5 Common Types Of Business Correspondence

The easiest way to connect with people in business is through written communication, like texts or instant messages, or letters. These forms of communication, known as business correspondence, play a crucial role in professional settings. They help you maintain relationships, provide clarity, and keep company records. Business correspondence, also known as company or corporate correspondence, includes various types such as emails, memos, and reports, each serving specific purposes.

Let’s get familiar with the different types and the importance of business correspondence.

What is Business Correspondence?

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 a form of business correspondence when used to represent a company or for the purpose of the business.

As communication continues to change, new solutions like hybrid mail improve the efficiency and dynamics of traditional business correspondence.  Hybrid mail blends physical and digital elements, giving organizations new ways to make their communication more effective.

Importance of Business Correspondence

Written communication is important in a business for the following reasons:

Ease of Communication

It allows reaching out to different parties without needing face-to-face meetings. It provides a formal way to exchange information while maintaining professional relationships between organizations, employees, and clients.

Proof or Evidence

Written communication keeps a record of all facts, serving as evidence when needed for future reference.

Good Relationships and Goodwill

It helps maintain and strengthen relationships between parties, enhancing internal communication and making it clearer and more precise. It builds and sustains goodwill between a business and its customers—responses to inquiries, complaints, suggestions, or feedback foster growth and positive relationships.

Low Cost and Convenience

It offers a cost-effective and convenient method of business communication.

Formal Communication

Written communication establishes formal communication between parties, such as between a seller and a buyer or an employee and an employer. It removes ambiguity and doubts with clear, logical, and formal language.

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.

Business Expansion

It assists in achieving business goals and ensures business expansion. It helps share information about resources, products, markets, and business growth. It ensures everyone is on the same page, deals get done, and operations run smoothly.

Imagine a world without effective communication. Businesses would crumble, and chaos would reign.

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 is usually less formal, such as quick instructions between a supervisor and a staff, and these are normally in the form of an email.

There are other more formal types of internal correspondence which include:

  • promotion letters
  • written reprimands
  • notices to explain
  • memorandum
  • formal requests for approval
  • and letters 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 relationships with the company.

Here are some formal types of external correspondence:

  • Business Letters
  • Official Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Contracts and Agreements
  • Request for Proposals (RFPs)
  • Quotations or Estimates
  • Press Releases
  • Letters of Intent
  • Warranty Certificates
  • Letters of Recommendation

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 include:

  • invoices
  • purchase orders
  • collection letters — must contain accurate information

When corresponding with a person whose native language is different than your own, keep in mind it’s always best to use a certified language translation service to guarantee you don’t miscommunicate.

4. Personalized Correspondence

Personalized correspondence involves 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 favors or requests, appreciation notes, letters of congratulations or 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 regular office paper for this, or perhaps a personalized yet cheap note pad, or a greeting card for a certain purpose (e.g. Thank You card, Congratulations card, etc).

5. Circulars

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 communicated via circulars.

Example Drafts of Common Types of Business Correspondence

  • Memo Example

Date: [Date]
To: All Employees
From: [Sender's Name] 
Subject: Company-wide Training Session

Dear Team,

I am writing to inform you about an upcoming company-wide training session on [Date] at [Time]. The training will cover new procedures and guidelines for our customer service department. It is mandatory for all employees in the department to attend.

Please make sure to arrive on time and bring a notepad and pen to take notes. We believe this training will enhance our customer service skills and improve overall customer satisfaction. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Best regards, 
[Sender's Name] 
  • Email Example

Subject: Meeting Request - Marketing Strategy

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I would like to request a meeting with you to discuss the marketing strategy for the upcoming product launch. I believe it is crucial for us to align our efforts and ensure a successful campaign.

Based on your availability, I suggest scheduling the meeting for [Date] at [Time] in [Location]. Please let me know if this works for you, or if you have any alternative suggestions.

Additionally, please come prepared with your insights and ideas regarding target audience segmentation, key messaging, and the media channels we should focus on.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to meeting and working together to achieve our marketing objectives.

Best regards, 
[Your Name] 
[Your Position] 
[Your Contact Information]
  • Business Letter Example

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Email Address] [Phone Number] [Date]

[Recipient's Name] [Recipient's Position] [Company Name] [Company Address] [City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I am writing to inquire about the status of my recent job application for the [Position Title] at [Company Name]. I submitted my application on [Date] and wanted to follow up to express my continued interest in the position.

I firmly believe that my qualifications and experience align closely with the requirements outlined in the job posting. I am confident that my skills in [relevant skills] and my previous experience in [relevant experience] would make a valuable contribution to your team.

I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide regarding the hiring process and an update on the status of my application. If necessary, I am available for an interview at your convenience.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

[Your Name]
  • Report Example

[Your Company Logo]
[Report Title] 

Executive Summary: The executive summary provides a concise overview of the report's key findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Introduction: The introduction section provides background information about the topic and outlines the purpose and objectives of the report.

Methodology: This section describes the research methods, data collection techniques, and analytical tools used to gather and analyze the data.

Findings and Analysis: Present the findings and analysis based on the research conducted. Use charts, graphs, or tables to support the data and provide insights into the results.

Conclusions: Summarize the main conclusions derived from the findings and analysis. Address the research objectives and provide recommendations based on the conclusions.

Recommendations: Provide actionable recommendations that address the issues discussed in the report. These recommendations should be practical and aligned with the organization's goals.

Conclusion: Summarize the main points discussed in the report and emphasize the importance of the findings and recommendations for the organization.

References: Include a list of sources and references used in the report.

Appendices: If necessary, attach any supplementary materials or additional data that supports the findings and analysis.
  • Proposal Example

[Your Company Logo] 
[Proposal Title] 

Executive Summary: The executive summary provides a concise overview of the proposal, including the problem statement, proposed solution, anticipated benefits, and the request for support or investment.

Introduction: Present the background information and context related to the proposal, highlighting the issue or opportunity that needs to be addressed.

Problem Statement: Clearly articulate the problem or challenge that the proposal aims to solve. Explain the significance and impact of the problem on the organization.

Proposed Solution: Describe the proposed solution or course of action in detail. Highlight its feasibility, anticipated outcomes, and alignment with the organization's objectives.

Timeline and Budget: Provide a timeline outlining the key milestones and deliverables. Include a budget breakdown, including estimated costs for resources, equipment, or any other relevant expenses.

Benefits and Anticipated Outcomes: Emphasize the benefits and advantages that the proposed solution will bring to the organization. Quantify the anticipated outcomes and potential return on investment.

Conclusion: Reiterate the importance of the proposal and summarize the key points discussed. Encourage the recipient to support or invest in the proposed solution.

Thank you for considering this proposal. We are confident that it will significantly contribute to the success of our organization.

[Your Name] 
[Your Position] 
[Your Contact Information]

These examples illustrate how different types of business correspondence can be structured and written. Remember to tailor the content and tone of your correspondence based on the specific context and audience.


Business correspondence might seem like a boring topic, but it’s the backbone of how businesses communicate. Whether you’re a newbie just stepping into the corporate world or a seasoned pro, understanding these can help you navigate the maze with ease. So, the next time you’re drafting an email or memo, you’ll know the ropes.

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