Just like salutation, closings of a formal letter depend on various factors. You need to know some basic rules so that you can use the right professional letter closings in formal or business letters.
Professional letters have a standard format that need to be followed strictly. Following proper rules and format will make your job easier. While writing the letter closing salutation, the foremost thing to remember is that only the first letter of the first word is to be capitalized, and not the second. Also, you must not forget to put a comma (,) after the letter closing salutation.
The letter closing is immediately followed by the sender’s name and designation. The following is the format of a professional letter closing.
(space for your actual signature)
This is the classic formal letter closing example, used in nearly all instances. Along with ‘Yours sincerely’, ‘Yours truly’ can also be used in formal letters meant for all purposes. But, many times, closing salutations (or sign off lines) vary according to the nature and intention of the letter. Your relationship with the receiver of the letter (whether it’s a new contact or an old acquaintance, etc.) decides the tone and usage of words.
For New Business Contacts
The following is a list of closings for professional letter that can be used when writing a letter to a new business contact, or to the employer. As these are traditional letter closing, they are universally applicable and can be used in nearly all formal letters.
➡ Yours truly,
➡ Yours sincerely,
➡ Yours faithfully,
➡ Yours respectfully,
➡ Respectfully yours,
For Old Business Contacts
The following letter closings can be used in letters for old business contacts or for people you have known for a long time. In this case, along with professionalism, it is necessary for the sender to sound friendly.
➡ Best regards,
➡ Warm regards,
➡ Best wishes,
➡ With appreciation,
For Thank you Notes
Sometimes, you may need to thank someone for any help, advice, etc. You can mention the reason for thanking the person or can just use the simple ‘thank you’; both are acceptable. The following are the appropriate closing lines for formal thank you notes or mails.
➡ Thank you for your kindness and consideration.
➡ Thank you for your time.
➡ Thank you for your attention to the request.
➡ Thank you for your help.
➡ Many thanks.
➡ Kind thanks.
For Formal Yet Friendly Letters
The following letter closings can be used when writing a letter to a familiar person; but not making it appear too casual. These wordings look friendly, yet retain the businesslike manner.
➡ With all good wishes.
➡ Best wishes for your future.
➡ Warm greetings to all.
➡ Wishing you a safe journey.
➡ With personal regards.
➡ Health and happiness.
➡ Peace and blessings.
Miscellaneous Letter Closings
Sometimes, in case of letters in diplomatic circles, the letter closings can also be elaborate. In case of letters to any head of state or government officials, one can simply conclude with ‘Sincerely’. On the other hand, the traditional style of letter closing is used when writing to a king or monarch. Here are some examples.
➡ I have the honor to be Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant.
➡ May I always live to serve you and the crown.
Sometimes, the closings differ according to the subject of the letter, as in apology letter, reference letter or a condolence letter. The following are a few situational closing lines for letters that can be used before the closing wordings given above.
➡ I look forward to seeing you again.
➡ I am looking forward to your reply.
➡ Please feel free to contact for further information.
➡ I apologize for the inconvenience.
➡ My deepest sympathies are with you and your family.
According to the format, when the sender does not know the recipient’s name, he ends the letter with ‘Yours faithfully’; while when the sender and the recipient know each other well, ‘Yours sincerely’ is used.
Some Things To Note
Business letters form an important part of business writing. Following things affect the format of a letter.
- The pattern of the formal letter may differ according to region; for e.g., the standard American letter format is different from the standard British letter format.
- The relationship of the sender and the recipient also plays an important role in the style of business letter closings.
- Professional letter wordings change according to the rank or designation of the recipient.
- The tone of the letter; for e.g., whether the letter is a formal note or a friendly/congratulatory letter; is also important for determining the letter wording.
- Lastly, you should be consistent in using the tone of the letter. Keep it either friendly or formal right from top to end. Do not confuse the reader.
It is better to give a prior thought while writing professional letters. You can use the traditional letter closings rather than risk offending the reader(s) with casual or informal words. As aforementioned, knowing the basic rules and a bit of practice will help you write professional letters successfully. Good luck!