Business Letter Writing

Writing letters is a very important skill which makes you a professional in whatever the field you are operating in. Your writing is a reflection of yourself and it represents your position as well as the institution you are working for.

A letter is a written Message which is characterized by its ability to last longer than words spoken. Hence, there is legality attached to it when need arises.

Due to above reasons, usually, a writer takes much care in writing a letter in order to create the expected impact out of it. Hence, it is important to learn the accepted norms and techniques of writing professional letters.

What is a letter?

  • A written message
  • A long lasting record

Types of Business Letters

  • Acknowledgements
  • Cover Letters
  • Making Inquiries / Requests
  • Invitations
  • Thanking letters
  • Calling for Quotations
  • Letters to Banks
  • Goodwill Letters
  • Commendation
  • Applying for posts
  • Providing Approval / Permission
  • Seeking Instructions
  • Complaints Letters
  • Excuse / Apology
  • Follow-up Letters
  • email
  • It is important to have proper concerns about the purpose of the letter and about the nature of the receiver of the letter. Depending upon which the write has to decide on the content as well as the techniques of writing.

    Basic Qualities of a Business Letter

    The language you use when writing letters should have the following basic qualities and you should consider these seriously when you write business / professional letters.


    • Grammatical
    • Accurately spelled & punctuated
    • In the proper format
    • Appearance – font size, type and colour etc.


    • Delivers a comprehensive message
    • Serves the purpose of delivering it


    • Easy to read and understand
    • No vague comments


    • Politeness in the language used
    • Positive tone
    • Tone of trust and respect

    Elements of a Business Letter - Formal Letter formatting

    Letterhead & Date , reference

    Name of the firm , address, telephone number, web address, email address and Logo

    Name and address of the recipient. (Superscription)

    Top left , just after the Letterhead Just before the salutation

    Closed form: -

    The Chairman,
    ABC Company Limited,
    No.17, Cross Street,

    Open form :
    - No punctuation marks


    Salutation is placed below the name and address of the recipient

    • Sir,
    • Dear Sir,
    • Madam,


    Topic comes after the salutation. It should be short and to the point


    Body is usually divided into paragraphs according to the breadth of your letter.

    • Para 01 – Generally the first paragraph Introduces the subject matter
      Reference (If it is a reply, reference to the first correspondence, or if it is referred to a previously occurred event , it has to be mentioned)
      This helps the reader to get an immediate understanding to the context of the letter.

    • 2nd and following paragraphs – The next paragraphs are expected to bring forward different matters in the order of importance.
    • There should be a proper order for elaborating the matters. The cohesion is an important quality in the body of the letter.
    • Last paragraph – Last paragraph usually summarizes the message and ends with a concluding sentence.
    • The body of the letter can also include sub-titles or side headings.

    Complimentary Close (Subscription)

    The subscription should always agree with the salutation

    • Yours faithfully,
    • Yours truly,
    • Yours sincerely,
    • Yours obediently,
    • Yours respectfully,

    Signature & page numbers

    After the subscription
    Name of the writer should be mentioned along with the official designation underneath.

    Body of the Business Letter

    01. Introductory Paragraph

    Introductory paragraph of the letter should be written in a manner that the reader’s attention is assured. Professional letters are usually written with a reference to the previous correspondence or events if there is any. In order to provide a pleasing tone and to add courtesy as well as professionalism, we usually do not commence letters with negative expressions, regrets or rejections.

    Following are few examples for the opening lines of the introductory paragraph.

    • We take pleasure in informing you...
    • We wish to draw your kind attention to ...
    • We are pleased to receive your letter dated...
    • Referring to your letter of the 2nd of July...
    • I’m writing in reference to..
    • I’m writing to inquire about..
    • With reference to our telephone conversation yesterday...
    • This is further to your letter dated ...
    • Complying with your request for...
    • We have noted the contents of your letter dated ...
    • You will be pleased to learn that,..
    • We are particularly interested in..
    • Thank you for your letter of 04th September.
    • Let us draw your attention..

    2nd and following paragraphs

    2nd and the following paragraphs of your letter bring forward the core-thought of the letter. It is very important to bring each and every fact or pint in a proper order and flow to match with the purpose of the letter. The logical flow and the clarity of idea presentation is vital in delivering the intended message.

    Generally, separate paragraphs are constructed in order to discuss different matters while giving priority to each matter via each paragraph. However the coherence between each paragraph should be well maintained. The central idea is continued throughout the letter.

    Short paragraphs written with clarity are very much effective in communicating ideas. Choice of words and the length and complexity of your sentences are decided based on the type of reader you have in your mind.

    Few technical aspects to remember are as follows.

    • Having few sub titles
    • Referring to attachments

    Following are few phrases you may find useful when commencing your different paragraphs.

    Purpose Phrase
    To arrive at the core message As a matter of fact…
    In fact…
    To arrive at the core message in contrast to the previous paragraph However…
    To arrive at the core message while agreeing to the previous paragraph Accordingly…
    As per…
    According to…
    As a result..
    To arrive at the core message which is a negative one We regret to inform you that…
    I’m afraid that…
    Referring to attachments Attached you will find
    Attached here with
    Enclosed here with
    Enclosed please find…

    Concluding Paragraph

    The purpose of the conclude paragraph is to arrive at the core message again while summarizing the gist of the message. The sentences here are very specific and to the point.

    Following are few examples of concluding sentences. You can wind up your letter with a closing line as follows.

    1. I’d like to emphasize that..
    2. Hoping to hear from you at an early date…
    3. Kindly let us know the best way to proceed..
    4. Expecting to receive a favourable reply from you..
    5. Awaiting your further instructions …
    6. Assuring you of our best attention at all times…
    7. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information you may require in future….
    8. Anticipating your reply by return email…
    9. We appreciate your generous cooperation….
    10. We shall look forward with interest to your early reply.
    11. We shall wait for your reply.
    12. We would be pleased to…
    13. We would be very interested to…
    14. Please contact me if you need any further information
    15. An early reply will be appreciated.
    16. It would be great if you could reply at your earliest…
    17. I look forward to receiving your response to my suggestions…
    18. I hope this proposal will be of interest and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Further Tips for Business Letter Writing

    • Avoid using common phrases
    • Avoid too long sentences
    • Avoid Repetition
    • Stop being unnecessarily humble

    Words Commonly Appearing in Business Letters / Correspondence

    • Acknowledgement
    • Concern
    • Conformity
    • Credential
    • Commitment
    • Estimate
    • Endeavor
    • Invoice
    • Merchandise
    • Negotiate
    • Obligation
    • Order
    • Overhead
    • Policy
    • Post-date
    • Pro-forma
    • Quotation
    • Rebate
    • Receipt
    • Refund
    • Remit
    • Representative
    • Returns
    • Tender
    • Terms
    • Tenor
    • Valid
    • Vendor
    • Venture

    Useful Abbreviations in Business Letter Writing

    a/o account of
    advt. advertisement
    Co. Company
    c/o care of
    Dept. Department
    e.g. for example (exempli gratia)
    ex. example
    Inc. Incorporated
    Inv. invoice
    I.O.U. I owe you
    Ltd. Limited
    N.B. Take Note
    No. Number
    O/a On account
    p. per or through
    Pro.tem. for the time being
    P.S. postscript
    P.T.O Please turn over
    re. refer or referring to
    Reg. registered
    R.S.V.P. Please Reply
    via. by way of
    viz. namely


    Reported Speech

    Reported Speech is a language pattern used to report to someone of what another person has said or thought.