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The AMA Handbook of Business Letters, 4th Edition

Book Description

Though the fundamentals of letter writing have remained the same, the way we communicate in business is constantly evolving. Whether it’s a formal printed letter or an email, the ability to write effective correspondence is essential for success—no matter what the industry. Containing more than 25 percent new material, The AMA Handbook of Business Letters provides readers with over 370 customizable model letters, divided into categories reflecting various aspects of business, including: • Sales, marketing, and public relations • Customer service • Human resources • Credit and collection • Letters to vendors and suppliers • Confirmations, requests, and replies • Permissions • And many more In addition, the book provides readers with a refresher course in the letter-writing basics, and helpful appendices listing common mistakes in grammar, word usage, and punctuation. Comprehensive—and now extensively updated—this invaluable resource provides professionals with an adaptable template for every conceivable business correspondence need.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half title
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Preface to the Fourth Edition
  7. Part I. The Basics
    1. Approaching This Book
    2. Approach of This Book
    3. Chapter 1. Planning the Letter
      1. Researching the Facts
      2. Analyzing the Subject and Reader
      3. Knowing Your Objectives and How to Accomplish Them
    4. Chapter 2. Components of an Effective Letter
      1. Language—Clarity Versus Ambiguity
      2. Tone—Personality
      3. Focus of Attention—The “You Attitude”
      4. Length
    5. Chapter 3. Structure: The Parts of a Letter
      1. Dateline
      2. Reference Line
      3. Personal or Confidential Note
      4. Inside Address
      5. Attention Note
      6. Salutation
      7. Subject Line
      8. Paragraphs
      9. Continuation Sheets
      10. Complimentary Close
      11. Signature Block
      12. Identification Line
      13. Enclosure and Attachment Notations
      14. Distribution Notation
      15. Postscript
    6. Chapter 4. Appearance of the Letter
      1. Stationery
      2. Formats
        1. Full Block
        2. Block
        3. Semiblock
        4. Simplified Letter
        5. Official Style
        6. Hanging Indented
      3. Envelopes
      4. Memorandums
      5. Email
    7. Chapter 5. Grammar
      1. Grammar
        1. Wrong Pronouns
        2. Pronouns and Antecedents
        3. Subject and Verb Agreement
        4. Dangling Modifiers
        5. Split Infinitives
        6. Parallel Structure
      2. Punctuation
      3. Capitalization
      4. Spelling
      5. Jargon
      6. Clichés
      7. Wordiness
  8. Part II. The Letters
    1. Chapter 6. Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations Letters
      1. Letters of Introduction
      2. Sales Letters
      3. Letter Accompanying Renewal Notice
      4. Letter Announcing a Special Presentation
      5. Letter Expressing Appreciation to Customers
      6. Catalog Letters
      7. Sales Inquiry Response
      8. Appointment Requests
      9. Letters of Interest
      10. Letter to Difficult-to-See Prospect
      11. Letter to Find Decision Maker
      12. Letters Confirming Proposals
      13. Follow-Up Sales Call Letters
      14. Letter to Renew Contact
      15. Letter Welcoming New Client
      16. Letter Asking for Referral
      17. Letter Promoting Special Sale
      18. Letter to Wish Existing Customer Holiday Greetings
      19. Letter to Acknowledge Anniversary of a Sales Relationship
      20. Public Relations Letters
    2. Chapter 7. Customer Service Letters
      1. Complaint Resolution Letters
      2. Apology Letters
      3. Letter Acknowledging Order
      4. Letters Correcting Wrong Shipment
      5. Product or Service Information Letters
      6. Thank-You Letters to Customers
      7. Letter to Lapsed Customer
      8. Pricing Letters
      9. Change-in-Location Letters
      10. Project Status Letters
      11. Product-Handling Letter
      12. Letters Announcing Personnel Changes
      13. Subscription Response Letters
      14. Letters to Stockholders
      15. Letter Dealing with Unreasonable Customer
    3. Chapter 8. Credit and Collection Letters
      1. Letter Requesting Commercial Credit
      2. Credit Information Letters
      3. Letters Announcing Credit Policy Change
      4. Returned-Check Letters
      5. Credit Reference Letters
      6. Letter Denying Credit
      7. Letters Granting Credit
      8. Letter Raising Credit Limit
      9. Letter Clearing Disputed Items
      10. Stop-Payment Letter
      11. Collection Letters
      12. Credit-Suspension Letter
      13. Letter Reinstating Credit
      14. Letters Accepting Partial Payment
      15. Letter Acknowledging Payment
      16. Letter About Deposit Due
      17. Letter to Lender to Renegotiate Payment Terms
      18. Letter from Customer About Billing Error
    4. Chapter 9. Letters to Vendors and Suppliers
      1. Letter Dealing with a Request for Proposal
      2. Letters Involved with Presentations
      3. Letters Dealing with Vendor Bids
      4. Letter Placing Order
      5. Letter Requesting Distributor’s Name
      6. Letter Seeking Information About Product
      7. Letter Asking About Quantity Discounts
      8. Letters Complimenting Vendors
      9. Letters Clearing Up Billing Errors
      10. Letters Complaining to Vendors
      11. Letter Cancelling Contract
      12. Letter Firing Vendor Because of Economic Conditions
    5. Chapter 10. Personnel Letters
      1. Job Interview Request Letters
      2. Letters Accompanying Résumés
      3. Letter Withdrawing Candidacy for a Position
      4. Letters Responding to Job Applications
      5. Letters Thanking People Who Recommended Applicants
      6. Job-Offer Letters
      7. Letters Accepting or Rejecting Job Offers
      8. Letter Welcoming New Employee
      9. Recommendation Letters
      10. Commendation Letters
      11. Letters About Job Promotions
      12. New-Employee Announcement Letter
      13. Letters Requesting and Refusing Raises
      14. No-Longer-With-Us Letters
      15. Letter of Resignation
      16. Letters to Retiring Employees
      17. Letters Regarding Leaves of Absence
      18. Letter Offering Employee a Lesser Position
      19. Reprimand
      20. Termination Letters
      21. Letter Acknowledging Anniversary Date
      22. Letter Announcing Staff Changes
      23. Letter Requesting Mentorship
      24. Farewell Letter to Employee
    6. Chapter 11. Transmittal Letters
      1. Letters Transmitting Payment
      2. Letter Transmitting Contracts
      3. Letters Transmitting Requested Materials
      4. Letter Transmitting Manuscript
      5. Letter Transmitting Manuscript to Reviewer
      6. Letter Transmitting Final Invoice
    7. Chapter 12. Confirmation Letters
      1. Letter Confirming Supplier’s Oral Instructions
      2. Letter Confirming Prices and Quantity Discounts
      3. Letter Confirming Arrangements for Speaker
      4. Letter Confirming Appointment
      5. Letter Confirming Travel Plans
      6. Letter Confirming Telephone Conversation
      7. Letters Confirming Receipt of Materials
    8. Chapter 13. Request Letters
      1. Letter Requesting Information About Accommodations
      2. Letter Requesting Information About Seminars
      3. Letter Requesting Assistance
      4. Letters Requesting Return of Material
      5. Letter Requesting Material from Speaker
      6. Letter Requesting Correction on Charge Account
      7. Letter Requesting Reprint of Article
      8. Letter Requesting Subscription Cancellation
      9. Letter Requesting Free Products
      10. Letter Requesting Information About a New Product
      11. Letter Requesting Pricing Information
    9. Chapter 14. Replies
      1. Letter Acknowledging Order
      2. Letter Acknowledging Registration for Conference
      3. Remittance Letter
      4. Response to Request for Clarification
      5. Response to Request for Information About Member of Organization
      6. Letters Responding to Requests for Materials
      7. Letter Replying to a Sales Letter
      8. Letter Responding to a Request for Free Products
      9. Letter Responding to Request for Information About a New Product
      10. Letters Responding to Requests to Be a Speaker
    10. Chapter 15. Permissions Letters
      1. Letters Seeking Permission to Reprint
      2. Letters Indicating More Information Needed for Permission
      3. Letters Granting Permission
      4. Letters Denying Permission
      5. Cover Letter for Contract
      6. Letter Requesting Reversion of Rights
    11. Chapter 16. Social, Personal, and Miscellaneous Letters
      1. Thank-You Letters
      2. Invitations
      3. Letters Accepting Invitations
      4. Letters Declining Invitations
      5. Letter Expressing Interest in Speaking
      6. Letter Reserving Meeting Facility
      7. Letter Requesting Membership in a Club
      8. Follow-Up Letter to Speech Attendees
      9. Letter Expressing Compliments on an Article
      10. Birthday Greetings Letter
      11. Public Service and Fund-Raising Letters
      12. Letters Declining Requests for Donations
      13. Letter Urging Political Representative to Action
      14. Congratulations-on-New-Position Letters
      15. Letters to Sick Employees, Acquaintances
      16. Condolence Letter
      17. Letter Congratulating Someone on Opening a Business
      18. Letter Announcing Retirement
  9. Part III. Appendixes
  10. Appendix I. Words to Watch
  11. Appendix II. Punctuation
  12. Index