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The Enquiry Letter


The enquiry

Enquiry letters: describes the content, language and organization of letters of enquiry.

: Preliminary response from prospective customers, generally following an   advertisement or sales promotion campaign. Also spelled as enquiry.

The inquiry letter is use when you need information about the profile of the product or company, not to ask for too much information or for information that you could easily obtain in some other way. Such as, shoes products, service products, etc.

Enquiry letter replies: describes the content and language of letters of enquiry, with example letters.

Reply to enquiry practice task: follow the instructions to write a reply to a letter of enquiry, send it in and the computer will comment on your writing.

The aim of enquiry: describes the content, language and organization of letters of enquiry.


Letters of enquiry describe what the writer wants and why. The more unusual the request, the more convincing the reason needs to be.


Subject Heading

This should inform the reader that this is an enquiry or request; e.g.

  • Enquiry about Textbooks
  • Request for Brochure
  • Query about Website
  • Question regarding Product Components

First Paragraph

This should tell the reader what you want; e.g.

  • Please send me… (for things that the organization offers to send)
  • I would be grateful if you could tell me… (for things that are not normally offered)
  • I am writing to enquire whether… (to see if something is possible)
  • I would especially like to know… ( + a more detailed request)
  • Could you also… ( + an additional enquiry or request)

Second Paragraph

This paragraph tells the reader why you are contacting his or her organization, and gives further details of the enquiry.

There are two reasons why you may contact an organization:

  1. You have contacted this organization before, and want to again.
  2. You have not contacted this organization before, but you have heard about them. You should describe from where, such as from an advert or a recommendation; e.g.
    • I saw your advert in the HK Daily on Monday, 28 March 2011.
    • Your company was recommended to me by Ms. Elsie Wong of Far Eastern Logistics.

Final Paragraph

This paragraph should contain a polite expression and/or an expression of thanks to the reader. The degree of politeness (and therefore the length), depends on how unusual or difficult your request is. Possible language includes:

  • Thanks. (For a very informal and normal enquiry or request)
  • I look forward to hearing from you.
  • I am looking forward to hearing from you.
  • Thank you for your assistance.
  • Thank you very much for your kind assistance.
  • I appreciate that this is an unusual request, but I would be very grateful for any help you could provide. I look forward to hearing from you.

If you think the reader might have further questions, you can suggest that he or she contact you; e.g. ‘If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me’.


  1. Be courteous.
  2. Don’t send an inquiry letter for information you could easily find out by other means
  3. Your letter can be fairly short, but it should be long enough to adequately explain what it is that you are inquiring about and what you want the reader to do in response to your letter.
  4. If appropriate, you may want to mention that you will keep confidential any information provided
  5. Make it as easy as possible for the person to respond to your request.
  6. Make sure to include contact information so that the person can easily get in touch with you if necessary.
  7. When the person responds to your inquiry, it is a good idea to send a quick note of thanks expressing your appreciation.

Points to be remembered while writing a letter of enquiry:

a. Give a detailed account of the exact type of product / service required. If the writer is not conversant with options available, he should not hesitate to ask them from the seller / dealer.

b. Probable quantity required and the time-frame for the supply of the product / service.

c. The seller’s terms on credit, discounts, transit, packaging etc., should be enquired into.

d. Opening sentences to indicate the reasons for the enquiry.

e. Closing sentences to request an early reply for the enquiry to be transformed into an order in future.

f. Care should be taken to prevent the recipient from misconstruing the enquiry as an order in future.


  • Ask for consideration in a strong opening sentence that identifies your interest
    Mention source of referral or posting
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and energy through use of language and style appropriate to your field
  • Use words that are simple and direct
  • Do not simply reiterate information on your resume, but quantify experiences and expand on accomplishments
  • Appeal to the employer’s self-interest by demonstrating that you researched the organization
  • State how you can fulfill their needs
  • Bring up challenging ideas to spark employer’s interest in talking with you
  • Give positive, truthful accounts of accomplishments and skills that relate directly to the position
  • Request to have a talk, discussion, or meeting, rather than an interview

Example letters

Golden Gate Engineering
Prince Square, Prince Street, Kowloon

30 March 2011

ProSkills Training Centre
Jubilee Building
Silver Road
Wan Chai

Dear Sir or Madam,

Enquiry about Quality Control Course

I am writing to enquire whether your company could offer a course on Quality Control for our managers.

I saw your advert in the HK Daily on Monday, 28 March 2011, and the Quality Control Training Course (Ref.: QC 101) mentioned in the advert might be suitable for us. I would like to know if it is possible for you to offer a 3-month training course starting before or, at the latest, on Monday, 18 April 2011, for a group of 20. Could you send us some information about the teaching staff and the possible schedule for this course?

I am looking forward to receiving your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Chapmen Au

Chapmen Au
Managing Director

Rich Lucky Trading Company
345, Nathan Rd, Kowloon, H.K.

22 March 20111 April 2011

Hi-fashion Garment Ltd
Unit 398
Shek Kip Mei Industrial Estate

Dear Sir or Madam

Request for Catalogue

Please send me your current catalogue.

Your company was recommended to me by Ms. Elsie Wong of Far Eastern Logistics. Our African customer is interested in importing a range of printed 100% cotton cloth.

I look forward to hearing from you.


K.K. Chan

K.K. Chan

Enquiries characteristics:

  • To ask for more information concerning a product, post, place of study, or service
  • Often in response to an advertisement

There are two types of inquiry letters, namely:

  • Solicited; you write solicited letter of inquiry letter when a business or agency advertises its products or services. And,
  • Unsolicited; your letter of inquiry is unsolicited if the recipient has done nothing to prompt your inquiry.

The content depends on 3 main issues:

  • How well you know the person you are writing to
  • Based in your country or abroad
  • Type of goods / services enquired

Enquiry – opening

  1. What sort of organization / person you are e.g. Our Company is a subsidiary of Universal Business Machines and we specialize in…….
  2. Giving reference – how did you hear about the company / institution? e.g. you were recommended to us….we were given your name by….we were advised by….that…

Enquiry – body asking for something. 1) Catalogues. 2) Price list. 3) Details – be as specific as possible and state exactly what you want – replying to advertisement – quote the reference (journal and its date, reference number in a catalogue) 4) Samples, patterns, demonstrations (to see the kind of material before placing an order; to arrange to visit in a showroom) 5) Suggesting terms of trade, terms and methods of payment. Discounts….suggest it but be ready to get a counter – offer and to negotiate. 6) Goods on approval, sale or return to see how a line will sale before placing a fixed order. 7) Estimate (quotation), tender, etc.

Enquiry – closing – polite, rather formal! – You may indicate further business…. – Assure of your interest in the matter.

Letter of enquiry – layout of course, there are many format of writing. The one below is, I suppose, the most frequent. 1. Return address of the letter writer. 1600 Main Street Springfield, Kansas 12345. 2. The date of the letter. This is usually typed in one of two ways (begin with day, no comma) 15 January 2008 or (begin with month, use a comma) December 1, 2008. 3. Complete name, title, and address of the recipients. Use “Mr.” for a male recipient. (Mrs. For female) if you do not know how a female recipient prefers to be addressed, it is best to use “Ms..,, Ms. Anna Brown, Chair Department of Linguistics Right State University 1415 University Drive Felicity, OH 45434. 4) Salutation with a colon. Dear Ms. Brown. 5) Body of letter. It is best to keep an initial business letter short. Business people are busy and do not have time to read long letters! In a one-page letter, you will usually only need three or four paragraphs. The easiest way to write the body of the business letter is to use prewritten business letter. 6) Closing. The most common is “Faithfully” – if you don’t know the person, “Sincerely” if you know them. Follow this with a comma. Skip four single lines after the closing and type your name. sign your name in the space above your name. YOURS FAITHFULLY is used if you begin your letter Dear Sirs – Dear Sir – Dear Madam – Dear Sir or Madam i.e. when you do not know the name or sex of the person you are addressing. YOURS SINCERELY is used if the letter begins with a name. Dear Mrs. Smith – Dear Mr. Jones. YOURS TRULY or TRULY YOURS is used in the USA to close business and formal letters. You do not use these in formal correspondence in the UK.


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