Deciding on the right closing for a business letter or professional e-mail can be tricky. A letter writer must find a balance between overly used closings and the formality of the letter. Read on for lists of business letter closings as well as guidelines on how to effectively select a professional letter sign-off.
Business Letter Closings for New Contacts and Cover Letters
When writing a business letter to a new business contact, sales prospect, or potential employer it is best to keep the business letter closing to a level of utmost professionalism. Writing a casual sign-off is generally unacceptable.
Ending with a respectful closing will help the writer exude professionalism. Some business closings that are polite, courteous, and professional include:
- Yours sincerely
- Respectfully yours
- Faithfully yours
- Yours truly
Writers can use these closings for a new sales prospect, mass mailings, and cover letters for job applications.
E-mail and Business Letter Closings for Familiar Professional Contacts
"Sincerely" ranks as too stuffy for a familiar business contact; however, signing off with “Ciao” or "Cheers" comes across as too casual and disrespectful for business letters.
But in the gray area between letter closings that are too formal and sign-offs that are too casual, writers can end a letter with a closing salutation that strikes the right balance. Here are some suggestions on how to sign off a letter to a friendly business contact without coming across as unprofessional:
- Kind regards
- Best regards
- Warmest regards
- Many thanks
- Kind thanks
- With appreciation
E-mail communication offers a little more flexibility in how a writer ends a note to a business contact. Yet it is important to remember that e-mails still require professional letter closings fitting for the tone of the message.
End a professional e-mail in the same way as closing a letter with a familiar business contact.
Choose the Right Closings for Correspondence
In choosing the right business closings for letters and e-mails, professionals need to consider a few questions:
- Consider the seniority of and the relationship to the addressee: Is the person a Senior Vice President or a Sales Rep at the company’s office products supplier? Depending on the relationship, both recipients may warrant the most formal letter closings or simply casual sign offs.
- Consider the tone of the letter: Is the letter a memo regarding new financial policies or a note to congratulate a colleague on a promotion? The more personal the business letter the less formal the closing needs to be.
- Consider how others end letters: What do you, personally, like to read at the end of a business letter? Review marketing letters from different companies and cover letters to gauge a personal response to various business letter closings.
For more suggestions on how to end a letter, read List of Letter Closings and E-mail Goodbyes.