Chapter 5 How to Write Letters 1. Planning Tool For Letters Reader’s Name What do you know about the reader?(his or her background) How many times have you already discussed this topic with the reader? □ Never □ Once □ More than once What does the reader want to know? What do you want the reader to know? What will the reader’s reaction be to these points? □ Good news □ Mildly interested □ Indifferent □ Bad news Based on the reader’s reaction, what type of letter will you send? □ Information □ Bad news □ Persuasion What do you want the reader to do after he/she is finished reading? Type of Letter Information : Bad news: Main Neutral idea idea/Good Background news information Details Bad news Call for action Neutral close Persuasion: Attentiongetter Introduce the idea, product, Present details Benefits to the reader Call for action Format for Information Letter(sample 1) Dear Mark, (1)Thank you for the information you provided for our home marketing campaign questionnaire. As always, your cooperation has helped ensure the success of this project. (2)I have enclosed a copy of the findings. Please note that some of this information is extremely sensitive and should be treated as confidential. These sections are marked. Sample 1-continued (3)We’ll be back to request an update in January. Again, Mark, thank you for your continued participation. Yours sincerely, Structure of the Letter: (1)main idea (2) details(3) call for action Format for Bad-News Letter(Sample 2) Dear Mr. Brown: 1. In response to your letter of May 3, I contacted our national parts headquarters to locate the necessary part for your TCL188 TV. 2. It is ABC’s policy to always maintain a large stock of repair components for all our products.However, as we produce a wide range of goods, we have had to limit our inventory. We stock parts for a period of ten years after the last manufacturing date of a unit. Sample 2-continued 3. Your model is over ten years old. We checked with our warehouse in Calgary and, as they did not have the part, asked them to contact their US and Japanese counterparts. We regret we were not successful in locating the required part. 4. We trust you enjoyed your last ABC television, and it served you well, Mr. Brown. When the time comes to invest in another television, I recommend you visit your nearest ABC store at the North Common Shopping Center on Highway 7. Sample 2-continued I am sure you will be impressed by the knowledge and helpfulness of the salespeople and the wide range of our products. Sincerely, Structure of the Letter: 1.natural opening 2. Presenting facts 3. Supporting evidence and Bad news 4. Neutral ending Sample 3 Format for Persuasion Letter Dear Mr. Therrien: 1.If a company is to continue to grow in today’s marketplace, it must have great products, provide good service,and listen to its customers. 2. We at Krypton International pride ourselves on the quality and performance of our products and our customer service. However, we are interested in hearing your experience with Krypton. We know you purchased a cordless-phone from a Krypton store three months ago. Now Sample3-continued That you have had time to use it , we would like to know how you feel about the machine. Would you recommend it to your friends? How do you feel about our sales staff? Were they knowledgeable and helpful? 3. The attached questionnaire asks 20 simple questions, all related to our products and service. It should take no more than ten minutes to complete. We have even included a pen-yours to keepto help you get started. Sample3-continued 4. By taking the time to fill in this survey, you will be helping us to assist you in the future with new and improved merchandise and service. 5. Please return the form to us in the attached, self-addressed envelop. Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely, Structure of the Letter: 1.begin with a point that the reader can agree with Sample 3-continued 2. Introduce the idea and present details 3. Present request 4.Benefits to the reader 5. Call for action How to Write the Opening and Closing Sentences in Your Letters Opening Lines should be specific and with purpose The following opening lines should be used only to jump-start your own creative processes. Think about why you are writing and then come up with your own original opening. 1. We were pleased to receive your order for 24 desk lamp. 2. Thank you for sending us the samples. 3. I enjoyed meeting you at the COMMIXED exhibit and discussing your future computer plan. 4. I am sorry to hear you are not happy with the plan. 5. Here is the information I promised you last month. 6. The books you ordered are being shipped today. The opening lines should also follow the basic principles of effective business writing. Closing Lines The closing lines should call for action. You should let the reader know what you want he/she to do after he/she is finished reading. Examples: 1. I look forward to meeting with you on June 3. 2. To take advantage of this offer, you must respond by January 30. 3. To complete the report, I need the information by May 30. 4. Thank you for your patience. Choose a better choice: 1. A. We wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter of May 2. B. I have reviewed the concerns discussed in your letter of May 2. 2. A. Thank you for letting us know about this situation. B. We’re sorry for any inconvenience that our product may have caused you. 3. A. If you have any questions, please call me at (027)8754-1752. -continued 3. A. If you have any questions, please call me at (027)8754-1752. B. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 4. A. Thank you for your letter of May 16 in which you complained about our service program. B. After receiving your letter of May 16, I reviewed your concerns with our service department. Key 1.B 2. A 3. A 4.B Chapter 7 Letter Formats Letter format refers to the way in which you type or print a letter-where you indent and where you place certain kinds of information. Two of the most frequently used business letter formats are the full-block/block format and modified block/semi-block format. Before you choose a letter format, find out whether your employer has a preference. Full-Block Format The full-block/block format is the easiest to use because all information in the letter is flush against the left-hand margin, with space between paragraphs. Figure A.1(page103) shows a full-block letter on letterhead stationery(specially printed giving a company’s name, business and fax and telephone numbers). If you don’t use letterhead, the writer’s address is placed flush with the left-hand margin, directly above the date. Modified Block Format The modified block style (Figure A2, page 104) positions the writer’s address(if it is not imprinted on a letterhead), date, complimentary close,and the signature at the right-hand side of the letter. The date aligns with the complimentary close, and notations of any enclosures with the letter flush below the signature. Paragraphs in the modified style can be flush against the left-hand margin or indented. Simplified Format Like the full-block format, the simplified letter begins every line at the left-hand margin, including any numbered items such as those in Figure A.3 (page 106). But unlike the block format, the simplified style omits the salutation and complimentary close. In place of the salutation it includes a subject line(without using the word subject ),typed or printed in all capital letters, three spaces down from the inside address. The first paragraph of the letter Spaces after the subject line. The writer’s name and title are typed in capital letters on the same line four lines after the last paragraph of the letter. Because the simplified style saves keyboarding time (and thus company money), many offices now use it.