How to Write a Good Business Letter

Business letter writing

There are certain things that people in the business world frown upon. Things like lows in the economy, housing crisis, and bad, unprofessional business letters. The latter is something that most people don’t really think about or pay attention to because quite frankly, they don’t think it matters. But in the business world, how you communicate and network with others can determine your success or failure. 

Most students in the modern world are familiar with communicating via e-mail, and at the least, creating an e-mail account. So it should almost go without saying that most students in the modern world know how to write an e-mail, right? Wrong. It’s uncanny how many students lack the proper etiquette to write professional business letters and letters of applications and such. This is a skill that is taught in schools, because there is a right way and a wrong way of writing such letters. 

Why is it important for students to write an appropriate business letter? Well, for starters, it can help you network more efficiently, allowing for better communication among peers and potential employers. Once you’ve graduated, you’ll be sending hundreds of professional business e-mails hoping to land an internship or a decent job. Students tend to stumble during this step of their career, not being able to get an interview because their e-mails aren’t up to snuff. 

So how does one write an appropriate business letter? There are several different variations of a business letter based on the style and audience, but they all share common techniques and phrases that can be used across the board. Here’s some of the important information to understand before you click “send”

1. Purpose 

As you are attempting to write a business letter, you must have a certain reason or purpose. Business letters going out to businesses should remain focused so that you can achieve what you want. Is this a business letter for solicitation? Are you applying for a job? Or maybe even making a formal complaint? Find out why you are writing this and use this as your central idea to build around.

2. Audience 

E-mails are written for someone else to read usually, so it’s important to write in a way that is appropriate for the target audience. Address the e-mail in a way that shows respect to the person who is on the receiving end so that communication may go smoother. 

3. Content

The information you include in your e-mails should be relevant in order to communicate effectively. Letters of application have certain questions to answer and information to give out. Letters for business inquiries should get straight to the point and ask the questions needed. Letters to clients are also important, as the language used can carry or kill communications between the company and the client. Know what you are writing before you actually write it.

So now that you know what to think about before drafting a business letter, what are some of the best ways to write? 

Greetings and Closings

For most business letters, a level of language is required so that respect is shown for both parties. This means speaking politely and indirectly. Using the appropriate greetings and salutations is the very first thing and the very last thing they will read, so it’s best to make sure it fits. Here’s some examples you should use and ones you should avoid 

 

Top Formal Business Greetings and Closings

When you know the contact name:

“Hi/Hey Ms. Anna Smith,”

“Dear Ms. Anna Smith ,”

“Hi/Hey Anna Smith,

“Dear Anna Smith,

When you don’t know the contact name:

“To whom it may concern,”

“Dear Hiring Manager/HR manager/ (department manager),”

“Dear (Company Name) recruiter,” 

Business Greetings To Avoid

“Hey there,”

“Hey!”

“Good morning/Good afternoon”

“Hi” 

“What’s up”

When you know the contact personally:

“Yours truly”

“Yours sincerely”

“Yours faithfully”

When you don’t know contact personally:

“Best,”

“Regards,”

“Best Regards,”

“Kind Regards,”

“Respectfully”

“Appreciatively” 

“Faithfully”

Business Closings to Avoid 

“Later”

“Goodbye”

“See you”

“Until Next time”

Structure 

An overlooked feature of business letters seems to be the structure of your letter. CEOs and Managers don’t like to search for the important information in an e-mail, so either they don’t read it at all or don’t like you already. Writing a concise and easy-to-read e-mail includes the organization. 

The letter should look something like this:

Date

March 4th, 2020

Sender’s Address

Writing Headquarters Ltd. 
999 Apple St. 
New York, NY 99999

Recipient’s Address

Reading Headquarters Ltd.
888 Peach St.
Los Angeles, CA 88888

Salutations

To whom it may concern, 

Letter: 

I’m writing in regards to your open vacancy at Reading Headquarters Ltd. I would like the opportunity to apply for this position, I am more than qualified and I have the right experience that would make me a welcome addition to the team…. ETC ETC ETC ETC.

Call to Action:

If you have any questions about my application or about me personally, please contact me at 303-449-0037. I know how busy you are, so I will give you a call on Tuesday to follow up if I haven’t heard from you.

Closing

Sincerely,
Bob Smith

The structure of a letter should be read easily, so it’s best to start off with the reason for writing first. Once you have established that, the audience knows what to expect. It’s imperative that you speak in a manner that isn’t pushy or too demanding, so avoid using the words or phrases “I want, I think, I need.” The last thing you want to do is make the recipient feel your needy-ness. 

Following your reason for writing should be a brief explanation as to why you are speaking to this company or department directly and why it is necessary for them to give you a reply. Provide detailed information about yourself or your company if necessary. If you are making inquiries, write detailed questions that outline anything that might be asked later on, to avoid a long chain of e-mail responses in the future. 

And lastly, the e-mail should close with a call to action. What does this mean? It means that you ask the recipient to respond to this e-mail or follow-up with another party that the issue relates to. This is important for both sides, as you will need to ask what to do next after reading or responding to this e-mail. 

So whether you’re writing to Jeff Bezos to complain about your Amazon.com order, or applying for the top jobs at a Fortune 500 company, the same rules apply. Business is business, so whether you need help with your business homework or simply need someone to proofread your e-mails and letters, Assignment Expert – Managment can help you with that. Writing an e-mail will take a bit more effort in order to not get sent straight to the trash can, but we’ve got your back.