Business correspondence is a form of written communication used for business purposes. It is usually made between organizations, within the organization, or between clients and the organization. Email can be considered as a form of business correspondence when used to represent a company or for the purpose of the business.
Written communication is important in a business for various reasons. It serves as a formal way of exchanging information while maintaining professional relationships between organizations, employees, and clients. It can also serve as future reference for the information being communicated.
The 5 most common types of business correspondence
There are different kinds of business correspondence that are typically used in organizations. The 5 most common types of business correspondence include internal correspondence, external correspondence, sales correspondence, personalized correspondence, and circulars.
1. Internal Correspondence
Internal correspondence is a written communication between the employees, units, departments, and branches of the same organization. Internal correspondence can either be formal or less formal. Routine internal correspondence are usually less formal, such as quick instructions between a supervisor and a staff, and these are normally in the form of email.
There are other more formal types of internal correspondence which include promotion letter, written reprimand, notice to explain, memorandum, formal requests for approval, and letter of approval or dismissal. These types of communication are ideally printed on paper, signed by the sender, and physically received by the recipient.
2. External Correspondence
External correspondence takes place between different organizations, or between an organization and their individual clients. This is a form of written communication made by a company to those who do not belong to their organization.
External correspondence is commonly made to vendors, creditors, suppliers, existing customers, prospective clients, financial institutions, government offices, law and accounting firms, business affiliates, sponsors or donors, and other offices that have either direct or indirect business relationship with the company.
3. Sales Correspondence
Sales correspondence refers to sales-related communications. It is not limited to just selling a product or service, but it also includes other activities relating to sales. Sales correspondence include marketing letters, offer and discount letters, sales proposals, invoices, statement of accounts, sales reports, order confirmation, purchase orders, letters of authorization, collection letters, and such.
For the purpose of selling, it is important to know how to write quality sales letters to be able to communicate effectively. Also, marketing and offer letters should reflect truthful and non-misleading information. Other kinds of sales correspondence — such as invoice, purchase orders, and collection letters — must contain accurate information.
4. Personalized Correspondence
Personalized correspondence involved personal and emotional factors. Despite being labeled as “personalized”, this type of correspondence can also be used for business purposes. Examples of personalized correspondence include letters of gratitude, letters of favours or requests, appreciation notes, letters of congratulations of commendation, and such.
This particular type of correspondence doesn’t need to have a very formal tone. Though this can be done via email, writing an actual, physical letter is more preferable because it has a sense of personal touch. You may use a regular office paper for this, or perhaps a personalized yet cheap note pads, or a greeting card for a certain purpose (e.g. Thank You card, Congratulations card, etc).
Circulars are notices that are communicated to a large number of people within the organization. It is also referred to as office instructions or announcements. Often, general announcements (such as changes in contact information, details about meetings with shareholders, instructions about certain protocols, etc) are being communicated via circulars.
The Significance of Written Communication
Business correspondence is an essential tool for the day-to-day operations of a company. It helps people within an organization communicate with each other efficiently. It also helps an organization transact and maintain a good professional relationship with their business partners, customers, and other organizations.
If weather forecasts inform us of the current weather conditions and their development, business plans operate in a similar way. It gives readers an idea of how the company would work in order to achieve its target.
It is important that we know how to communicate in writing effectively, both in actual and via email. Maintaining professionalism, choosing the right words, and staying courteous and sincere when communicating will make a big impact on your business image.