I am sure you do a lot of communication with clients and other stakeholders. There is a famous term, “First impression is the last impression”. Therefore, the format of a business letter is important. If you are running a business, it is normal to send written communication. Let us look at the situation from a different angle. You receive a lot of emails. How many of these emails do you remember? Out of the 100s and 1000s of emails we receive only a few of them have good content. If you scan a bit more, you will find that very few emails look good. These are the ones that have the capability to grab attention. All the others are ordinary. Same thing applies to business letters also. When you create a business letter, make it good. Otherwise it will be parked in an ordinary basket like all others.
What is a business letter?
Every communication going out of a company can be a business letter. A business communicates with a lot of individuals or corporations. Due to this, we have a long list of letters or business documents. To name some, request for proposals, internal email communications and promotional email, everything is a business letter. Making an appointment letter and creating an experience certificate also fall in the business letter category. Therefore, you need to master the skill of writing for growth. Your email reflects how serious you are about the business. Most businesses fail to do this one single task. You also need to understand the correct email format. This is directly linked with the image of your business.
How format of a business letter can impact image
First of all, when I say the format of a business letter, we mean every single word of it. From look and feel to content, everything needs to be checked carefully. For example, you cannot just send a business letter without a signature. Secondly, the format itself is important. Poor grammar and improper alignment can also dent the image. Therefore, we need to be careful while making a business letter format. For that you need to understand the parts of a business letter.
Use a Standard Format for Sending Letters
Every communication is different due to changing real time situations. There can be 1000s of different business communications. But you can still use a standard format for sending all your letters. Using standard format for a business letter also helps you do branding. With time clients start to recognize your communication from the letter itself. Not only clients but also other communications should also use standard business letter format. Whether you are sending business proposals or hiring an employee, use this format. Check out the list below for parts of the standard business letter template.
Selecting the right paper size
Selecting the right paper size for communication is important. Most communications these days happen via email but still paper is relevant. Especially, when it comes to formal communications, appointment letters and sending business proposals. If you want to look professional, use the same size all the time. Most common paper size for business communication is A4. You can use other sizes also but keep it the same all the time.
This is the top section of a business letter format. Normally, it contains the company logo or name. If you do not have a logo, you should create a professional logo. A logo is the first identity of a brand. A decent one helps people remember the brand.
Mention the Date & Communication ID
Date of communication is important for keeping records. If you use this, it will be easy to recall the document. Therefore, always mention dates at the beginning of a business document. Additionally, you can also mention communication Id if you have a large number of customers. A communication id helps you search a document instantly.
Addressing the receiver with respect
Everyone likes to be addressed with respect. There is no harm in starting a business communication with “Dear Customer” followed by other details. Or you can mention a respected customer or any other party name.
Subject of communication
You can keep the subject of communication before or after addressing the receiver. Make sure you write a clear subject in one sentence. Or at least in as short as possible.
This is where you write the main content. When creating a format of a business letter, make sure there are no spelling mistakes. You can use spell check tools or auto correct. Additionally, if you are using ms word, it highlights grammatical errors. You can correct them before sending a business letter.
Use this section to write your name and designation. If you are the authorized signatory, you should also sign the letter with the date.
Footer section is optional. You can write company information below your name or create a dedicated section. In both cases you are right.
Use a standard format for business letter
Using standard format for a business letter is a good practice. The idea is to make people remember your brand. Additionally, it also helps you save time. For example, you do not have to create the footer section (signature) every time you send it. There are many more similar benefits. As a result you see improvement in efficiency and reduction in mistakes.
Business Letter Formatting
Business letter formatting should be simple, precise and easy to read. Remember, you are not writing an essay for a writing competition. Format a business letter in such a way that it looks professional. For example, do not use a lot of bright colors. Instead, use simple, black or grey colors throughout the communication except the company logo. Additionally, you can also use Justify text formatting. It is possible that most people do not have enough time to read every information that comes their way. Therefore, divide the entire letter in small paragraphs with heading so it looks precise and easy to read.
When sending business letters, make use of diplomatic language. The idea is to make sure relationships improve and there is scope of improvement. A well written communication is also key to growth. Due to this every business owner must learn diplomatic language.
Call back numbers and email
Do mention the callback numbers or email ids in case of a clarification. This helps in improving customer relations. Additionally, there is also a clear message that we care and are ready to correct in case of a mistake.