Business letters are the main way businesses officially communicate with their customers and other businesses. To a lot of people (and cats, too - Dixie cannot leave the cats out) business letters are still synonymous with business correspondence, though nowadays the phrase 'business correspondence' has a much broader meaning.
As with any other letters, business letters are the product of the person (or cat) writing them and in Dixie's opinion a lot depends on the personal preferences. On the other hand, there are a lot of rules established for writing business letters; some of them are strict, the others can be ignored, sometimes breaking some of the rules can even make your letter more effective... And Dixie is sure some rules with regard to business letters are obsolete and should be broken.
On the other hand, there are some rules you cannot afford to ignore when writing a business letter. Dixie will explain to you the most important rules, will let you know which rules she wouldn't stick to and will ultimately let you make a knowledge-based decision on what YOUR business letters should be like.
Remember, Dixie's goal here is to make you savvy in business correspondence, and the first step is making you savvy in business letters.
To start with, Dixie invites you to check out formatting business letters, as well as the links below where you will find samples of business letters with detailed description:
You might also find a lot of useful information on the Business Letter Elements page.
The video below suggests expressions for starting a letter on any topic, in any situation whether you are initiating the correspondence or replying to someone's letter. Dixie thinks it can even help overcome writer's block.
But if you are pressed for time (aren't we all nowadays?!) Dixie invites you to watch a short presentation below which has the essentials of business letters covered just in 15 slides.
Press the "full screen" button in the bottom right corner of the presentation for the full screen mode. Dixie assures you, it looks better that way. And use the arrow buttons to navigate between the slides. (Press the "Escape" button on your computer keyboard to return to this page after you are done viewing the presentation.)
Dixie hopes you've enjoyed the presentation. Alternatively you can access it at Slideshare.
And remember that this presentation is just the tip of the iceberg, so browse other pages on Dixie's site to find more detailed information about business letters and other types of business correspondence.
Dixie invites you to check out some other business letter basics that haven't been included in the above presentation:
paper to be used for writing business letters
basic information about business envelope
fonts for business letters
folding a business letter
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