Writing an Effective Business Letter
E-mail may be the quick and convenient way to relay daily business messages, but the printed business letter is still the preferred way to convey important information. A carefully crafted letter presented on attractive letterhead can be a powerful communication tool. To make sure you are writing the most professional and effective letter possible, use the business letter format and template below and follow these basic business letter-writing guidelines.
Select a professional letterhead design for your small business: Your business letter is a representation of your company, so you want it to look distinctive and immediately communicate "high quality." For a convenient and economical alternative to using traditional preprinted letterhead, try using our letterhead and envelope design templates. Simply create a letter within a predesigned color letterhead template and then print your entire piece quickly and beautifully on your Xerox® color printer.
Use a standard business letter format and template: The most widely used format for business letters is "block style," where the text of the entire letter is justified left. The text is single spaced, except for double spaces between paragraphs. Typically margins are about 1 inch (25.4 mm) on all sides of the document, which is the default setting for most word-processing programs. If you are using Microsoft Word, you can turn to its built-in Letter Wizard for additional formatting assistance (look on the Tools menu).
Business Letter Template Fields:
Date: Use month, day, year format, e.g., March 3, 20xx or 3 March 20xx
Sender's Address: It is a good idea to include sender's email and url, if available. Don't include this information if it's already incorporated into the letterhead design. This will allow customers to find your small business more quickly.
Inside Address: Use full name. Mr./Ms. is optional
Salutation: Be sure to use a colon at the end of the name, not a comma as in personal letters
Body Text: State why you are writing. Establish any connection/mutual relationship up front. Outline the solution, providing proof in the way of examples and expert opinions. Group related information into paragraphs
Closing "Call to Action": State what the reader needs to do and what you will do to follow up
Signature Block: Sign your letter in blue or black ink
Enclosures: Use if you have an enclosure
Carbon Copy: Use if you are sending a copy to additional person(s)
This business letter format illustrates the specific parts of a business letter:
July 20, 20xx
GP & Associates
2053 SW Channing Avenue, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80016
Ms Tia Turfingeon
3400 Onesite Parkway
Denver, CO 80016
Dear Ms. Turfingeon,
Body Text: I understand from our mutual acquaintance, Chad Johnson, that you are looking to retain an accountant to assist you in the sale of your business. I would welcome the opportunity to show you how GP & Associates was able to help Chad successfully sell his business earlier this year.
As you'll see on our website, my associates and I have extensive experience in financial accounting, internal audits, and tax compliance. For the past several years, we have specialized in business evaluation and transition services for sellers. We enjoy working closely with clients throughout the sale process to ensure a smooth transition. As our clients can attest, our various pre-sale price improvement strategies can significantly optimize a business's sale price.
Should you be thinking of purchasing another business, please note that we also offer business acquisition services. For your convenience, I have enclosed additional information describing GP & Associates full range of services.
Call to action: To set up an appointment to discuss your specific needs, 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.
(print Business Letters on corporate letterhead stationery)