Types of Deadline Letters

by Wanda Thibodeaux - Updated September 26, 2017
Although they used to be written with typewriters, deadline letters are still in use in the modern office.

Whether a person is a chief executive officer of a company or a layperson, chances are that they will deal with a deadline letter in some manner during their lifetime. Deadline letters can serve as promotional documents, warning notices and even a thank-you correspondence. There are several types of these letters.

Primary Deadline Letters

Primary deadline letters are sent in a first round of correspondence about an upcoming deadline. They introduce a project or an event and let individuals know that a deadline is either forthcoming or has just been set. These kinds of deadline letters are meant to inform and pique interest, or to assist in organization of a project or event. They usually are very cordially written with positive language. They may come directly from CEOs or from project coordinators, and sometimes are sent en masse. These letters sometimes are sent months in advance of a deadline.

Secondary Deadline Letters

Secondary deadline letters are letters written as follow-ups to primary deadline correspondence. These letters briefly remind an individual that a deadline is upcoming and they often urge the individual to attend or promote the event, or to finish an assignment by the deadline date given in the primary letter. They may provide a reference to the primary letter, such as the date that the primary letter was sent and why the individual received it, such as being a member of a particular committee.

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Past Deadline Letter

Past deadline letters inform an individual they have missed a deadline that was set. The letters do not need to be lacking in cordiality, but often they are stricter than primary and secondary deadline letters. If the deadline missed involved any kind of payment, the letter may detail any late fees that have been incurred. The letter also may detail an intent to take legal action or provide warnings as to other consequences of missing the deadline. If there are no consequences, such as if the primary and secondary letters were about donation deadlines, then the letter may inform the individual of how to continue involvement in the organization or how to meet the next planned deadline.

Calendar Deadline Letters

Unlike other types of deadline letters, calendar deadline letters serve to outline many deadlines at once. They serve as an outline for tasks or project goals and are more like an overview. These letters often ask the recipient to save the given dates on their schedules.

Apology Deadline Letter

Apology deadline letters are sent from the recipient to the person who sent the original deadline letter. They express regret about missing a deadline given by a boss or organization. These letters occasionally include a request for a new deadline or ask if requirements still must be fulfilled.

About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of mpclemens
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