• Business letters are formal paper communications between, to or from businesses and usually sent through the Post Office or sometimes by courier. Business letters are sometimes called "snail-mail" (in contrast to email which is faster).
• This lesson concentrates on business letters but also looks at other business correspondence. It includes: • letter • memo • fax • email
Letter• A commercial business letter is a letter written in formal language, usually used when writing from one business organization to another, or for correspondence between such organizations and their customers, clients and other external parties. The overall style of letter will depend on the relationship between the parties concerned.
There are two main styles of business letters:• Full block style: Align all elements on the left margin.• Modified block style: Down the middle of the page, align the return address, date, closing, signature, and typed name; align other elements on the left page margin.
Example Template of a Business Letter• [SENDERS NAME] [SENDERS ADDRESS] (optional[SENDERS PHONE] (optional[SENDERS E-MAIL] [DATE] [RECIPIENT W/O PREFIX] [RECIPIENTS TITLE] [RECIPIENTS COMPANY] [RECIPIENTS ADDRESS] (Optional) Attention [DEPARTMENT/PERSON], Dear [RECIPIENT W/ PREFIX]: Re: [SUBJECT] [First Salutation then Subject in Business letters] [CONTENT.] [CONTENT.] [VALEDICTION (Sincerely, Respectfully, Regards, etc.)], [SENDER] [SENDERS TITLE] Enclosures ([NUMBER OF ENCLOSURES]) cc: [CC RECIPIENT], [CC RECIPIENT TITLE] [CC RECIPIENT], [CC RECIPIENT TITLE]
Memo• A memorandum or memo is a document or other communication that helps the memory by recording events or observations on a topic, such as may be used in a business office. The plural form is either memoranda or memorandums, or memos for the short form.• A memorandum may have any format, or it may have a format specific to an office or institution. In law specifically, a memorandum is a record of the terms of a transaction or contract, such as a policy memo, memorandum of understanding, memorandum of agreement, or memorandum of association. Alternative formats include memos, briefing notes, reports, letters or binders. They could be one page long or many. If the user is a cabinet minister or a senior executive, the format might be rigidly defined and limited to one or two pages. If the user is a colleague, the format is usually much more flexible. At its most basic level, a memorandum can be a handwritten note to ones supervisor.• Dean Acheson famously quipped that "A memorandum is not written to inform the reader but to protect the writer". Charles Peters wrote that "bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy."
To: Andy Andler, Benita Buchanan, Charles ChavezCC: Darcy DankoFrom: Heady the Head HonchoDate: June 1, 2006Re: Need for New Memo FormatIve noticed we dont seem to be able to communicate importantchanges, requirements and progress reports throughout the company aseffectively as we should. I propose developing one consistent memoformat, recognizable by all staff as the official means of communicating companydirectives.While I know this seems like a simple solution, I believe it will cut down onneedless e-mail, improve universal communication and allow the staff to savenecessary information for later referral. Please talk among yourselves to determinethe proper points of memo writing and return the input to me by 12 noon. I willthen send out a notice to the entire staff regarding the new memo format.Thank you for your prompt attention to this.
Fax• A fax (short for facsimile sometimes called telecopying) is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material(both text and images),most usually transmitted to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine, which processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitmap, the information is then transmitted as electrical signals through the telephone system. The receiving fax machine reconverts the coded image, printing a paper copy.
Email• Electronic mail, commonly called email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging. Todays email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver and store messages. Neither the users nor their computers are required to be online simultaneously; they need connect only briefly, typically to an email server, for as long as it takes to send or receive messages.
• An email message consists of three components, the message envelope, the message header, and the message body. The message header contains control information, including, minimally, an originators email address and one or more recipient addresses. Usually descriptive information is also added, such as a subject header field and a message submission date/time stamp.
Cc and Bcc• cc on the email means Carbon Copy which means you want to send it to other people besides the primary email address to which you have sent the original message. When you use the cc feature, EVERYONE to whom you send the message can see ALL of the addresses to which you have sent it. Bcc means BLIND CARBON COPY. It has the same benefit of being able to send a message to lots of people but the added bonus of keeping all of the email addresses hidden from everyone else.
Who writes Business Letters?• Most people who have an occupation have to write business letters. Some write many letters each day and others only write a few letters over the course of a career. Business people also read letters on a daily basis. Letters are written from a person/group, known as the sender to a person/group, known in business as the recipient.
Here are some examples of senders and recipients:• business «» business• business «» consumer• job applicant «» company• citizen «» government official• employer «» employee• staff member «» staff member
Why write Business Letters?• There are many reasons why you may need to write business letters or other correspondence:
• to persuade • to reject a proposal or• to inform offer• to request • to introduce a person or• to express thanks policy• to remind • to invite or welcome• to recommend • to follow up• to apologize • to formalize decisions• to congratulate