Business correspondence is typically succinct and well organized, with the writer's thoughts presented concisely enough to fit on one page. However, there are times when the message you need to convey requires two pages. Properly formatting the second page of your business letter ensures that the reader doesn't overlook your final thoughts.
Formatting the Second-Page Header
The second-page header format you choose is up to you, but it should always include at least the full name of the person to whom the letter is written. The second-page header can also include the page number and the date of the letter.
Some writers prefer to use a single line on the second page of their business letter. This is known as the horizontal format. For example, they type the addressee's name on the far left margin, center the page number and type the date justified to the right margin. Using this format, it almost appears that you are creating three columns.
Another way to format the second page is to use the block format, meaning that you type the addressee's name on the top line under the one-inch margin and then type the page number on the next line and the date on the third line. For example:
Mr. Davey Jones
October 1, 2018
Instead of using the right-justified margin, simply tab over past the center of the page almost to the right margin. When the readers look at the second page, the first thing they see is their name, the page number and the date. This way, if you choose to staple the first and second pages, the stapled area doesn't cover the heading on the second page.
Once you have the heading in place, you should leave three blank lines before including the rest of your business letter. Be sure to have enough text to justify a second page. If you only have an additional line or two, try to cut your letter to fit onto one page. Also, make sure that you don’t start the second page of your letter in the middle of a sentence. When possible, start a new paragraph on the second page so your letter flows better.
Creating the Second-Page Margin
If you have a two-page business letter, you might want to staple the two pages together. However, it's acceptable if you simply fold the two pages of your letter so they fit into the envelope. If you staple the pages, the reader obviously knows there is more to your message than the content on the first page. However, if you choose not to staple, ensure that you begin your formatting far enough down from the top edge of the second page so the reader realizes the second page is just as important as the first. A one-inch margin from the top of the page is customary. That is where you will begin the second page heading.
Get the Addressee’s Information Right
Because the second page of your business letter contains the addressee's name, it's critical that you have the addressee's name spelled correctly on the first page of the letter, followed by her correct title and mailing address. On the first page of your business letter, the addressee's information follows the date and your return address.
If you're unsure about the spelling of any of the addressee's information, check the company’s website or call the company secretary or receptionist. Don't risk embarrassing yourself and possibly offending the addressee by using incorrect or outdated information.
Leslie Bloom has worked in upper-level management positions in both publishing and the mental health field. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications, including Metro Magazine. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.