Sections of a Business Letter
Business letter has to be organized logically so that it is clear, complete and cohesive. Its holds a great importance in the business world and is used as a legal document to present a proof for any kind of disputes in the future. It serves as a representation of the company and its business ethics and professionalism. It should look simple yet elegant, and exude the feeling as if written by a professional.
To make it sound professional and appear cohesive, it is necessary to understand the sections of a business letter. All the parts have to be neatly drafted so that the letter appears organized.
Take a look at the following points about various sections of the letter:
- Heading: Business letter should always be written on a letterhead. The letterhead should be printed with company name, logo, address and contact details. The heading of the letter gives the receiver an idea about who has sent the letter. If there is no letterhead, type the heading.
- Date: The date has to written exactly below the letter head. The date is important part of a letter and can be used as a reference. The date has to be written in full with day, month and year. Take a look at this example: 20 October 2005 or October 20, 2005
Reference: While the need to use the reference part would depend on the writing purpose, you can use it to refer to the invoice number, complain number in case you are writing it for a second time.
- Addressee: The next important part is the receiver's address. You need to include the name of the receiver, his designation and complete address. The inside address and the address on the envelope should always be the same.
- Salutation: This is the opening line of the letter. It should begin with a greeting. In a formal business letter, you need to write dear followed by Mr./Ms. with his or her last name. You should never include only the first name of the person. It looks unprofessional.
- Body: In the first line of the opening paragraph, clearly mention the message of your letter. The letter should be able to convey your message directly to the reader. It has to be concise but informative stating the reason for writing. The message you intend to forward must be received easily by the addressee.
In the next two paragraphs, discuss each point separately. Suppose the opening paragraph reads about ordering a product for home use, explain how you intend to make payment and where you want it to be delivered. The last paragraph should sum up the letter and ask the receiver to take an action based on your letter.
- Complimentary Closure: In the end of the letter you have to use complimentary close. You can use words like "Yours Faithfully", or "Yours Sincerely". Comma has to be included after the close. You have to insert your full name at the end leaving few spaces to sign the letter.
After this is done, you can include the enclosures. Make sure that you proofread the letter before printing it finally.