A business letter format is a formal document that is sent from one company to another. It is also sent by a company to its clients, employees, and stakeholders. Moreover, these letters are used for professional correlation between individuals.
However, there are a lot of electronic means of communication but business letters convey a more personal message. Also, it is more suitable to cement a relationship with the recipient than an email.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the business letter format?
- 2 Three different types of business letter format:
- 3 Different types of business letter:
- 4 When do you use a business letter format?
- 5 How to write a business letter?
- 6 Conclusion:
- 7 Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- 8 What are the parts of a business letter?
- 9 What are the best fonts to use for a business letter?
What is the business letter format?
A business letter should be drafted on the company’s letterhead with margins of 1 to 1.5 inches all around the page. A formal business letter format consists of the following important elements;
Name and address of recipient:
The formal business letter must contain the personal or business name of the recipient. Also, include here the title, business name, and address.
Mention the date that when the letter was written. It must be written in a format of month, day, and year.
This section explains what the letter is about. This section is also known as a subject of a letter.
Every business has its own way of a salutation so it may vary from business to business. Some examples of salutations are dear sir or madam, dear Mr. Jeams, etc.
Next, the body of the letter is single-spaced and there is a double space between paragraphs. In the first paragraph, you have to state the purpose of a letter. The next paragraphs will discuss the purpose in detail. In the last or final paragraph, you should include the following things;
- Reinforce the purpose of your letter
- Make a request for communication
- Thanking the recipient for considering the letter.
You should always keep one thing in mind that it’s a formal business letter so keep it precise and to the point. Furthermore, time is very precious in business so keep it short and straightforward.
There are various methods to close a business letter. The most frequently use is ‘Sincerely’ and others include Best regards, yours truly, etc. In the closing, capitalize the first word and lower case the second word.
In the end, affix the signature of the person whom the letter is from not the person who composed the letter.
Here you can mention the initials of who typed the letter. It’s up to you either you can place the initials of the composer and typist together or separate. The name of the person who composed the letter comes first in caps and the typist is second and in lower case.
This section concerns the attachments you are enclosing in your letter. It may contain ads, brochures, etc.
Three different types of business letter format:
The business letter has three different formats;
- Modified block
Block business letter format:
For the most formal business letters, this format is used. All the written words, from the addresses, salutation, body, and closing are all on the left side and there is a single space between each word. In addition, there is double space between each block.
Modified block business letter format:
Likewise block formatting, in modified block formatting all the written words, return address, closing, and signature start at the center-line of the letter except the date.
Semi-block business letter format:
This format is similar to the modified block formatting. All the items are on the left side. The main difference is that there are intended 5 spaces at the start of each paragraph. Furthermore, there is a double space between each section. This format is the least formal style of all three formats and couldn’t use for important correspondence.
Different types of business letter:
Let us discuss some different types of a business letter;
Business sales letter:
A business sales letter contains the products and services that a particular company or business is offering. It helps the companies to create awareness about their new launch of a product or service in the market. Its main purpose is to bring the forth shortcomings of the highlights. Most importantly, during composing the business letter the ethics of the businesses must be followed. Don’t mention the name of competitors or their brands. You should explain what you are offering, in this way; you can easily state that these similar products or services are not available in the market.
Above all, with the help of this letter, you have to win the confidence of many customers and urge them that it is best to do business with you. A business sales letter is a powerful tool that helps the business in catching hold of customers’ feelings and emotions.
Business cover letter:
A cover letter summarizes the key points of the applicant in the resume. It explains the applicant’s skills and experiences and relates them to the job they are applying for. It creates the first impression of the applicant to the employer. Therefore, a cover letter should be well-formatted. It must contain the sender and recipient address, date, salutation, body, and a formal closing. The candidate should clearly explain that why he/she is best suitable for the position he/she is applying for.
Business acknowledgment letter:
This letter is used to confirm receipt of documents, products, and services. Typically, it’s a professional letter of receipt that discusses the points of discussion and any future actions that the sender and receipt were agreed upon. In addition, a letter should be precise and to the point. The letter should contain the following important components;
- Address of the recipient.
- Include the date that when the letter was sent
- Subject: define the products or documents that were received and in which they were received.
- Inform the recipient of the agreed actions
- Formal closing
When do you use a business letter format?
An organization or an individual use a business letter format for professional communication with other individuals or organizations. Some types of business letters are;
- Job offer letters
- Sales letters
- Investor interest letters
- Resignation letters
- Business circulars
- Shareholder letters
- Letters of recommendation and more
How to write a business letter?
Let us discuss the steps to format your business letter;
Choose the style and font
Select a simple and elegant font for your professional letter. To customize your letter, you may feel tempted to select something unique. But, keep in mind that your readers may face difficulty reading these. Select the smallest size that can be easily read when it comes to selecting the size of the font.
Include all of the important information
Start the design of your letter with an outline. Include sections that have relevant details. Hence, you should include the following;
- Your contact information
- The date
- The recipient’s contact information
Focus on the margins and spacing
To make an official letter, make use of proper spacing. This will also make your letter professional and readable. After each of the sections, a letter generally includes one space until the closing line. If you plan to include enclosures then insert 4 lines after the closing and your name.
In addition, make sure the body of your letter must be single-spaced. Instead of aligning the text to the right or the middle, align it to the left side. This way, the recipient will read your entire letter easily. There are 1-inch margins on all sides in most professional documents. For such types of letters, it’s appropriate for margins to be a little bigger than usual.
Start and end your letter properly
Here are some things that you must consider while writing these parts of your letter;
- Address the recipient of your letter appropriately.
- Use a generic greeting such as To Whom It May Concern to address the recipient or address them by their job title.
- Addressing the recipient of a letter by their name in an effective way.
- It is all right to greet the recipient of the letter by using their first names if you have a deeper relationship with them.
- Don’t use titles like Ms. or Mr. if you don’t know the gender identity or gender of your recipient.
- To end your letter, make use of an appropriate and short closing. After that, write your first name, last name, and job title. There must be a space between your name and the closing.
Sending your letter
The closing of your letter, enclosures, and signature all depends on how you plan to send your letter. You have to consider sending a business e-mail if you plan to send the letter through e-mail.
In conclusion, you should choose a business letter format wisely because it’s the most formal document. Also, it provides more impact on the receiver than reading an Email. You have to use formalized content, structure, and tone in the business letter.
Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are the parts of a business letter?
These are as follows;
- Sender’s address
- Recipient’s address
What are the best fonts to use for a business letter?
The best fonts to use for a business letter are Times New Roman or Arial. Some other possible options to consider are Calibri, Verdana, Courier New, and Cambria.