What Is the Purpose of a Business Letter?

Erich Spieldiener/E+/Getty Images

A business letter is a formal method of communication between two or more parties. The common purposes of writing business letters are for sales efforts, relationship building, resolving an issue and considerations. They are written to clients, prospective customers, managers, employees and business partners among others.

Business letters come in various forms. Depending on the recipient, they are written in varying tones, such as persuasive, informational, promotional or motivational tone. They have a clear purpose and objective, and they are targeted toward a specific individual or group. When companies introduce new products to customers, they send sales letters that are typically mailed with a brochure and order form. Business letters are also used to build rapport and express gratitude to business associates or customers. Another purpose of writing a business letter is to provide sales incentives, such as special deals, coupons and rebates, for loyal customers. Moreover, it is used to order products in the form of a purchase order, which serves as a legal document between the seller and buyer. Companies also send a formal letter to acknowledge complaints, such as problems with damaged products, inaccurate shipment and customer service issues. It is important for a business to respond to complaints quickly to avoid potential legal problems. Lastly, a business letter is used to communicate with lost customers and dormant ones who have not bought a company’s products for a while.