People are ever ready to believe that letter writing is a dying art. Digital, and electronic, communications are all very well for every day quick messages, but some occasions demand the time and importance of a letter. Writing a good letter is an important skill, which is necessary for everyone to learn. Writing a persuasive letter is an even more important skill.
Whether the writer’s purpose is to ask a huge favour, solicit a charitable donation, apply for a job, ask a local council or government official to consider, or reconsider, asking for replacement for a defective product, persuading a bank to lend money for a project, or to solicit an order for your business a good persuasive letter yields dividends. One writes a persuasive letter to get someone on your side. There are several ingredients to persuasive letters and there are some excellent Internet tutorials to help you write a good one.
You should address your letter to the appropriate reader, the person, who can take the action that you require. For example, if you are writing to ask the council to grant you planning permission for your extension, you need to write to the Borough Planning Officer rather than some random council official.
When writing any letter you need to do your homework and be sure of your facts. You should engage the reader in the first paragraph by expressing the situation about which you are writing clearly and briefly. Do not ramble or waffle, no one has time to read an incoherent rant. Even if you are angry about the situation, do not allow your emotions to spill out on the page. Some businesses and charities use emotional blackmail or shock tactics in their letters, this annoys readers, and using shock tactics in a sales letter could breach trading regulations.
You should show in your letter that you thoroughly understand the situation and that you have considered it carefully. You should provide specific details to support your view on the matter as well as acknowledging and addressing any opposite opinions. Develop your argument logically giving information, as necessary to support the argument. You should clearly outline your desired outcome and suggest what the reader could do to bring that situation about and tell the reader why that outcome would benefit everyone.
Your letter’s style will depend very much, on to whom you are writing, writing to Auntie Flo to ask whether she could lend you a hundred pounds is a personal letter, and writing to the Borough Planning Officer is a formal business letter. You should always hand write a personal letter, to type it, unless you have a sight or other disability that prevents you writing, is rude. Typing a business letter is acceptable, however if you are applying for a job, university or college place, read the instructions carefully, some require a hand written application letter.
When writing any important letter, it is always worth writing a draft first. You can see how your letter reads. You should also read your letter aloud, rather than silently, this should help you catch punctuation, grammatical, spelling, and other errors. It will also tell you whether the letter flows smoothly.
Writing letters is a skill everybody needs, even in a digital world. Sometimes, only a letter will serve the need. Writing a good persuasive letter is a skill that will serve you well throughout life.