And then you get to your sign-off. "Thanks" is too generic, "Sincerely" is too formal , and "Cheers" seems tired. "Best regards" and "kind regards".
How you end a business letter is important. It’s your last chance to make a good first impression on your reader. Choose the wrong closing, and you might damage the goodwill you have built up in the rest of your communication.
Your closing needs to leave the reader with positive feelings about you and the letter you have written.
Most formal letter closing options are reserved, but note that there are degrees of warmth and familiarity among the options. Your relationship with the person you're writing to will shape which closing you choose.
Above all, your closing should be appropriate. Choose the right letter closing, and your reader likely won’t remember how you ended your letter. Ideally, your message will resonate instead of your word choice.
Review the best way to end a letter, sample formal, business, and personal letter closings, sample signatures, and letter samples and writing tips.
The following are letter closings that are appropriate for business and employment-related letters.
Sincerely, Regards, Yours truly, and Yours sincerely - These are the simplest and most useful letter closings to use in a formal business setting.
These are appropriate in almost all instances and are excellent ways to close a cover letter or an inquiry.
Best regards, Cordially, and Yours respectfully - These letter closings fill the need for something slightly more personal. They are appropriate once you have some knowledge of the person to whom you are writing. You may have corresponded via email a few times, had a face-to-face or phone interview, or met at a networking event.
Warm regards, Best wishes, and With appreciation - These letter closings are also appropriate once you have some knowledge or connection to the person to whom you are writing. Because they can relate back to the content of the letter, they can give closure to the point of the letter. Only use these if they make sense with the content of your letter.
When you're ending your letter, be sure to choose a letter closing that is appropriate to the topic of your letter and to your personal situation and relationship with the person you are writing to. Here are more examples to choose from.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter,
Thank you for your consideration,
Thank you for your recommendation,
Thank you for your time,
With deepest sympathy,
With sincere thanks,
Your help is greatly appreciated,
There are certain closings that you want to avoid in any business letter. Most of these are simply too informal. Some examples of closings to avoid are listed below:
Some closings (such as “Love” and “XOXO”) imply a level of closeness that is not appropriate for a business letter. Rule of thumb: if you would use the closing in a note to a close friend, it’s probably not suitable for business correspondence.
Capitalize the first word of your closing. If your closing is more than one word, capitalize the first word and use lowercase for the other words.
Beneath your letter closing, include your signature. If this is a physical letter, first sign your name in pen, and then include your typed signature below. If this is an email letter, simply include your typed signature below your sendoff.
Handwritten Signature (for a printed letter)
LinkedIn URL (if you have a profile)
Review a variety of letter samples for job seekers, including cover letters, interview thank-you letters, follow-up letters, job acceptance and rejection letters, resignation letters, appreciation letters, and more employment letter samples.
Sample Email Messages
The majority of business correspondence now takes place over email. But just because it’s easier than ever to communicate with colleagues and prospective employers doesn’t mean you can afford to come off as casual or unprofessional. Use these email message examples to format your professional email messages and make a good impression.
New to writing business letters (or need a refresher)? These how-tos and examples will help you with all your professional correspondence. Learn how to write business letters, review general business letter format and templates, and see employment-related business letter examples.
In closing your letter, it is important to use an appropriately respectful and professional word or phrase.
Make sure to include your contact information in your letter.
Regards Best Many thanks. Best wishes. Thanks and best wishes. With thanks and best wishes. Speaking of which, if you're confused about which sign-offs are .
Find out what business etiquette experts have to say about the expressions we use to end work-related emails.
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You've just finished composing an email to a potential client you've talked with a few times before. Now for the tricky part: your sign-off. Should you use "Sincerely," "Kind regards" or "Cheers"? How do you sound friendly without coming across as unprofessional? And then there are the emails to your employees, business contacts and friendly acquaintances.
Unfortunately, there's no "email bible" to guide you. That's why we contacted two business communication experts to discuss what's appropriate. Suzanne Bates, president and CEO of Bates Communications, Inc. and author of Speak Like a CEO: Secrets For Commanding Attention and Getting Results, and Cherie Kerr, founder of ExecuProv and author of The Bliss or "Diss" Connection? Email Etiquette For The Business Professional, pair up to give expert insight into the world of e-mail correspondence.
Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55
Read on to find out what message your favorite e-mail goodbye is actually sending.
The closing: "Thanks"
Bates: It's OK if you're actually thanking people. But keep in mind it's casual; you should know them if you're using this sign-off.
Kerr: This is one of the safest and most courteous of the salutations. It keeps it pleasant, but professional.
The closing: "Ciao"
Bates: This isn't for business, except for fashion, art or real Italians.
Kerr: "Ciao" should only be used for close buddies or work pals. It's not appropriate for business purposes.
The closing: "Sincerely"
Bates: Tried and true for a formal business close, and you'll never offend anyone.
Kerr: A bit too formal for e-mail. This salutation can put people off. People really expect this in a letter, not an e-mail.
The closing: "Kind regards"
Bates: This is a great all-purpose business salutation. It may be best for people you have corresponded with in the past.
Kerr: This is one I use quite often. I like some kind of warmth, but also keep it business-like. I tend to use "Kindest regards."
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The closing: "Regards"
Bates: It's less friendly than "Kind regards," and can be a bit perfunctory, but it generally works well.
Kerr: This salutation is a little short and a little distant, but at least it's a closing message.
The closing: "Best"
Bates: "Best" is colloquial, but fine for someone you know. "Best wishes" or "Best regards" would be better for business.
Kerr: This is another acceptable sign-off, especially if you're using it with someone you know really well.
The closing: "Cheers"
Bates: Only use this sign-off for friends and business colleagues you might meet for coffee.
Kerr: You can use this with someone you know well, but if you're trying to make a business impression, this is not a great way to say goodbye when you're first doing business with someone. Save it for after having established a bond.
The closing: "TGIF"
Bates: Never use this salutation for your boss.
Kerr: Use it for a good work buddy at clock-out time on Friday.
The closing: "Talk soon"
Bates: Very nice for a friend, but you better mean it.
Kerr: It's a nice way to sign-off. It lets the other person know there will be phone or face time soon, and that's important and appreciated in this wacky age of e-mail. People need to talk more.
The closing: "Later"
Bates: Not appropriate for business correspondence; it sounds like you're 14 years old.
Kerr: Only use this salutation in friendly business relationships.
The closing: "Cordially"
Bates: It's a little old-fashioned, but not offensive.
Kerr: This is safe and pleasant and gives people a "feel good" close at the end of your e-mail.
The closing: "Yours truly"
Bates: Excellent for formal business.
Kerr: Too formal for e-mail.
The closing: No closing at all -- just an electronic signature
Bates: There is a school of thought that an email is not a letter; I don't subscribe to that. I think most people come to the end of a note and expect a closing. It could come across as abrupt without one. It may also subtly say, "I'm in a hurry," "I don't know how to sign- off," or "I'm not someone who cares about niceties."
Kerr: Always use a salutation, but don't be redundant. Change it up. That makes people think you care by taking the time to "converse" with them by email.
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Aside from closings, Bates and Kerr pointed out a few other email faux pas:
When you’ve finished an email, all you need is a friendly, professional sign off. And there’s one popular choice.
That choice is ‘Kind regards’. For most work emails, it’s hard to go wrong with this. It’s succinct and it’s professional.
Yet every week, I get emails from people who sign off like this:
So how do you write it? Do you capitalise both words or only the first one?
Well, this is an easy one to fix. You definitely only need to capitalise the first letter, like this: ‘Kind regards’.
The same rule applies to any email sign-off, whether you use one word or five. You capitalise only the first letter:
Thanks and best wishes
With thanks and best wishes
Speaking of which, if you’re confused about which sign-offs are okay, and which are a professional no-no, read our article on the best ways to start and finish an email.
Is regards a good letter closing? How should I use regard in a sentence? Quickly learn how to use regards and all its variants correctly.
You don't want to lose sleep over the valediction on your work email, but it does matter. It's your parting shot. It's also your chance to be a little personal. So, what's the strongest way to sign-off?
If you're Jamie Dimon, it seems you'll say nothing – just "Jamie." The same goes for Lloyd Blankfein, who simply signs-off "Lloyd."
That doesn't mean you can get away with this, however.
“For your work email signoff, don’t make it too personal and therefore strange, or too casual,” says Hallie Crawford, the founder of HallieCrawford.com Career Coaching.
Context matters, a lot.
“If you do not know the person well, it’s best to avoid overly casual communication so it is not misinterpreted,” says Alyssa Gelbard, the president of Point Road Group, an executive career consultancy.
We conducted an informal poll of bankers, recruiters and career coaches to find out their favorite ways to end emails. This is what we learned.
Lloyd and Jamie are onto something. Experienced Wall Streeters told us they don't go for "Warmest regards,” "Yours faithfully" or any other cliché. They just end their email and have it roll right into their signature.
“It says you’re all business,” claims one former investment banker, who picked it up from his boss. “It's intimidating and makes you move.”
Be warned, however, ending abruptly can rub some people the wrong way. A lack of closing can be misinterpreted as not caring, disinterested or even disrespectful, says Gelbard.
“Taking the time to type a few extra characters and write a decent email sign-off can help prevent misinterpretation by the recipient,” she adds. “The message having no closing salutation sends is that since you weren’t interested in taking any time to type a close, that perhaps you don’t care that much about the email subject or recipient.”
This is Wall Streeters' second choice. "Best” or “Best regards” is vanilla enough to not say much about you or your relationship with the email recipient. It’s “safe” – not too casual nor too formal. A simple “Regards” is in the same camp. Some people like "Warm regards" too.
One of these is a good option when you don't know a person well, but want to be safe and friendly, says Gelbard.
“What, are you living in the 19th century?” said another banker. “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” "Sincerely yours" and “Very truly yours” are old, stodgy and overly formal. “Maybe for a cover letter, but not in the office."
Cheers might be OK if you're working in the City of London and don't mind being perceived as a 'geezer.'
If English is your first language, then you risk sounding a bit pretentious, but some people may be able to pull it off.
Unless you want to stamp “young and inexperienced” on your forehead, steer clear of thanking everyone under the sun in emails. It’s overly gracious and, worse, it “exudes weakness,” says one VP at an investment bank. Avoid "Thanks for your consideration." Constantly thanking someone in work exchanges subconsciously places you on the bottom rung. "Looking forward to hearing from you" gives off a similarly weak vibe.
“And whatever you do, no exclamation points,” he adds.
These are not super-formal, but they are totally inoffensive. A slightly less formal version is "Talk soon."
Photo credit: BrianAJackson/GettyImages
Best Regards – More formal than the ubiquitous “Best. Thanks so much – I also like this and use it, especially when someone—a colleague.