10 Characteristics of Effective Business Letters

Business letters are messages that companies send to a customer, supplier or entity to address business issues. These represent an important weapon with which entrepreneurs can offer products and services , as well as propose commercial projects.

These types of communications use correct and conventional language to persuade the sender to take a certain action. In addition, there are different types of business letters depending on the type of activity: sale, claim, offers, request for information and advertising.

What are the Characteristics and Qualities of Effective Business Letters?

What are the benefits of business letters?

Business letters allow you to address business issues and are very useful in companies, here are the benefits:

  • Provide the commercial presentation of the company.
  • Request information from clients or suppliers.
  • Submit acknowledgments, complaints or claims.
  • Inform about promotions or new products .
  • Organize meetings or business events.
  • Propose commercial alliances or the development of new projects.
  • Send proof of payment and invoices.
  • Offer answers to questions raised by clients or entities.
  • Send listings with prices.

 What characteristics and qualities should an effective business letter have?

  1. Present complete information : The letter must contain all the elements that the sender wishes to transmit and that allow a favorable response from the receiver. They are necessary: ​​sender and recipient address, references, date of issue, salutation, the body and a closing. Ignoring an item could cause misunderstandings.
  2. Brevity: The ideas should be transmitted with short and meaningful sentences , so as not to present an excessive number of words. Also, avoid the use of very complex words and abbreviations that can make it difficult to understand the message. Simple terms increase the clarity of the letter and make it easier to interpret. If there are doubts about the use of a word, go to the dictionary.
  3. Conciseness: The points should be addressed directly without leaving the central theme of the letter. The intention is that the recipient gets the message in the shortest possible time, avoiding touching unnecessary or redundant aspects. Sentences can be short or long, but they should always be clear, avoiding expressions that are not relevant.
  4. Body division: Usually business letters have 3 paragraphs in their body. The first paragraph consists of an introduction where main ideas or some important preliminary information are expressed. The second is the base of the letter where the relevant aspects are developed and details are specified. Finally, in the last third of the body the message is closed reiterating the request that is the subject of the letter.
  5. Tone: Personal, as if you were talking to the recipient face to face. In addition, the use of friendly expressions and goodwill is necessary to create a friendly environment. However, you have to keep limits to avoid sending an image of false flattery.
  6. Spelling: It must be impeccable, avoiding smudges or smudges in the case of handwritten letters. Bad spelling indicates a lack of preparation and little knowledge of the language, creating a negative image of the sender.
  7. If the letter is to sell a product or service , it should focus on the benefits to the recipient . The characteristics of the product take a backseat, the important thing is to tell the recipient what they gain by purchasing it.
  8. Aesthetics: Clean, attractive and elegant . The writing is important, but you also have to try to capture a good visual impression through an impeccable presentation. The style of the body depends on the writer, being able to write in block or with the use of paragraph indentation.
  9. Syntax: The ideas expressed must be completely connected for the letter to make sense. Proper use of connectors is important to prevent the message from being misunderstood.
  10. Psychological aspect: The writer must adapt the letter to the personality and character of the recipient . Therefore, it is important to know the customers and suppliers with whom the company is related. By taking into account the characteristics of the receiver, we increase the probability of receiving a response.
  11. Correction: An effective letter is one that is sent to the right place and person. It is important that after writing the address of the recipient is reviewed in order to avoid misunderstandings. Also, the wording should be checked to correct any misspellings.


by Abdullah Sam
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