How to set out a business letter in English
Companies have to write business English for customers now, which changes considerably from the way they would have written decades back. It is crucial to comprehend how clients’ expectations have changed and the importance of letter writing. As you have observed in previous chapters of this book, you can (and must) innovate and discard some of the things you might have been taught decades ago. However, there continue to be certain conventions that you should follow to your letters to realize your goals.
First of all, identify the purpose of your letter and its potential impact in your reader:
If so, why?
- Is it to instigate activity? If so, what? By who? How? By When?
- How do you want the reader to feel when reading your letter? Does your tone assist this?
Second, identify the arrangement.
Do you use templates and a standard font? Has this been examined for readability? For example, Arial, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Verdana (among others) could be more readable than some cursive
Fonts, notably non-NE readers. How compatible is the ribbon you use with different programs? Does the font size fall over the frequently used 10–15-point variety? Many believe that 12 the purpose offers optimum readability — although you still ought to consider the needs of people who have a visual impairment and other requirements and adapt your writing accordingly.
Can you use a subject heading over your primary text? Can you utilize a code or reference? An informative subject heading may establish your reader’s attention from the beginning. Also, it can help you identify the point of your letter. Customize it if possible. Even using the term your,’ as in’Re: your contract XYZ,” is much more reader-friendly than’s: contract XYZ.’ (Incidentally, you don’t have to work with:’ whatsoever; it’s a question of a home style.)
Third, determine how well your letters do the job.
Attempt to get in the custom of asking yourself questions like these each time:
- Can I achieve the right outcome in this letter?
- Or was there a problem? Why was that? Was it due to the English I employed? What should I’ve written?
- Did I get no response when I had anticipated one? Why was that? If I use English differently next time, I write?