Types of Business Letters

Types of Business Letters

Business letters can be written for almost any reason one can think of.  There are letters that you, as an individual, originate and write to a company.  There are many letters exchanged between businesses on a daily basis.

The business letter stands as a very good hard copy for businesses.  Much work is done digitally these days, but the old-fashioned proper business letter cannot be replaced.  It shows a personal touch and it provides the hard evidence of the document that has been written.

Digital copies of documents can be exchanged over cyberspace; however, in the end, even those digital copies will be printed for later use.  So, if you can learn how to prepare a proper business letter, you will be a much valued employee.


What are the types of business letters possible?

What are the types of business letters possible?

All of these letters will follow a basic letter writing template.


Sales Letter

This letter is one of the common types of business letters.  This sales letter has one purpose -  to generate sales –

  • To have the reader look upon the opportunity with something special
  • To have the reader look upon the opportunity as something he cannot miss. 
  • So, he will follow up and complete the sale.


At least, the reader will (a) follow up and (b) contact the writer to pursue the possibility of following through on the sale.  

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Complaint Letter

The complaint letter is one of the more common types of business letters.  It can be fun to write the complaint letter if the situation is not a very serious one.  The  template is a very easy one.

Always write for the reader and consider the reader.

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Order Letter

Order Letter

With an order letter, it is important that you follow the basic letter template as follows:

  • A short opening that tells the purpose of the letter
  • Details in the middle paragraph(s)
  • A short closing that begins with a direct request for action and ends with a goodwill comment that highlights the benefits to the reader

 Make the important information jump from the page.  You can achieve that goal with a proper and easy-to-read format that is simple and clear.  Proofread to ensure that you have all the details included and that they are all accurate!

 

Inquiry Letter

The inquiry letter is one of the more common types of business letters.

This letter follows the same basic letter template as follows:

  • A short opening that tells the purpose of the letter
  • Details in the middle paragraph(s)
  • A short closing that begins with a direct request for action and ends with a goodwill comment that highlights the benefits to the reader

Begin with the short opening that tells the purpose of the letter.  Clearly focus the reader if there are dates involved.  Leave the details out of the opening so that you can keep the opening short.  Lead into the main body of the document.

If you have a number of questions, include them all in a short bulleted-list format.  Keep the list to about 6 points maximum for easy reading.  Keep the points as short as possible.  Ensure that all points in the list are the same grammatical structure.

Close with the short closing paragraph that follows the guidelines above.

Here is a sample of what the main body may contain:

 

What to note about the above:

  • The short opening tells the purpose.  Because you're asking a "favour" of the reader, it's a good idea to add a sincere compliment - and that compliment is included.
  • The bulleted-point list provides the questions you would like answered.  A short statement introduces the list.
  • The closing is short and begins with a definite request for action.  It ends with a short goodwill statement that again highlights benefits to the reader.





Recommendation Letter

Letter of Recommendation

When you are asked to recommend a friend or a colleague for a job, you have to keep in mind two things – first, the reader – as always – and second, your friend or colleague.

What will be the goals of each individual? 

Follow the basic letter template as follows:

  • A short opening that tells the purpose of the letter
  • Details in the middle paragraph(s)
  • A short closing that begins with a direct request for action and ends with a goodwill comment that highlights the benefits to the reader

This letter may not be the most common of the types of business letters, but it is certainly found frequently.

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Cover Letter

Cover Letter

The cover letter is one of the most common types of business letters.  The cover letter is simply a letter, generally of one page in length, that accompanies another document. 

The purpose is to introduce the “other document” to the reader and perhaps to tell a little about that “other document.”

What other documents might you send to someone that would require a cover letter?  Any of these would be a chance to demonstrate an excellent business letter format.

Follow the basic letter template as follows:

  • A short opening that tells the purpose of the letter
  • Details in the middle paragraph(s)
  • A short closing that begins with a direct request for action and ends with a goodwill comment that highlights the benefits to the reader

Click here to learn more about writing cover letters.


Resignation Letter

Letter of Resignation

The resignation letter is perhaps one of the more common types of business letters.  This type of letter could be something that you’ve wanted to write for a long time, particularly if you have not enjoyed your job. 

You have to consider the consequences of everything you do.  If you are leaving the job and hope to maintain a friendly and happy relationship with your employer, you must consider your words carefully.

Follow the basic letter template as follows:

  • A short opening that tells the purpose of the letter
  • Details in the middle paragraph(s)
  • A short closing that begins with a direct request for action and ends with a goodwill comment that highlights the benefits to the reader

Click here for information about this letter of resignation.


Congratulatory Letter

Letter of Congratulations

The congratulatory letter is a fun one to write because you are happy when you write it.  You are truly happy for the recipient – for the achievement or the success earned. 

Try to show that enthusiasm and that happiness in your well-chosen words for the congratulatory letter.

Follow the basic letter template as follows:

  • A short opening that tells the purpose of the letter
  • Details in the middle paragraph(s)
  • A short closing that begins with a direct request for action and ends with a goodwill comment that highlights the benefits to the reader

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Congratulations!  Well done!


Thank You Letter (note)

Letter of Thanks

Thank you notes.  Writing thank you notes is something we all have to do.  Many of us should do it more often! And if you've never written a thank you note, then there is no better time than the present to start!

The more often you do it, the more highly others will think of you. 

It's always such a lovely thing to receive a thank you note in the mail. 

Follow the basic letter template as follows:

  • A short opening that tells the purpose of the letter
  • Details in the middle paragraph(s)
  • A short closing that begins with a direct request for action and ends with a goodwill comment that highlights the benefits to the reader

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