written business letter

  • Using the company letterhead makes it clear that this is a business communication.
  • Incorrect spelling or grammar make the letter hard to read and detract from the author's message and reputation and make the letter hard to read.
  • The organization should be logical and each paragraph of the content should flow into the next.
  • Focusing on one subject will deliver a more powerful letter than one covering many subjects. It will also avoid confusion.
  • A letter that is well laid out and presented in a pleasing way makes it easier to read. Ensure that the paragraph style is consistent and the appropriate fonts are used. Generally, short letters should use sans-serif fonts and longer letters should use serif fonts.
  • The composition of the letter includes complete sentences of varying length. This makes the letter easier to read.
  • Use an appropriate vocabulary. Use simple words and phrases that are well understood in the industry.

The letter as a whole should have a clear message, whether a call to action or source of meaningful information. Use active verbs and avoid the passive voice\.

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