Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
In a world where everything has gone digital, many business owners don’t understand the importance of formal communications. Why not just send a brief email or fax? There is a time and a place for those types of communications, but there are still five very good reasons to use the United States Postal System, USPS, for business letters. Sometimes the difference between success and failure is understanding formal business etiquette, and the art of writing business letters is one very important facet of that ethical code.
Some business professionals close emails with a bit of contact information and that is all well and good. However, have you ever tried to retrieve an email to get the information you need only to find you had deleted it after reading? You can now design professional quality letterheads online that are quite striking, often with the inclusion of contact information as part of that header. These can be done online and printed on your local computer, but the information you want that receiver to have on hand will be visually pleasing and easy to spot.
2) Secure Communications – Privacy
Within the past few weeks, even FedEx experienced a major disruption of services across the United States because of a major hack aimed at their Memphis sorting facility. Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses were impacted. Imagine one security breach in a formal business communique sent online. United States Postal Mail is infinitely more difficult to intercept and so for the security and privacy of all involved, sensitive materials might be better snail mailed than emailed.
3) Major Announcements
There is something just so exciting about receiving major announcements in the mail. From announcing the opening of new branches to the introduction of new directors or owners, it always seems so formal when received in hardcopy written form.
4) Detailed Analysis vs. Summary of Facts
In today’s ultra-busy world, it is often much easier to email a quick memo than it is to format and mail an official letter. Why do you think this is? Typically, it is easier to email a memo because they are usually short and to the point. A formal letter usually gives much more information, an analysis of some of those facts you might have mentioned in an email. You can get much more in-depth with a hard copy letter than you can in an email, especially if you want someone to refer back to the information it contains.
5) The Importance of a Hard Copy
This leads us to the importance of having a hard copy. With one click of the mouse, you can delete an emailed memo, but unless you have a shredder on hand near your mailbox, it’s quite difficult to delete that letter! If you want someone to have and retain detailed information, a hard copy is easy to tack up on a bulletin board or placed in a file and easier, as a result, to refer back to.
It may seem like the days of formal communications are dead and buried, but not so with business communications. Here, you have seen five very good reasons to use business letters. If you haven’t done so already, design your letterhead and keep a stock on hand. You never know when the need for a formal letter might be required. As a business owner, it’s up to you to be prepared for all contingencies and letters are one among many. As you can see, the USPS is very much alive.by