Key elements of a formal business letter (ok for emails, too)
1) Your address, telephone, fax, email (top centre right, no name, company)
2) Date e.g. 10th January, 2007
3) Destination name and address (name, job title, company name & address)
4) References (codes used to define a letter/subject);your correspondent's reference : 'Your ref: 01234'; your own reference: 'My ref: 56789' or 'Our ref: 56789'.
5) Salutation e.g. Dear Mr Smith
6) Subject (the subject of your letter) not obligatory e.g. Re: Training course
7) Body (the letter itself, well-structured paragraphs)
8) Ending e.g. Yours sincerely
9) Your signature
10) Your name (first name & surname, e.g. James Bond)
11) (Your title) When using company headed paper, write your Job Title here
12) Enclosures e.g. 'Enc: 2' (for two documents).
· You don’t know the person’s name and title - Dear Sir or Madam, or To Whom It May Concern
· You know the person’s name - Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms + surname
· You have met them or spoken to them by phone - Dear + first name
· Addressing whole departments/companies – Dear Sirs
· You don’t know the person’s name and title – Yours faithfully, sign with initials & surname
· You know the person’s name – Yours sincerely, sign with first name & surname.
· You have met them or spoken to them by phone - Yours sincerely, sign with first name.
· Addressing whole departments – Yours faithfully
Language focus: Starting / making reference
Following our phone conversation today…
In reply to your fax received…
Thank you for your letter of 28 July.
Further to our telephone enquiry…
With reference to your letter of…
It was a pleasure meeting you…
Language focus: Explaining the reason for writing
I am writing to enquire about/ inform you that/ confirm…
I am pleased to confirm…
This letter is to thank you…
Language focus: Requesting & Agreeing to requests
We would appreciate it if you could…
Would you please tell me…
Would you kindly check the details..
Could you please send us…
Please let us know…
I would be delighted to…
I would be pleased to attend the meeting.
Language focus: Giving good news
I am pleased to inform you that your application has been approved.
I am delighted to tell you that the order has been confirmed.
Language focus: Giving bad news
I am afraid the trip has been delayed.
Unfortunately the hotel is fully booked.
I am sorry to inform you that your application has not been approved.
We regret to inform you that the series you requested is no longer available.
Language focus: Enclosing documents
I enclose a copy of my book.
Please find enclosed airline tickets for Mr Johnson.
Language focus: Apologizing
I am sorry about the mistake.
I apologize for not replying sooner.
Please accept our apologies for the misunderstanding.
Language focus: Ending & referring to future contact
Please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any further queries.
Please let me know if you require any further information.
Please give our kind regards to Bob Hanson.
I look forward to meeting you.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Thank your for your time and assistance.