Kinds of Letters Copywriters Write: A Glossary

Copywriters write dozens of kinds of letters. They are a part of daily life, both in your personal communication and your professional communication.

Different types of letters have different purposes. One size does not fit all.

cartoon: pile of letters

When you know the purpose of your letter you can construct it accordingly. Use this glossary to understand the different types of letters that copywriters most commonly write.

Appeal letter (also called a fundraising letter)

A form of sales letter, the appeal letter is written to persuade the reader to give a financial gift to a worthy cause.

Business letter

A business letter is a broad term for many kinds of correspondence used in conducting business. It is sent from one party to another – whether from a company, organization, customer, or individual – to another. The content may vary, ranging from requesting information, providing information, requesting action, making an announcement, placing an order, offering or terminating employment, confirming a sale or agreement, lodging a complaint, or offering an apology. The style of letter varies, depending on its purpose, the sender, and the recipient. 

Cover letter

A cover letter accompanies other documents, serving as an introduction.

Letter of intent

A letter of intent (LOI) is regularly requested by grant foundations or government agencies prior to a complete grant application. The LOI provides an overview of the complete grant application, allowing you outline the potential project, cost estimates, and projected outcome.

Query letter

A query letter is a proposal, sent to a publisher, agent, or editor from a writer, suggesting a potential writing project.

Sales letter

This type of correspondence is written to persuade the reader to buy a product or service. Sales letters can be short (a brief email or one printed page) or quite long (an entire web site or several pages or even a packet in print.)                                  

Thank you letter

Of the various kinds of letters, thank letter is often shorter than others. Its sole purpose is to express gratitude to the reader (whether an individual, organization, or company). Thank you letters can be formal as when printed on letterhead or informal when handwritten on a note card.

More about writing letters and letter writing formats

The basics about writing letters ...

The parts of a letter ...

Basic letter writing format: four standard layouts ...

Writing a good cover letter: a step-by-step writing guide ...

How to write a P.S. with punch ...

Cover Letter Writing Tip: get the reader to take one step ...

Letter writing tip: try this opening line ...

3 appeal copywriting formulas ...

What your fundraising letter must have ...

How to write the perfect donor thank you letter ...

How to write an annual contribution summary letter ...

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