The 26 Types of Formal and Informal Letters

Abraham McLaughlin

There are various Types of letters according to the purpose for which they are written. In this sense, we have business letters, recommendation letters, resignation letters, formal letters, personal letters, among others..

Letters are written documents that contain information that one party wishes to convey to another party. In this order of ideas, each of the types of letters mentioned above are adapted to the communication needs of the person who writes the letter..

For example, if I want to write a letter to a friend, then it will be personal. Now suppose that this friend is having a birthday and I wish to congratulate him through a letter; in this case, the document will not only be personal but it will also be a birthday letter.

In this sense, letters are an effective means of communication between two or more parties as well as a way of preserving the love of writing and reading..

Classification of card types

In general terms, letters can be classified into two large groups: formal and informal (also called personal).

- Formal letters

Respectful language should be used in formal letters. Source:

Formal letters are those that are issued by a competent body, be it a company, an organization, a department or an individual who holds an important position within the company.

Formal letters are also considered those that are issued by natural individuals in order to be read by an organization or company..

Here are thirteen types of formal letters.

1- Business letters

Business letters are any type of written document that is developed in the professional field. They are headed with a greeting and end with the signature of the issuer, who usually holds a relevant position within a company.

These types of letters can also be issued by departments of an organization, for example: the human resources department. Likewise, they can be issued by the company itself..

2- Order letters

Order letters are issued by a consumer and received by a supplier. These letters are sent in order to order a certain quantity of products from the supplier..

Order letters should include the following:

- Quantity of product required.

- Name of the product to be purchased.

- Product model.

- Color, size (if applicable).

- Price expected to pay for the product.

- Pay mode.

3- Sales letters

Sales letters are intended to get the reader to purchase an advertised product. They tend to use persuasive statements that attract the attention of the potential buyer.

This type of card includes the following aspects:

- Appeal: This part establishes a relationship between the issuer and the reader, making the latter feel identified with the content of the letter even if it has not been written personally for him..

An example of an appeal might be "Are you tired of spending hours in the kitchen so you can have a healthy dinner?" Many people could identify with this statement, which makes them want to continue reading.

- Product or service description: This section includes relevant information about the product or service being offered: What is it for? How is it used? How much does it cost?, Among others.

- Contact information: Finally, the sales letters close with the numbers and emails of contacts. Sometimes, the physical address where the product can be purchased (if there is one) and the corporation's website are also included..

4- Letters of claims

Complaint letters are used to make complaints about a product purchased or a service received.

The tone of the complaint letters must be respectful: it is necessary not to get carried away by the emotions of anger or anger that the product may have generated in us.

This type of letter should include the following aspects:

- General data of the issuer: Name, age, address, among others.

- Data on the acquisition of the product or service: Date of acquisition, establishment in which it was acquired, invoices and purchase receipts, among others.

- Information about the fault presented by the product or service.

- Possible solution you hope will be given to the problem.

5- Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are documents that attest to the quality of a person's work.

These types of letters are issued when a person wants to obtain a new job and are written by people who are in the capacity to determine if the applicant's performance is optimal..

In this sense, letters of recommendation are usually issued by the applicant's tutors, professors and former bosses..

This type of letter includes information about the attitude and aptitudes of the applicant, the activities he has carried out throughout his career, the reasons why he is suitable for the job, among others..

6- resignation letters

Letters of resignation are issued by an employee who wishes to leave his job. This letter is sent to the immediate superior of the employee who wishes to resign.

Resignation letters include the date the employee will leave their job permanently.

In general, the reason for leaving the job is usually included, although it is not a prerequisite.

7- Dismissal letters

Dismissal letters are issued when a company wishes to inform one of its employees that they no longer require their services, so they must leave their position.

The dismissal letters include the date the employee is expected to stop working for the company and the reason for which the employee is being dismissed..

8- Receipt letters

Receipt letters are written to let an individual or business know that a letter issued by them has been received..

It should be noted that this type of letter does not guarantee that the information has been read..

9- Letters of authorization

This type of letter is issued to give someone else the authority to act on behalf of the writer of the letter..

Authorization letters are made when the person who writes is unable or unwilling to attend an appointment, a meeting, among other situations.

10- Letters of permission

Two types of documents are known as letters of permission. The first is the one that an employee issues to his boss so that the latter grant him permission to miss work for one or more days.

These types of letters include the reason why you intend to miss work and the number of days you are expected to miss..

The second document known as a letter of permission is the one that a boss issues to his employee when he has accepted his request..

This type of letter includes the acknowledgment by the boss and the date of departure and return of the employee..

11- Application letters

Application letters are issued when an individual wishes to apply for a position within an institution.

This type of letter can be issued in various contexts: to opt for a place within a university, for a position in an internship, for a job, among others..

12- Letter of acceptance

Acceptance letters are issued by an institution when they have accepted an applicant.

These letters include the reason for which you have been accepted, the date you are expected to become an active member of the institution, the position you will hold, and the period of time you will remain with the organization.

13- Transfer letters

Transfer letters are issued by an organization or company to inform one of its employees that they will be transferred from department or headquarters.

These letters include the date the change will take effect, the department to which the employee will be transferred, and the position they will hold in the new department..

- Informal letters

Informal letters, also called personal letters, are those in which the interlocutors have a relationship that does not involve the business world. In this sense, informal letters are transmitted between friends and family.

Unlike formal letters, informal letters do not have a specific pattern. They depend on what the issuer wants to convey and their ability to express themselves in writing..

A birthday letter (which is an informal letter) can be one two pages long or it can be shortened to a few lines written on a pre-made card..

It should be noted that the use of informal or personal letters has decreased in recent years due to the popularity that social networks have gained..

Here are thirteen types of informal letters.

1- Birthday letters

Birthday letters are documents that are issued to congratulate a friend or family member on their birthday. Good wishes for the person being honored are usually included.

2- Duel cards

Letters of mourning are issued when a person close to the interlocutors has passed away. The sender expresses his regret for the death of the individual and consoles the receiver, offering his unconditional support.

3- Letters of apology

It is issued when the issuer wishes to apologize for any action taken that has brought negative consequences for another person.

4- Letters of thanks

It is issued to show the person receiving the letter that you are grateful for the favor they have done..

5- Letters of congratulations

Letters of congratulations can be written for different reasons: for a promotion at work, for having won an award at school, for having participated in a competition, among others..

In any case, what matters in this type of letter is the fact that the person who receives it should feel honored by the achievement he has obtained..

6- Farewell letters

Farewell letters are written when one of the two interlocutors leaves the city, the state or the country.

7- Welcome letters

Welcome letters are sent when someone has moved into the neighborhood or transferred to a new institute.

In this way, the welcome letters express the sender's good wishes for the newcomer..

8- love letters

Love letters are sent between couples, to express the affection they have for each other. You can also send a love letter to a person who is very appreciated by the sender but who is not necessarily your partner..

9- Friendship letters

They are the ones that are exchanged between friends, in order to maintain contact despite the distance.

10- Christmas letters

They are the ones that are sent in the month of December in order to wish "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" to another person..

Christmas letters are usually accompanied by postcards that contain a photo of the family that issued the letter with motifs alluding to the holidays..

11- Letters to Santa Claus

Letters to Santa Claus are written by children to ask this character for gifts. These letters usually include a list of possible gifts and thanks for gifts received the previous year..

12- Invitation letter

Invitation letters urge recipients to attend a party or meeting organized by the sender.

These letters can be sent on different occasions: a wedding, a birthday, a Christmas party, among others..

13- Letters of various topics

In this last category, the rest are included personal letters that are not written for a specific reason, but constitute a casual exchange of correspondence between the interlocutors..


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