A letterhead is simply a piece of stationary that has a pre-printed heading on the page. It features the person’s name, organization name and address. You can have personal letterhead that has your family’s name, address and other contact information, but letterheads are essential in the business world.
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Let’s address the key elements of professional letterhead and learn why it is so important.
Why is professional letterhead so important?
Professional letterhead establishes the identity of your company. It is used to show that a letter or bill from your company is official correspondence. It proves that the message contained in the letter is the official one of the firm. It is reserved for official documentation. That’s why companies punish employees who print off personal letters on company correspondence.
Your business should use professional letterheads, because it demonstrates a high level of professionalism. It reinforces the authority of your brand as well as the seriousness of the message that you send.
The Key Elements of Professional Letterhead
A professional letterhead must contain the name of your business. If you are a sole proprietor, you may list both your name and the name of your firm for the sake of clarity. Put your business logo on the top of the page, since this allows people to quickly identify the sender even if they don’t remember the company name.
The next lines are reserved for your business’s address. After all, you’re sending a letter, and you want to them to know where to send a reply. The address could be shown across the bottom of the letter while the business name and logo are shown at the top.
Using the company logo on the bottom of the page or as a watermark in the otherwise blank section is optional. A printed address on the back of the page is useful, especially if you may be folding up the letter and sticking it in an envelope that has a clear laminate space.
Most letterheads contain the business phone numbers, since many people may want to call in response to the formal letter. This is one of the few places in the world where fax numbers and 1-800 numbers are commonly printed. Email addresses may be included here, though that should be limited to the email address you want the customer to use. It is less important for letterhead to contain the company’s website domain than a business card.
Company letterhead can have minor decorative elements that reinforce branding such as colored stripes on the page. However, you don’t want to interfere with readability. Furthermore, letters on company letterhead may be scanned, faxed and copied. This means the decorative elements can’t get in the way of readability if the letter is copied five times or a faxed copy is scanned for archival.
The standard size for letterhead is 8.5 x 11 inches, though legal sized paper is almost always letterhead, since that’s the size you use when sending a legal warning to someone.
You can build on the impression of your letterhead by sending it in a matching envelope.