A request letter is written communication for the purpose of politely or formally asking the recipient to provide something that is needed by the sender. The tone of this kind of message should be humble but also authoritative and formal, getting the point across quickly so that the reader will not have to waste time in trying to decipher what the sender is asking for.
As with everything, starting is the tricky part and that is why there are lot of templates available online to help guide individuals that want to create a formal letter with proper formatting and structure.
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While majority of the business request letters are formal, there are also instances when an informal letter can be used, especially among coworkers and close friends. More often than not, the type of letter you write is reflective of the relationship you have with the sender and the kind of favor you are asking. The less close you are to the person or company you are writing to and the bigger the favor, the more formal your approach should be, especially in matters that involve finances and donations.
It is important to note, however, that regardless of the tone of your request letter, there is a format to how request letters should be written. The following three parts should be created with the thought that they cannot fully and successfully function without the other parts:
Heading contains all information regarding the sender and the receiver, such as full name, title or position, office address (room number, building name, street), and other relevant data. Theoretically, the more formal a letter is, the more detailed information will be available. Aside from sender and receiver information, the full date of writing can also be found in this part.
The heading is important because it informs the receiver that the letter was specifically made for him or her, making sure that it was not sent to that person by accident. It also gives the receiver an idea of who wrote the letter and whether or not it remains to be relevant, should they have had correspondence of the same nature at a later date than the one being indicated in the note.
Body is the most important part of the document, containing the actual request itself. It often takes a lot of time to make this part, since, more than getting your point across, you have to consider your reader and how they would feel about the words that you use in your sentences. Luckily, most letter templates available already have the correct wording for whatever type of request that one is trying to create, which makes things easier.
The body is important because it details the request and includes more information on how the request can be achieved or when it is expected to be accomplished. The composition of this part of the letter will be indicative of the writer’s skill in terms of communicating his intentions and getting his point across without confusion.
Often the least lengthy among the three parts, it formally informs your reader that he or she has reached the end of your note; and furthermore, it tells them that there are attachments or enclosures (should there be any) that should have arrived with the letter. Apart from that, the CC at the bottom will also indicate that there have been other receivers of request letters with the same content.
The closing is important because it gives the reader more information regarding the nature of the letter, what were included and who were included in the mailing list.
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Things to Keep in Mind When Writing a Request Letter
Writing a request letter is always a challenge, which is why utilizing the assistance and guidance of templates is a good place to start. In order to help you in creating or editing your request letter, here are a few things you should remember:
- Who it is from
There are times when you would be tasked to write request letters for someone else, so the tone of your correspondence should reflect that of the sender’s. A CEO should sound more firm, authoritative, and formal than the delivery personnel requesting for payment. It is important to take note of this so that your letter’s voice resonates with that of the sender’s.
- Who it is for
If you are talking to your boss or someone who is at a higher position, then your tone should be more respectful and humble than when you are talking to a subordinate. It is also important to know the full details of the recipient such as his or her full name, position or title, company, and full address so that you can indicate them in your letter.
- When it is meant to be sent
A request letter often requires a response, whether in the form or writing or correspondence; and, as such, you should always be conscious of when you are supposed to send the letter. As a common courtesy, give the sender an allowance of one or two days to respond or comply. It’s important to give the receiver ample time to accomplish, but not too much time that he or she might forget.
- What it is for
Like the recipient and sender of the letter, knowing the purpose of the note will help you determine what kind of request letter you are going to write. The templates that you are going to download will already have indicators of what kind of request they were created for. Luckily, since these letters are usually already preset, you won’t have to worry about going through the technicalities and formatting. It’s important in order for you to understand what kind of information needs to be presented in the body text.
- How many people are going to receive it
There are times when request letters go into a mailing list with a lot of people receiving the same thing. If that is the case then you should be general and vague, often merely requesting them to call you rather than state all of your intentions in the letter.
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How to Personalize a Request Letter
Sometimes, even when you are using a template, you don’t want to sound robotic or too monotonous. More often than not, adding personal touches to a formal letter can be tricky, but it can lead to better results because the recipient will feel like you took the time to tailor a request made especially for him or her. Although not all types of request letters benefit from personalization, a lot of correspondence work well with a little personalization just to show interest and sincerity.
Here are a few ways for you to personalize your request letter:
- Indicate specific details that tell the recipient you still remember things about him or her
In informal request letters wherein you expect a response, you can add a short sentence or two before the end of your body text. You can either send your regards to the receiver’s family or invite him or her over to a coffee shop that you both used to frequent. Those small gestures will create a big impact because it would tell the reader that you cared enough to remember small details about his or her life.
- Attach a personalized note
If the content of the actual letter is too formal to modify, then you can create a separate and more personal note as an attachment to the letter. The informal second note should be brief and not longer than the actual request letter.
- Use what you know about the person
Especially if the request involves finances and requesting for aid, you should determine the kind of affiliation your sender has and what makes him or her want to help or respond positively to your favor.
Make sure that you personalize your letter enough to make your reader feel important but not too much to make your reader forget the purpose of your request letter. Moderation is key, and this is particularly true when writing letters, especially those that require positive responses.
The digital age has brought about a lot of changes in how we communicate and how we give information. Despite all of that, technology has improved in providing the best services online. We understand that business letters are challenging to make and we at Sample Templates hope to ease those challenges by providing the best templates that are easy to customize and available for download. We have templates available for various functions such as proposals, recommendations, and other formal correspondence for your convenience. They are available in PDF and Word Doc, which are compatible and used in most devices and office applications; they are lightweight in terms of file size, so you do not have to worry about space. Browse our site for more information regarding these and download your very own business and formal template.
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