OPENING AND CLOSING
The opening and closing are the most important part of the body of the letter or any other message. They are discussed in detail below.
Opening of a letter is very important because first impression is the last impression. The opening may determine whether the reader continues reading, puts the message aside for later study, or discards it. The first paragraph should preferably:
1. Be reader centered,
2. Make a favorable impression and
3. Orient the reader to the subject and purpose of the message
Some suggestions for good opening:
1. Get the reader into the picture. Emphasize on you.
2. Begin directly with the subject.
3. Use a buffer when you must refuse the reader. Don’t spread gloom with your first words; at least get in step.
4. In a persuasive request (sales letter), get the reader’s attention by following the principles of AJDA it stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
5. Be positive. Talk about the pleasant, not the unpleasant.
6. Keep the first sentence and the first paragraph relatively short. (17 to 25 words, 5-6 lines).
7. Use a theme opening (if desirable), apply 5 W’s who, what, when, where and why.
8. Avoid the beginning with the repetition of things they wrote you.
9. Avoid worn out beginnings. Use conversational words.
10. Avoid an offending opening.
11. Mention the date of the letter you are answering.
12. Make sure the opening sentence is complete and proper.
The closing plays an important role in motivating reader to act as desired provided it is appropriately written. We remember best what we read last. In the closing we want to bring the desired action. Last impression is pasting impression.
Guidelines for closing:
1. If you want your reader to act as you desire, ask for action explicitly and clearly
2. Make action easy by giving phone numbers or by sending stamped envelope.
3. The closing note should be positive. Negative ending weakens your presentation
4. Show friendly attitude to enhance the goodwill of the firm, and to improve the opportunity of getting desired response.
5. Don’t thank in advance because this act is unnecessary and illogical and does not help the least to bring desired results.
6. If necessary include a final “blow” line to strengthen your message. You may enclose a booklet, pamphlet to give more details.
7. On certain occasions you may wish to connote a personal touch.
8. Don’t write worm out and outdated terms, such as enclosed herewith, as soon as possible, I remain, obediently, thanking you, thanking you in anticipation, and the like. These expressions create monotony and do not leave pleasant impression on the reader.