How to End a Letter: Appropriate and Inappropriate Closings
How to End a Letter or Email
One thing people struggle with when writing letters is how to sign off properly. This task can be even more difficult if you're writing in English but it's not your native language. Which words come together to strike just the right tone?
Whether the letter is informal or formal, business or personal, it is important to find the perfect ending for your communication. Here, you will find examples of closing words and sentences with which you can conclude your letter suitably, with separate examples for business and personal styles.
The Purpose of the Closing Sentence
The words you use at the end of your communication should confirm a connection and clarify the purpose of your letter.
- For some people, the last sentence is used to simply repeat the most important points of the communication.
- For others, it is an opportunity to give an instruction or a call to action.
- You may want to express thanks or appreciation.
- Your ending might be an invitation to continue the relationship in the future, in general or at a specific date and time.
- Still others might want to conclude with an expression of feeling.
In the next section, you'll find some good examples of ways to end both formal and informal letters.
Q: Can I be less formal in email?
A: In a professional setting, all email should be just as professional and formal as a letter would be.
Examples of Formal Closing Sentences
The following examples are very common last sentences that can be used in letters. It is up to you to determine which one most clearly expresses what you are trying to say.
- If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
- I await your reply with interest.
- We look forward to building a strong business relationship in the future.
- I look forward to our meeting on the 7th of October.
- Thanks for your extremely helpful attention to this matter.
- Thanks again for your attention, consideration, and time.
- We look forward to hearing from you.
- It's always a pleasure doing business with you.
- Thanks again for sharing your expertise in this matter.
- I am looking forward to getting your input on this issue.
- Looking forward to our successful partnership.
Example Endings for an Informal Letter:
- I can't wait to hear from you.
- I am looking forward to seeing you again.
- See you soon.
- Let me know what your plans are.
- I hope to be hearing from you soon.
- Send my love to __________.
- Give my regards to __________.
- I hope you are doing well!
- With affection (With all my love, or With love and kisses).
What Is an Inappropriate Way to Close a Letter?
If you conclude a business letter with an informal, too-personal sign-off (or if you suddenly become stiff and businesslike at the end of a personal note), this may leave your reader feeling confused.
It's best to retain the same tone (either formal or informal) throughout your entire communication, from the first all the way to the last word!
Q: Should I sign my letter with "best"?
A: "Best" is often the best way to finish a letter.
Sign-Offs and Signatures
The actual ending of a letter is pretty easy, especially for the formal business letter. Here are some useful examples of how to successfully sign-off just above your signature.
Examples of How to Sign off on a Business/Formal Letter
A short, sweet, and safe way to sign off. Many experts agree that "Best" is the best way to go. You can extend it to say "All the best" or "Best regards."
A slightly British-sounding sign-off which conveys friendly cheer but may also allude to drinking alcohol, which might be a bit too informal for some.
Faithfully (or Faithfully yours),
Adds a touch of loyalty but might also come across as a bit too zealous.
Hope this helps,
If you're trying to help someone or offering advice, this might be the perfect closer.
Conveys a pleasant, casual assurance of continued relationship.
Indicates professionalism and respect. You can make it more emotional with "Warm regards," but "Warmest regards" might be a little too warm for a professional letter.
A nice and somewhat deferential way to end the letter.
The most common and benign closer.
Thanks (or Thanks again),
Use this if you haven't already fully expressed your gratitude.
A nice but not over-the-top touch of emotion; probably best when you have already met the person face-to-face at least once.
If your letter's main purpose was to make a plan or set up an appointment, this may be the way to go.
Q: Should I use an emoticon?
A: Only with friends, and never in business!
Examples of How to Conclude an Informal Letter
Here, you can say basically whatever you desire. Here are some common informal letter goodbyes:
- Adios, (whether or not you speak Spanish, a warm way to end the letter)
- Always and forever,
- Best regards, (this works for both formal and informal writing)
- Best wishes,
- Emoticons (smiley faces, :-), etc.,
- High five,
- Kindest regards,
- Lots of love,
- Missing you,
- See you around,
- Ta ta!
- Take it easy,
- Yours (or Yours truly—a bit too personal for most professional communications, but fine for intimate relationships).