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As we grow older we long for the good old days, when things were simpler. The kind of the days when towns were mostly made up of small, locally owned businesses. Our home towns consisted of marketplaces like the local butcher, small hardware stores, and hot dog stands across the street. It’s nostalgia like this that keeps us humble, but hard working, it’s that little spark in us that is bringing back local farmers’ markets and pushing small town America forward. These days it’s so important to learn and maintain skills such as letter writing and proper ways to correspond.  They will help us in many different ways such as:  thank-you notes, college letter writing, customer correspondence, and job applications.

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Consumers we crave personalized attention, and in today’s increasingly impersonal marketplace, are having a harder time finding it. If you want to build a loyal customer base, you need to practice good customer correspondence. In the race to cut overhead and provide customers with ever more competitive prices, companies have let customer correspondence fail in the last several decades. Over the past few decades many companies have been wising up to the fact that good communication with customers can put them ahead of the competition. In many cases, they are only offering the same level of communication that was common a generation ago.

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Starting the Letter

On the first line, beginning near the center of the paper, is written the name of the town and state, or the number of the street, with the name of the town and state on the second line. On the line below follows the month, day and year; on the succeeding line, at the left, the name of the party to whom the letter is addressed ; the next line or two lines are occupied with his post-office address, and on the following line the address proper, ” Dear Sir,” etc.

Make sure when writing a business letter that you use good paper and envelopes. Arrange your letter to give it the best possible appearance, leaving a about a half inch or more at the left of the page, dividing the letter into paragraphs for each new subject. Do not write the letter with a pencil, write or type only.

Use as few words as possible and state clearly what you have to say. Read the letter or spell-check it to assure your self that there are no omissions or mistakes.

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Closing the Letter

Never fail to sign a letter, using your full name, and write it clearly, that there may be no error in sending your reply. Address the envelope carefully and examine before sending.

The closing words of letters should be “Yours truly,” “Yours respectfully,” “Respectfully yours,” or “Respectfully”.

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Address the Envelope

Place the name a little to the left of the center of the envelope, and about one-half way down from the top. Write the name of the party addressed, with the number of the street on a line below, a little to the right, the city or town on a line next below and to the right, and last the state.

The guidelines above can help you to use the appropriate tone in business writing. As you craft your business correspondence, it is important to realize, also, that tone is somewhat subjective: what sounds efficient to one reader may sound brisk or even mean to another, and what sounds courteous to one might sound condescending to another. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have someone else read over your document for you to make sure that you are indeed conveying the appropriate tone.

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