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Have you ever noticed how some people have a gift when it comes to letter writing? You know the type — they never miss a birthday or an important event and always seem to get the point across while making you feel special all at the same time. If you’re thinking that definitely isn’t you, don’t worry. It can be! Just use these simple tips and you’ll be able to write the perfect letter, no matter what the occasion.

Send your letter in an appropriate time frame.
Sending a belated birthday card or a late thank you note just don’t send the same message as sending one on time does. Sending a card on time or even early lets the recipient know that not only did you take time to get a card, but you thought enough of them that you sent it on the special day. If the card is late the person you’re sending it to may feel like they were just an after thought. Sending a card ahead of time or at the very least on time may take a little more planning on your part, but will make a difference to the recipient.

Appropriately address the person you’re writing to.
You may actually have to do a little digging to get this part right. First, you need to find out if the person has an official title, like Dr. If so, you may want to use it when writing to them. You don’t want to offend them by leaving off their title.

Use the proper salutation.
Since this is a formal letter you don’t want to begin it with “What’s up?” or “Hey you!” Have you really thought about how you want to start your letter? The standard opening is either “Dear” or “To”. Just because they’re the standard doesn’t mean you have to use them. You can be more creative and informal if the letter is a casual one.

Make the point of the letter clear.
If you’re writing a business letter you really need to make your point clear, but this also applies to casual writing. Thank you notes should actually say thank you, and it should be at the beginning somewhere. Waiting until the end of your letter makes it seem like the thank you is an after thought. In a business letter you need to make your point pretty quick, or you run the risk of your important letter will be put to the side before they’ve even gotten to the important part.

Don’t dawdle.
Keep your letter short and to the point. You don’t be rude about it, but you also don’t want to write a three page letter just to thank someone for a gift. Keep the letter short and play catch up in a phone call a few days later.

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