No matter where you are in life or what type of business you have, everyone uses and sends letters as a means of communication. It can be in an email message, a text message, or sent via standard postal service, but regardless of the method chosen, the letter is always a form of communication that never goes out of style.
Beyond being a dynamic method of communication, a letter has the power to touch the heart of a reader or leave him cold in his tracks. In fact, a well-written letter can open doors, invite new business, or communicate a sincere apology. On the contrary, a poorly written letter can leave it out before the reader reaches the second sentence.
Whether you are preparing a cover letter about your business, a cover letter as a companion piece to a resume, a sales letter selling your services, a reference letter for a colleague, a fundraising letter for your important charity, a letter of complaints when you are not satisfied, or a letter of appreciation giving someone the praise they deserve, the letter is one of the most important pieces of communication you will ever write. Regardless of the topic, a letter gives you the opportunity to be heard.
So what is it about a good letter that can make such a big difference? Simply put, when your letter is written effectively – meaning it’s written in a polished and honed message – you have the best chance of making an impact. For example, one of my clients recently applied for a promotion and asked for my help with a thank you letter to the prospective employer. Everyone knows how important it is to send a thank you letter after an interview, but presenting your thank you letter correctly can mean getting the job or getting shot down. In this case my client got the promotion! Another example of good letter writing came when one of my clients had some problems with a government agency. Getting the attention of an official in a government office can be quite overwhelming, but after helping him with a great letter, he received a response and an invitation for a meeting.
If you have something important to say, going the extra mile can make a difference. One of the most important tips for writing a good letter is to try to write it in a conversational style. It is not enough to write the letter and check for spelling errors. It’s important to read the letter out loud, to yourself and even someone else, just to make sure you’re getting your message across effectively. Even a formal letter should sound like you are speaking directly to the person. In other words, you have to listen to the letter, see the letter, and review the letter in different scenarios. It’s really amazing how different the lyrics will sound when you read it out loud or to yourself. It is also a good idea to write the letter and then sleep on it until the next day.
As a professional writer, I have helped thousands of clients creating exceptional letters, yet I never ship the finished product until I am satisfied that the letter sounds perfect to my ears. Believe me when I tell you that if you take the time to perfect your letter, chances are you will reap the benefits. And if you are unsure of your writing skills or if you are too close to the topic, you can always select a writer who likes to write letters.