Business correspondence encompasses a variety of documents and modes of communication—but there are a few essential business letters companies always need to write.
These essential business letters include the following:
- Formal Business Letters
- Sales Letters
- Business Memos
But how do business administrators and management write letters so they receive the responses they want?
Start by designing a business letter template that your team can adapt for different occasions and recipients.
Ensure your letter templates include your logo, address, and contact information—branding is necessary whether letters are meant for internal or external parties.
With your templates in place, we break drown each of the essential business letters and outline the best ways to write them.
Essential Business Letter #1: Formal Business Letter
Formal business correspondence in the digital age is required for a variety of reasons—which is why this is one of the most essential business letters to write.
These letters are sent to suppliers, employees, for cold outreach, invitations, and so much more.
Begin a formal business letter with a salutation. If you know the recipient’s name, it is best to address them directly as Dear [Full Name], like in the example below.
- Source: Venngage
While you can add prefixes to names, it is best not to do so unless you are sure of the recipient’s preferences.
People have their particular choice for a prefix, and getting it wrong could cause offense and lose you a relationship.
If you don’t know who is receiving the mail, ‘To Whom It May Concern’ works fine.
The body of the mail should be left-justified, with no indent in the first line. Keep one space between paragraphs to improve readability.
Close your formal letters with ‘Thank you’ and your signature. If you have included attachments with your letter, add the word ‘Enclosures’ at the bottom of the document.
Essential Business Letter #2: Sales Letters
Writing a sales letter is always challenging. This essential business letter is aimed at boosting sales and bringing in revenue for your company.
At the same time, you don’t want the letter to sound so sales-forward that recipients are put off and end up unsubscribing to your company.
The best way to write a sales letter is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes—what do they want from your company and how can you benefit their lives?
Capitalize on relationship selling techniques by highlighting a potential problem faced by your customer and offer them a solution, like in this example.
- Source: Venngage
Note how the letter outlines in the opening paragraph what issue the customer is facing. The company then adds a human appeal by sharing their own experiences.
Also, instead of writing about the qualities of the company, this letter highlights how and why it has the expertise to help customers.
This makes the letter more appealing to prospective customers and increases the chances of a callback.
Essential Business Letter #3: Business Memos
No list of essential business letters could be complete without the quintessential business memo. Every company sends out internal memos, but how many of them get read?
You need to start by creating a memo subject line that is to the point but not too short. For example, write ‘Friday Meeting on Q4 Goals’, instead of ‘Emergency Meeting – Friday’.
Not only will the team know exactly what the unexpected meeting will be about—and can prepare accordingly—but you won’t be causing unnecessary anxiety.
The opening paragraph should explain what the memo will be about—what is the problem you are addressing and how do you plan to solve it?
Also, include any actions you need team members to take before or after the meeting with the option to discuss further.
For example, you can see how this memo outlines renovation updates to team members.
- Source: Venngage
In the current remote working environment, ensuring team communication is open, understanding, and accessible is a priority.
How to Write Essential Business Letters
When writing these essential business letters, here are the top tips to keep in mind:
- Always segment your letters into an introduction, body, and conclusion
- The introduction should explain the purpose of the letter
- The body copy should outline your pitch, story, or primary message
- Summarize your points in the conclusion paragraph
- Keep your paragraphs short and to the point
- Add a call to action that will give recipients impetus to act
Following these points will make it easier for you to regularly write business letters that create brand relationships with your customers and partners.