Writing a letter is an old tradition. These days very few people indulge in this art. If writing a letter to a friend, relative, higher authority shows respect, effort and concern towards that person. Writing a letter takes time but helps in letting out views and feelings. This is the best way to express in a clear manner. Letter is a personal document and should have something that brings out personality traits.
There are two types of Letters:
Business Letters – Business letters are written between an organization and a customer or between two organizations. They serve the purpose of proposing a business transaction, accepting an offer, extending an apology in business, inviting for a professional event, etc. They follow a specific format and use formal language. Personal Letters – Personal letters are written to friends, family members, and relatives. They can be formatted differently and written in casual style of language. They do not follow any specific guidelines and are subjective in nature. These letters are written to give best wishes, inquire about someone, to inform about an incident, etc.
The following points on how to write a letter:
Follow conventions while writing a letter. The senders address, receivers address, date and subject and reference in some cases have to be mentioned clearly at the beginning of the letter. Begin the letter with a proper greeting. Depending on the relationship with the recipient, address him or her. begin with “Dear” followed by the name of the person. In case do not know the gender of the person addressing to in formal letters then can mention “Dear Sir/Madam” The body of the letter should begin with the main message that has to be conveyed in the letter. The reader has to clearly understand what the letter is about through the first line.
Make paragraphs in the letter depending on the content of the letter. Highlight the main points with the help of bullets and numbers. The business letters are written in formal language and have a specific format. Personal letters do not follow any particular format and use casual language. In the final paragraph, ask person to act after reading the letter. Can ask him to call back, email or reply the letter. The ending depends on the type of letter written and the requirements of the situation. The letter always should have a complimentary close. The closing depends on the whether the letter is formal or informal. The most typical business letters have “Yours sincerely” and “Yours truly” in the end. The ending in personal differs and is subjective.
The term “business letters” refers to any written communication that begins with a salutation, ends with a signature and whose contents are professional in nature. Historically, business letters were sent via postal mail or courier, although the Internet is rapidly changing the way businesses communicate. There are many standard types of business letters, and each of them has a specific focus.
Typical sales letters start off with a very strong statement to capture the interest of the reader. Since the purpose is to get the reader to do something, these letters include strong calls to action, detail the benefit to the reader of taking the action and include information to help the reader to act, such as including a telephone number or website link.
Order letters are sent by consumers or businesses to a manufacturer, retailer or wholesaler to order goods or services. These letters must contain specific information such as model number, name of the product, the quantity desired and expected price. Payment is sometimes included with the letter.
The words and tone you choose to use in a letter complaining to a business may be the deciding factor on whether your complaint is satisfied. Be direct but tactful and always use a professional tone if you want the company to listen to you.
An adjustment letter is normally sent in response to a claim or complaint. If the adjustment is in the customer’s favor, begin the letter with that news. If not, keep your tone factual and let the customer know that you understand the complaint.
Inquiry letters ask a question or elicit information from the recipient. When composing this type of letter, keep it clear and succinct and list exactly what information you need. Be sure to include your contact information so that it is easy for the reader to respond.
Follow-up letters are usually sent after some type of initial communication. This could be a sales department thanking a customer for an order, a businessman reviewing the outcome of a meeting or a job seeker inquiring about the status of his application. In many cases, these letters are a combination thank-you note and sales letter.
Letters of Recommendation
Prospective employers often ask job applicants for letters of recommendation before they hire them. This type of letter is usually from a previous employer or professor, and it describes the sender’s relationship with and opinion of the job seeker.
Acknowledgment letters act as simple receipts. Businesses send them to let others know that they have received a prior communication, but action may or may not have taken place.
Cover letters usually accompany a package, report or other merchandise. They are used to describe what is enclosed, why it is being sent and what the recipient should do with it, if there is any action that needs to be taken. These types of letters are generally very short and succinct.
Letters of Resignation
When an employee plans to leave his job, a letter of resignation is usually sent to his immediate manager giving him notice and letting him know when
the last day of employment will be. In many cases, the employee also will detail his reason for leaving the company.
Companies and other organizations are usually required by law to present a written notice to employees informing them of a lay-off. This letter usually cites reasons for the lay-off, and acts as a formal apology. Employee rights may be included.