How to Write a Business Letter to Someone You Don't Know

by Mara Tyler; Updated September 26, 2017
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Writing a business letter to someone you don't know is typically no more difficult than writing a letter to someone you're already acquainted with. The format of the letter, however, should still be professional and adhere to proper standards of communication etiquette in business. Before beginning a business letter, make sure you know how to spell the recipient's name correctly and have the person's correct title and company address.

Step 1

Start the letter with a proper business introduction for an unknown person, such as "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Ms. Johnson," using the person's own last name. If the letter is addressed to a female whose marital status is unknown, use the prefix "Ms." End the introduction with a colon instead of a comma if the letter is more formal in nature.

Step 2

Introduce yourself to the recipient since you haven't yet met. Explain why you are writing in the first paragraph of the letter. Convey in a professional voice the purpose of your inquiry and what it is you're asking of the recipient.

Step 3

Type the letter in a business appropriate format. Use paragraphs that are flushed left to the side of the page and avoid paragraph indentations. Include a single space after each paragraph. End the letter with a business-appropriate signature such as "Sincerely" or "Best Regards."

Step 4

Use a professional and objective voice in the body of the letter. Remain unbiased and friendly while still conveying respect. Include a note of thanks for his time.

About the Author

Mara Tyler is a writer and public relations consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With more than eight years of experience, she specializes in health, nutrition, women's lifestyle and marketing. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Science in public relations.

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