Business letter examples are a stress free way to save you time and money while getting your message across in a professional and courteous manner. As a business professional, it’s important to communicate with letters when the subject is particularly important, or you need documentation of a business situation. The stress of writing a formal business letter can keep you from writing that letter which can end up wasting your time and costing you money. If you have an idea of what you want to say, we’ve got an example that will help you say it. There are hundreds of business letter examples that you can download, customize and print.
Reasons for Writing a Business Letter
You may be surprised but many people don’t know when or why they should write a business letter, so let’s shed some light on some of the possible reasons for writing a business letter. If you’re not sure when or if you should write a business letter, ask yourself the following questions. If any one of the answers is yes, then you must write a business letter:
- Do you have a specific goal you’d like to accomplish such as, to sell something, buy something, to inquire about something, inform someone about something, or to address an issue?
- Do you need to keep the contents of your letter private?
- Do you want to be formal in your communication?
- Do you need to show that the issue you’ll write about is serious?
- Does what you have to say, require your official signature?
- Do you want to show the recipient of your letter that they are special?
- Do you want to impress your recipient or show that you are special in some way?
- Do the contents of the letter need to document an incident, or serve as a record for legal purposes?
- Have you tried to contact the person by phone, email or other form of communication but have not received a reply to indicate that they heard or understood you?
- Do you require a formal or written reply to your letter?
- Do you want your correspondence to be easy to retrieve?
- Do you want your recipient to carefully consider the information in your letter?
So now that we’ve determined that you’d like to write a business letter, let’s discuss some of the basics of business letter writing and take a look at some examples. Here are some important points to keep in mind when you customize these business letter examples.
Planning your Business Letter
When planning how you will customize one of the business letter examples, there are five questions you need to ask yourself:
- Who is the best person to address the letter to?
- Why are you writing this letter?
- What information, evidence or support do you have for why you writing this letter?
- What action do you want your recipient to take?
- If you can use a bulleted list of points to illustrate your point, what would your list look like?
Knowing the answers to these five questions will make customizing your business letter example so much easier. If you write out your answers, you make just want to copy and paste your sentences into the business letter examples we have provided. Another option is to choose from our example sentences at the end of each example that best states your reasons for writing and include those sentences in the letter.
Customizing Your Business Letter Examples
All of the business letter examples you’ll see have similarities in their format and included information. Some of these similarities are that they all have the date, an inside address, the company address, a salutation the body and room for your signature. When you download a business letter example, you will want to customize those parts of the letter to be accurate for you and your recipient. Here are the parts of the letter that you can easily change to suit your needs:
- Letterhead – Yours or your firm’s address and contact information.
- Date – The day, month and year you write the letter.
- Confidential – Use this if what you are sending has sensitive or personal information that must go to one specific person.
- File Number – Case, file or project number, if applicable.
- Inside Address – The name, business address and contact information of your recipient.
- Subject Line – In short, what the letter is about.
- Attention Line or Salutation – If you do not know the name of your recipient or if you are addressing a department use the word Attention: or Dear Mr. Smith if you do know the name.
- Body of the letter – The first part of the letter should always clearly state the purpose of this letter. The second part of the letter should then explain your information or what you’d like to have happen. The third part of the letter should be a call to action, what do you want your recipient to do with this information.
- Complimentary Closing – End your letter with, Very Truly Yours, Respectfully, Sincerely, etc.
- Signature – Always sign the letter using your signature in blue or black ink.
- Signature Line – Your typed name in full with your title below your name.
- Reference Initials – If someone other than the person signing the letter wrote the letter, or if you had input from another member of your firm, you may want to include their initials so you and the recipient know there were more than one person helping with this letter.
- Enclosure Notation – Include a short note describing what was included in the package or envelop. Brochures, resumes and other enclosures can be listed.
- Copy to – If you need to send a copy to another person, include their name here.
Not all of our business letter examples include all of these parts. It depends on the degree of formality you wish to show with your letter. A business letter for financial, policy or legal purposes, should include all of these, but for a simple formal letter you can omit some parts like the Reference Initials. If there are no brochures, resumes or other documents attached or included in your package, you can omit the Enclosure Notation.
Carefully read the business letter example and make changes to the letter as you go through it to make it more applicable to your situation. You’ll want to make sure your address is correct, because your recipient may wish to send something in reply and will use the address in the letter. You’ll also want to get their address correct in the inside address. If you have to call to get accurate information, do so before you write the letter. You may also want to check to see who should receive the letter. A business letter is in a formal style and is organized in a specific way. When you are customizing your letter, simply change these formal parts to include your own information.
Three Parts to Your Business Letter
Examples like the ones you’ll see here offer many ways to write about common business situations. If you’ve answered the five questions above, you are well on your way to completing your letter. The body of the letter has three parts, here’s how you can break it down:
- The first part of the letter should always clearly state the purpose of the letter – This is your answer for question number 2, Why are you writing the letter?
- The second part of the letter should then explain your situation or give information supporting your position – This is your answer for question number 3, What information, evidence or support do you have for why you’re writing this letter?
- The third part of the letter should be a call to action, what do you want your recipient to do with this information? – This is your answer for question number 4, What action do you want your recipient to take?
In a business letter, you don’t need to include pleasant banter and ask about personal information. The tone is formal and you should just stick to the facts. Simply state what your situation is and what you want to have happen. Clear and concise language works best.
Making the Letter Look Good
Business letters that get noticed are always written on business letterhead stationary. The full name, address, telephone, fax, email and website URL should all be included on the letterhead. This will make your letter look professional and will eliminate the need to type out this information. In addition to letterhead, you will want to write your letter in a business letter format that is widely accepted internationally.
You’ll also notice that our business letter examples, use margins and white space to keep the letter looking clean and uncluttered. Even if you have much to say, it’s important to keep your margins wide and spaces between paragraphs so that your letter is easy to read. It’s better to go onto to a second page than to cram it all onto one page.
Another important point to consider when keeping your letter looking good, is the size and type of font. While there are probably thousands of fonts to choose from, keeping it simple and using common or well-known fonts is the best. All of our business letter examples are in Times New Roman because it is a type of font that is easy to read and is acceptable in business and education institutions around the world. The size of the font is 12 pt. You can go as small as 10 pt but any size smaller starts to get difficult to read, even when printed out. Use your discretion but larger print is always better and easier to read.
Writing Your Business Letter
Download this Business Letter Example.
Letterhead Gary’s Gadgets
59 Garnet Drive
Chicago, IL 00000-00000
Date July 15, 2012
File Number Transaction ID: 78593837
Inside Address Your Recipient’s Name
Your Recipient’s Street
Your Recipient’s City, State, Zip Code
Subject Line Subject: Account# 56894572 is Overdue
Salutation Dear Mr. Smith,
Body of Letter Your July 1, 2012 payment of $600.00 was returned by your bank because of insufficient funds.
I’ve enclosed the check for your review. Please ensure that we receive your payment before August 15, 2012 to avoid any additional interest charges on your outstanding balance.
We appreciate your business and we know that you too will be happy when this situation is resolved.
Signature (your signature)
Signature Line Your Full Name
Your Title within your Firm
Reference Initials MTW
Enclosures Returned Check
Copy to: Martha Higgins
Category: Business Letter Examples