Objectives of Writing a Business Letter

by Christina Hamlett; Updated September 26, 2017
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Unlike the content of a personal letter which is primarily social and chatty, a business letter embraces a more formal tone and structure, encourages a call to action, and is often between individuals who have never met one another face to face.

The Complaint

Dissatisfaction with the quality of a company's product, service or the attitude of its personnel can result in a grievance letter calling for a refund, a replacement or an apology. To restore and/or maintain customer loyalty, valid claims are generally responded to quickly.

The Commendation

The intent of a commendation letter for a job well done is for the company to reward exceptional performance in the form of bonuses, promotions and recognition. The author of the letter expects nothing in return, nor is she likely to hear the outcome of her unsolicited praise.

The Employment Query

A cover letter accompanied by a resume is a written introduction to the hiring authority that not only touts the author's talents but also seeks to determine whether there are any current or upcoming openings at the company that might be a good fit.

The Confusion

Unlike a letter of complaint that ascribes blame for wrongdoing, some business letters are for the purpose of acquiring clarification of perplexing policies, procedures or billing statements. These are not only written by customers but also by companies attempting to address communication problems with vendors, partners and their consumer demographic.

The Solicitation

Nonprofit organizations use business letters as a marketing device for their fund-raising campaigns. These letters extol the virtues of the program, offer testimonials by individuals who have benefited from its existence, and imply that time is of the essence to take the requested action.

The Liaison

A successful business is all about making the most of relationships. Business letters between related industries often take the approach of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" by citing examples of how they can support each other's interests.

About the Author

Ghostwriter and film consultant Christina Hamlett has written professionally since 1970. Her credits include many books, plays, optioned features, articles and interviews. Publishers include HarperCollins, Michael Wiese Productions, "PLAYS," "Writer's Digest" and "The Writer." She holds a B.A. in communications (emphasis on audience analysis and message design) from California State University, Sacramento. She also travels extensively and is a gourmet chef.

Photo Credits

  • Image courtesy of morguefile