A simple guide on how to write a Business Letter Format

Is writing a letter an old-fashioned style? Definitely Not! In the professional world, crafting a business letter is one of the conventional and effective business communication methods.

A business letter is a formal letter used by companies and individuals for professional correspondence. The business letters are generally printed on letterheads in a professional setting. Some common forms of business letters include cover letters, job offers, letters of recommendation, and many more.

In the digital era, as communication predominantly revolves around emails and text messages, writing a convincing business letter has become a difficult task for many people. So, to make the writing process easier, here we have listed the important guidelines on how to write an effective business letter.

Mentioned below is a gist of what you will find in this business letter writing guide.

  • Business Letter Formats
  • Standard Business Letter Structure
  • Sample Business Letter Templates
  • Final Words

Business Letter Formats

When writing a business letter, always concentrate on the format and the font. Instead of downloading free business letter templates, use MS Word to create a business letter.

Ignore the handwritten letters and go with the typewritten letters. Once the letter is formatted using the software, you can take a printout of the business letter for official use. You can also pick the official letterhead with the name and contact information printed on it for writing business letters.

When using a letterhead, a horizontal line should be added underneath the address written at the top of the page. Also, for all the professional letters, the margin should be between 1 and 1.5 inches. The most preferred margin length for a business letter is 1-inch.

The business letters can be formatted in different styles such as block, modified block, and semi-block. The block format is the most commonly used business letter format, in which the entire text including the address and closing should be justified on the left with single spacing. The paragraphs in block format should have double-spacing with no indentation.

Here is the structure of the block format.

 

20, Church Road

Chennai

Tamil Nadu 600004

 

August 24, 2021

 

Ms. Shiny Gracia

ABC Corporation

15/20 Grand Avenue

Bengaluru

Karnataka 56008

 

Dear Ms. Gracia:

{

The body of the letter, left-justified with an open line between each paragraph

}

Sincerely,

 

(Signature)

Melvina Louis

Director of Marketing

XYZ Company

000-111-222

Melvina@email.com

 

Another extensively used business letter format is the modified block. In the modified block format, the sender’s address, date, and closing should be aligned at the right or center point, and all the remaining text in the letter should be left-justified with paragraphs not indented. The semi-block style is similar to the modified block format, but it would have indented paragraphs.

See the structure of the modified block.

 

XYZ Company

20, Church Road

Chennai

Tamil Nadu 600004

 

August 24, 2021

 

Ms. Shiny Gracia

ABC Corporation

15/20 Grand Avenue

Bengaluru

Karnataka 56008

 

Dear Ms. Gracia:

{

The body of the letter, left-justified with an open line between each paragraph

}

 

 
Sincerely,(Signature)Melvina LouisDirector of MarketingXYZ Company000-111-222

Melvina@email.com

 

For better readability, using Times New Roman font of size 12 is the best choice. You can pick other professional fonts such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Courier, etc., depending upon your audience. Always remember that highlighting the important points with light color is allowed, but writing the entire text using colors and a stylish font is not advisable.

Standard Business Letter Structure

A business letter should be simple and formal. When writing a business letter, keep the professional objectives in mind and structure the letter logically by including the following sections.

Sender’s address

The business letter should start with the sender’s address. If you or your company owns a letterhead with printed information, then you need not write it. Otherwise, the address details including city and zip code should be justified either left or right at the top of the page depending on the format you choose. The sender’s name can be included at the closing block of the letter.

Date

Below the sender’s address, skip a line and mention the date by expanding the name of the month. For example, write the date as “August 24, 2021” or “24 August 2021” instead of “24.08.2021”. The date should be aligned in the center or left, depending upon the letter format you are using.

Recipient’s address

Skip one or two lines after the date and write the recipient’s name and address. Use a relevant personal title such as Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss. before the name. Justify the recipient’s information on the left, irrespective of the format you use.

Salutations

Enter an empty line and then address the recipient with ‘Dear’ followed by the personal title and last name. Use the full name if you are unsure of the recipient’s gender. Avoid addressing the recipient with their first name, as it is not a formal way. After the salutation, remember to add a colon.

Body

Here comes the purpose of the letter. Leave one line space after the salutation and justify the text to the left. The body of the letter should be concise and written within 4 paragraphs. In the first paragraph, give a brief introduction about yourself and explain the purpose of the letter. Then, in the following paragraphs, elaborate the statements with supporting details. In the final paragraph, summarize the letter’s purpose and include a call to action. Between each paragraph, give a blank line.

Closing

Skip a line after the last paragraph of the body and close the letter using any professional word like Sincerely, Cordially, Best Regards, or Respectfully. Align the closing depending upon the format you use and end it with a comma.

Signature

Leave four blank lines after the closing and left justify the signature block. For a professional look, sign using blue or black ink. In the signature block, include the sender’s name, job title, company name and contact information.

Enclosures

If you are attaching any documents with the business letter, then below the signature, leave a few lines, type “Enclosures:” and align the list on the left.

Structure of Business Letter Template

Mentioned below is the standard business letter format template you can use while drafting a business letter.

Sender’s Address

City, State

Zip Code

 

Date

 

Recipient full name

Professional Title

Company Name

Company Address

City, State

Zip Code

Email Address

Phone

 

Dear [Recipient’s Last Name]:

 

Introduction Paragraph

Statement of Purpose

 

Supporting Information

 

Call-to- Action

 

Sincerely,

 

(Signature)

Sender’s Full Name

Professional Title

Email Address

Phone

 

Enclosures

1.

2.

Sample Business Letter Templates

You can refer to the following sample business letters and prepare an effective Business Letter as per your requirements.

Sample #1:

This is a sample business letter from a University department to invite a Managing Director of a company to host a workshop.

XYZ University

65, Mahatma Gandhi Road

Chennai 600025

 

August 24, 2021

Mr. David Jones

Managing Director

UNI Technologies

Level 1 Industry Center

Techno Park

Kerala 605036

 

Dear Mr. Jones:

I would like to invite you to host the upcoming Cloud Computing Workshop to be conducted by the Information Technology (IT) Department of XYZ University. The workshop is scheduled for August 28, 2021, for the duration of 3 hours between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. We wish to offer the knowledge of advanced technology to our students and faculty members with the help of technical experts and business leaders like you.

The workshop will be held at the IT Department Auditorium located inside the University Campus, 65, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Chennai 600025. If you are interested in hosting the Cloud Computing workshop and sharing your knowledge for the benefit of our students, please let me know at the earliest. I will make appropriate arrangements for your travel and accommodation at your convenience. Also, I will share other details regarding the workshop once you accept the invitation.

Thank you for your valuable time. I hope to hear from you soon. I will be available at 123-456-789, or you can send an email toDavid@email.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

(Signature)

Vikram Kumar

HOD IT Department

XYZ University

Sample #2:

Here is a sample business letter enquiring about the delayed order with a customer care representative.

PQR Electronics Company

Floor 3, Sri Tech Park

Hi-Tech City, Bengaluru

Karnataka 560007

 

August 20, 2021

 

Stephen Andrews

Customer Care Representative

ABC Electronics

16 Lal Road, Patna

Bihar 800008

 

Dear Andrews:

I am writing this letter regarding the delay of the recently purchased order. Approximately, three weeks ago, on July 1, 2021, I ordered 10 electronic card readers from ABC ElectronicsCompany through the e-commerce portal. For the purchase of those products, I received a confirmation email on the successful completion of payment through my Debit Card.

I am eagerly expecting the delivery of my order. But till now, the shipping status is not yet updated in your e-commerce portal. I have already purchased products from your company and have earned utmost satisfaction with your service. So, I hope, you will not disappoint me.

Kindly let me know the status of my shipment at the earliest and also help me with the delivery of my products.

Sincerely,

(Signature)

Sam Paul

Purchase Agent

PQR Electronics Company

paul@email.com

159-357-852

Final Words

Each organization follows a different style to format a business letter. While you prepare a business letter, always adhere to your organization’s font requirements, if there are any, or else follow the standard business letter writing rules as mentioned in this guide.

Once the business letter is written, proofread the letter for grammar and spelling errors. Also, check the alignment, margin, and spacing. Never skip revision!

Having strong knowledge of business letter writing will help you to establish professional communication easily and break tough deals in your career. So, practice writing letters and become a master in business letter writing.