What is the Nature of the Letter?
There are different types of letters. Each letter has a targeted audience and structure. Here are some common letter types:
- Formal letter – These letters are known to follow a specific structure. They are meant for professional response and directly touch on the issue concerned.
- Informal letter – This falls under personal letters. They are generally for friends, family, or acquaintances. It contains confidential information between sender and receiver.
- Business letter – This is mainly written for business correspondents written for business purposes.
- Official letter – It carries official information between people in an office or outside the confines of the office.
Who is the Audience?
The type of letter dictates the audience. The audience can either be family, friends, colleagues, businesses, or offices. Knowledge of the audience helps in noting down the tone of the letter to suit the needs of the audience. You should know what connects with the audience and what irks them. The audience impacts on the nature of information delivered.
What Do They Want?
It is essential to brainstorm when searching for possible solutions for the intended audience. Start by creating a list of problems faced by the readers. Ensure you envision a pattern or theme that flows naturally with your organization. Meeting the needs of the correspondents goes a long way in the audience accepting your message.
What Heading Will Catch Their Attention?
The first thing the audience views is the headline. The headline dictates the nature of information in the letter. The headline should be precise and not more than 60 characters. Start by drafting a few headlines while noting the tone. Ensure the headline features an angle that the audience can resonate with. The draft might not be the final sample, but it acts as a guide for the whole letter.
What is the Format?
There are different letter formats used in crafting a letter. Here is a basic example of a format that contains all details:
- Addresser contact information
- Addressee contact information
- Body of letter
- Signing off
What Do You Want Audience to Do?
Your main core with the piece is informing your audience or elicit a reaction from them. It would help if you considered what you hope the audience to do with the information contained in the letter. The message should act as a call-to-action for the audience. A response shows an understanding of the information.
What About Technical Jargon?
After deciphering your audience, you can know when to use technical jargon. In case of a formal letter, you can use technical jargon when your audience is intellectuals in the related field. However, you cannot use technical jargon when writing an official letter. The audience dictates the tone of the message posted.
Do You Want a Reply?
The last part, when concluding, is appreciating the addressee. This part is where you can fill whether you need a response or not. You can ask the addressee to reply in case of any questions related to the information. It is a recommendation to send an acknowledgment letter upon receiving one.