The Attention Line in a business letter is an element whose intent is often misunderstood or unknown when a writer is writing a letter. Although it is only a formality in light of the entire document, an incorrect format can lead to confusion on the part of the recipient of the letter, and undermine the professional aspect of the sender.
When to use a Attention Line
The hotline directs a business letter to where it should go, often within a company or organization. This helps the letter reach the specific person it is intended for, perhaps preventing it from being delivered to the office correspondence system or going through all colleagues until it reaches the right hands. Also, you can include the name of the organization in the attention line, which indicates that you want the company to respond to your letter, if the person to whom it is addressed is not available
Attention line format
There are several standards when formatting the hotline. One of them is to spell the word “attention” completely, followed by a colon. Always make sure to use capital letters. Another acceptable alternative is to abbreviate the hotline, writing “Attn:” instead. In both cases, this is followed by the name of the person or organization. If “ATTENTION” is capitalized, the name or title that follows must also be capitalized.
Where to place the attention line
The hotline should be included two lines below the recipient’s address. Please note that this tends to be included when the recipient’s address is not preceded by their name. The name of the recipient of the company must go with your address, but avoid redundancy in this and in the hotline.
There are three general options for including a recipient in the hotline: the recipient’s name, company, or title. Using the recipient’s title is advantageous when the sender of the letter knows the department he wants to contact, but does not know the name of the specific person in charge of the letter. For clarity, a subject line may be included under the hotline to inform the recipient in response to what the letter is being sent to.