Rules for Writing a Business Letter
By Space Coast Daily // May 30, 2022
It is impossible to conduct business without business correspondence because in most cases it can replace a meeting, and thus save the entrepreneur’s time. For a business introduction letter to be effective, it is important to adhere to etiquette – the letter should not hurt or alienate a potential partner, client, or employer.
Let’s figure out how to do this.
General rules include the following requirements for a business letter
Without lyrical digressions and long excursions into history. Optimally, if the letter fits on one sheet of paper or one screen, maximum – on two.
■ One letter – one question.
It is not customary to mix topics in business letters. If it is a request for office supplies – you don’t need to write “at the same time” about what services the company provides. These are topics for two business letters.
■ Respectful tone.
Even if the sender is intimately acquainted with the recipient, familiarity is not acceptable in business correspondence. In a business letter there is no place for “Sergei”, “buddy”, “brother” – it is possible to address by name and patronymic, and in some cases just by name.
■ Use of letterheads.
Even e-mails, if they are sent on behalf of the organization, should be on letterhead with the logo and details of the sender.
■ Letter in the language of the addressee.
In international correspondence, letters are prepared either in the language of the recipient or in English as a recognized language of international communication.
The structure of a business letter
As a rule, the structure of a modern business letter includes:
■ The sender’s details and the date the letter was prepared.
■ The address of the recipient, indicating the specific correspondent (the head of the marketing department) or department (for example, “to the company’s sales department”).
■ Opening address: “Dear colleagues”.
■ The main text consists of two parts. The first part states the reasons or purpose of the letter, and the second part contains conclusions, requests, or suggestions.
■ Indication of attachments to the letter, if there are any: “The current price list is attached”, “Calculation of investment efficiency – see Annex”.
■ The conclusion is a “courtesy formula”. “With respect and willingness to cooperate…” – Dignified and frequent form. “Sincerely yours…” – a variant acceptable if the sender and the addressee know each other well.
■ The sender’s signature and phone number. The sender’s mailing address is not included when sending a letter by email.
Nuances and subtleties
■ Pay attention to the size. As stipulated in the state standards, you should use a font size of 12, 13, or 14 when writing a business letter. As a rule, size 12 is more common.
■ Choose simple. The use of fancy, specialized fonts or fonts that charge for their use is not recommended. The most common font for business letters is Times, New Roman. Using this font ensures that there are no coding problems with your letters when you send them by email.
■ Take care of lightness. The text of the letter is acceptable to write with 1 or 1.5 line spacing. Text written in 1.5 spacing is easier to read, and this spacing is used more often.
■ Think about the comfort of the recipient. For a comfortable reading, paragraphs are spaced out with extra line spacing.
Business letter mistakes that are best avoided
■ Do not use narrow, specialized terms. The recipient may not know their exact meaning and may interpret them in his or her way.
■ Do not use long, complex, and compound sentences in your business letter. Keep your writing style clear and your sentences as concise as possible.
■ Do not use first names, even if the recipient knows him or her well.
■ Don’t get creative. Mysterious headings-quests in the style of “How our equipment tripled the profits of the construction company” or “Why market leaders choose the products of the company N”, the abundance of epithets, and exclamation points leave for other genres. The business writing style is conservative.
The rules of business writing are uncomplicated and logical. Following these rules will help make the company’s business correspondence as effective as possible and strengthen the company’s business reputation.