How to Properly Write a Personal Business Letter
Helpful hints:
  • Think of your readers and their needs.
  • Use professional language with a sincere, personal touch.
  • Be as brief as possible.

Writing personal notes to your fellow employees, business contacts, and company superiors helps to create a friendly, more personal relationship.

Here are some occasions when sending a personal note may be a good idea:

· thanking someone for a business lunch out;

· expressing the "saw this and thought of you" sentiment;

· upon the death of a loved one;

· thanking someone for a gift;

· giving praise for performance or work completed;

· motivating someone to reach his or her goals;

· establishing the possibility of a future business relationship.

A personal business note should either be typed or handwritten, not e-mailed. Your message can be on a card, business letterhead, or notepaper. If you do not have an established relationship with the recipient, then enclose your business card.

Notes are not letters and they are meant to be brief and to the point. A typical note is just a paragraph or two in length. Many notes are even just one or two sentences. The point of a note is to send a short, yet meaningful, message with a personal touch to a business associate.

Important things to remember when writing a personal business note:

· If you do not have a personal relationship with the recipient, you should avoid excessive familiarity.

· Keep the note as short as possible while still keeping a tone of friendliness, especially if you are personally aquainted with the person.

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Business Writing course?

· Notes should be addressed to a specific person.

· Be concise and to the point; do not use a lot of fluff.

The Greeting

Depending on how well you know the person, your note will either be formal or informal in terms of the greeting.

For example, if you have known a person for several years and are on a first-name basis with him or her, then you would begin the note with "Dear John" or "Dear Sue." On the other hand, if you are just becoming acquainted with a new business prospect and are still calling him or her "Mr." or "Ms.," then your note would begin "Dear Mr. Santle" or "Dear Ms. Brown."

The Body

Because a note is short to begin with, you will need to explain who you are and what the note is about in the first few lines. Of course, if you have an established relationship with the recipient, that person will know you by your name. However, if you recently met someone at a conference and are following up, you may need to refresh the person's memory as to your relationship.


"It was great sitting next to you at the Aloha Atlanta seminar. I really liked your ideas on possibly working together to revise Mento International's Web site."

It is important to send your note out soon after the event or occasion. If you are thanking someone for a gift sent a month earlier, the person may see your note more as a negative than a positive. Notes are meant to build business relationships, not distance them.

The Closing

Close with your formal name and title on the signature line. If you know the person well, sign the note by hand using your first name. Otherwise, sign your full name.


Even a note sent with the best of intentions will not be well received if it contains errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. A note full of errors says to the recipient that you did not care enough to take the time to proofread before you hastily mailed out the note. Since notes are brief to begin with, proofreading will take only a few minutes and doing it could save you from offending the person you are trying to impress.

Here is an example of a personal business note:

Bongo for Bongos, Inc.

77 Granier Drive, Welch, FL 32579

Ph: 850-456-3222

Fax: 850-456-3223

Dear Janet,

Congratulations on being chosen as employee of the month! We are proud to award you this trophy and bonus as symbols of our appreciation for your outstanding work.

I would also like to extend my personal congratulations. We were all encouraged and helped this month by your positive attitude and hard work in the beginning of this month's hiring crunch. Volunteering to help out on Saturdays to catch up is just one example of how you are always willing to put in extra effort.

You are a real asset to the entire company.

Yours truly,

John Jacobs

John Jacobs