Meaning of Letter | Meaning of Commercial Letter | Business Letter

Letters are the most widely and commonly used means of written communication. It is perhaps the most traditional written tool for conveying message. When someone writes or prints message on a piece of paper and sends it to others, it is called letter. Letter can be sent directly hand to hand or by means of post or mail or by using any other electronic media. Despite the availability of various modern quick and convenient means of transmitting message, letters are as important today as they were centuries ago. Its usefulness and importance are still increasing with the growth of business.

According to Oxford Dictionary, “A letter is a written message addressed to a person or an organization usually put in an envelope and sent by post.”

By nature, letters are of two types namely- personal letter and business letter. The letter written to relatives or friends for exchanging personal matters is called pentagonal letter. On the other hand, the letter that contains business related information is known as business as business or commercial letter.
Meaning of Letter Meaning of Commercial Letter Business Letter
From the above discussion we can say that a letter is a written or printed message on a piece of paper which is complied by someone and sent to others with a view to providing them with those written or printed messages.

Meaning of Commercial Letter or Business Letter

The letter that contains business related information is called commercial letter or business letter. Through this letter, businesspersons exchange business related information among them. Such letters are written to various business firms, business associations, government offices, banks, customers, suppliers, and employees’ etc. business letters are generally aimed at selling goods, obtaining information or advice, making inquiry, mollifying the injured feelings or customers, placing orders for goods, reminding customers for payment of dues etc. Some definitions on business letter are quoted below-

According to Hanson, “The letters which are exchanged among businessmen in connection with business affairs are called business or commercial letters”

In the language of Weston, “Commercial correspondence is a system of conducting business transactions by means of writing.”

In conclusion, we can say that the letters which are written among the businessmen for exchanging business related information are known as business letters or commercial letters.

Factors to be considered in writing Collection Letter

Collection letters are written in a series. Each successive letter becomes stronger in tone. However, letters should be written in such a way so as to collect the dues promptly by maintaining relationships with the customers. a through consideration of the following factors may help the seller to achieve the goal of wringing collection letters.

  • Expressing regret: In collection letter, the seller should regret that the account of the customer is still unsettled.
  • Mentioning the dues: The amount of dues, due date of payment, items of sales etc. should be clearly included in the collection letter.
  • Persuading the customer: In writing an effective collection letter, an attempt is to be taken to persuade the customer to pay the bill promptly.
  • Honor to the Customer: The language of his letter should be courteous, polite and gentle. it should be written in a motivating tone. no such word that can hurt the customer should be used/
  • Considering the nature of customer: In writing collection or dunning letter, focus should be given on the particulars of customers like their previous dealings, position in credit rating, goodwill, business honestly, size of business, present circumstance of the customers etc.
  • Mentioning the reference: If collection letters are written in a series, every subsequent letter should mention the reference of the previous letter.
  • Giving importance to the customer: In order to realize the dues, the seller needs to put importance and value upon the customers. For doing so, the seller can use some motivating words or phrases.
  • Indicating legal action: If the customers do not pay the dues after sending reminder and appeal letters, the final letter of the series should be written by indicating that necessary legal action should be taken against them.
  • Sending Through Post: The seller should send collection letters especially, the last letter of the series through registered with acknowledgments. it helps to avoid unnecessary delay or missing of the letter or denial from the part of the customer.

COLLECTION LETTER or Dunning Letter
Finally, we can conclude that the ultimate goal or a collection letter is to maintain goodwill while getting overdue payment from the customers. Lack of concern about customer’s goodwill will cause them to do business elsewhere. Therefore, collection letter should always rely on the art of persuasion.

Features of Ultimatum Letter or Final letter of dunning letter series

Dunning letters are written in a series. The series starts with sending a statement of account. After that, reminders letters are sent. if reminder letters do not work, credit department sends an inquiry and discussion letter. if this letter also fails to produce satisfactory result, the seller then sends an appeal and urgency letter. if the customer still ignores the seller’s request, then the final letter of the series is drafted indicating that necessary legal action will be taken against the customer. the final letter of the series contains some distinct features. these are as follows:

  • Mentioning the reference of previous letters
  • The opening section of the ultimatum letter is brief because the customer is well aware of the situation.
  • The language of this letter is not discourteous but makes less use of courteous words.
  • The seller expresses relatively straightforward opinion.
    In this letter, the seller clearly shows his dissatisfaction regarding nonpayment of dues by the customers.
  • Since this is the last letter, it gives an ultimatum for payment of overdue bills.
  • Through this letter, the seller indicates threat of legal action if the customer does not pay within the date.
  • In this letter, the seller offers any discussion with the customer only after the full payment of his account.
  • Although this letter indicates threat of legal action, it expresses regret for this.