A circular letter is an effective way for your organisation to communicate the same information to a large group of people, either internally (e.g. to explain new procedures to staff) or externally (e.g. to tell customers about a special offer).
And to help you with your next circular letter, we have five top tips to share:
State your main point in the first paragraph.
Use the right tone to connect with your readers.
Keep your circular letter concise and use simple language.
Share only authorised information.
Proofread your letter before you send it.
Let’s look at each of these tips in more detail.
1. Get Straight to the Point
Nobody wants to waste time reading a load of small talk! Your readers should be able to see at a glance what the letter is about and why it’s important to them. Otherwise, they might not bother reading to the end.
Set out your main reason for writing in the first paragraph, preferably in the first sentence. You only need to introduce the subject briefly to give the reader an idea of what they will learn by reading on. The finer detail can come later.
2. Use an Appropriate Tone to Address Your Readers
When writing a circular letter, think about your audience’s expectation and how you want your readers to feel, then use a tone or voice that conveys that feeling.
For example, if you’re writing to members of a gym about a special offer on spin classes, you’ll want your readers to feel energetic and motivated. You could evoke such feelings by using short, punchy sentences and imperative verbs:
Smash your fitness goals!
You won’t always be able to choose a tone that works perfectly for every reader, so think about the type of person your letter is most relevant to or the people who are most likely to take up your offer. Are they relatively young or old? How familiar are they with your company? Think about this ‘ideal customer’ as you write, and you should be able to find a tone that will hit the spot.
If you’re writing an internal letter, you should still think about how you want your readers to feel. For example, if you’re announcing possible redundancies, you’ll want to ensure that staff feel supported and valued.
3. Use Simple Language and Be Concise
To make sure your letter is accessible and easy to read, keep it concise and use simple language. Compare the following, for example:
Find this useful?
Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.
It is with considerable delight that the management of the company is able to announce an improvement in the hot beverages offering available to all staff, which will be effective from 15 October 2021.✘
A new coffee machine will be installed in the staff room this Friday!✔︎
The first sentence here is unnecessarily wordy, which might be off-putting to some readers. The second, by comparison, makes its point quickly and simply.
At a document level, make sure to only include necessary information in your circular letter. Try making a list of points that your letter needs to cover before you start drafting, then tick them off as you go so you can avoid unnecessary waffle.
4. Don’t Share Any Sensitive Information
Make sure that you don’t give away any confidential or sensitive information in your letter that might reflect poorly on your team or organisation.
This is especially important when writing a circular letter for a large audience, as most organisations will have information they do not want to share with competitors or the general public. When drafting a letter, then, make sure to consider whether you could be accidentally revealing more than intended.
If your letter is going out by email, moreover, be sure that you don’t display the distribution list (i.e. the email addresses of all the recipients), especially if you’re sending an external letter. This would be a serious breach of data protection rules.
5. Proofread Your Circular Letter
Finally, don’t forget to proofread your letter or, better still, get a professional proofreader to do it for you. When you’re busy concentrating on the style and content of your writing, it’s surprisingly easy to miss typos and other mistakes.
On that note, remember that our team of expert proofreaders is available around the clock. You can even submit your first 500-word document for free!