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Yours and only signature
July 10, 2019 1st Anniversary Wishes 1 comment

It only takes about five minutes. That's not a lot to ask for a country as great as Ours. WHO IS EXEMPT FROM REGISTERING! The only people who are not.

Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely?

By Maeve Maddox

In 1928 H. W. Fowler listed these phrases and their uses:

Yours faithfully (to unknown person on business)
Yours truly (to slight acquaintance)
Yours very truly (ceremonious but cordial)
Yours sincerely (in invitations and friendly but not intimate letters)

With slight variations between British and American usage, these forms are still in use.

If you don’t know the name of the recipient…

Yours faithfully is British usage. It is used when the recipient is not addressed by name, as in a letter with a “Dear Sir” salutation. I have never seen it in correspondence between Americans. That’s not to say it won’t catch on. I’ve come across letter-writing guides on the web that imply that it is standard American usage.

Yours truly is the American equivalent of “yours faithfully” that I was taught by my American business teachers. When I begin a letter “Dear Sir,” I close it with “Yours truly.”

When you do know the name of the recipient…

Yours sincerely is also British. Americans tend to reverse the order and write Sincerely yours.

When I worked in England, I was told that to write Sincerely without the Yours was very bad form. Now, of course, Sincerely is a common and acceptable close for American business letters.

Which words to capitalize…

Only the first word is capitalized:

Yours faithfully,
Yours sincerely,
Sincerely yours,

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yours and only signature

You’ve written an email, and need to wrap it up. You could end with a simple “Sincerely,” tack on your name, and then shoot it out the door, proving definitively that you suck at communication.

See, the closing is an opportunity—your last chance to hone your message and craft your impression, whether it’s authoritative, reserved, or easy-going. “Sincerely,” that flat, old relic, is the fallback of the unimaginative, unauthoritative, and, in many respects, insincere. (Though that aspect may indeed come in handy in certain circumstances, as you’ll see.)

But alternatives to the familiar must be chosen carefully, as each is fraught with implication. “It does matter how you say goodbye in an email,” says business etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, owner of the Protocol School of Texas. “Depending who you are speaking with, and how you want to be perceived, the close of your email is the last impression you will make. If it's a bad one, it may just be your final ‘goodbye’ to that person.”

Scary, right? But don’t kiss your socioeconomic standing goodbye just yet. I surveyed etiquette experts and colleagues, and perused my own archive of 42,323,245 emails to see which farewells hit precisely the right note and which flagged their senders as hapless neophytes in the realm of digital discourse. Closing strategies will vary based on whether it’s an initial email or the 12th in a endless chain of corporate claptrap, and whether you’re trying to be chummy, deferential, or firm. So, without further adieu . . . 

ANYTIME

“Best”: Simple, and almost universally wieldable, regardless of whether you’re initiating a conversation with a new acquaintance or communicating with a colleague of 10 years. “It’s safe, warm, not overly businesslike but also not too familiar,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, a Palm Beach, Fla.-based etiquette coach.

“Thank you”: This is cool because it contributes something—actual gratitude. “It’s also polite and to the point,” Gottsman notes.

“Thanks”: A bit more casual than the above, and it can be readily amended with an exclamation mark to bump up the energy a bit. But wield that bang carefully: Too much enthusiasm can come across as slightly goofy, insincere, or unwelcomingly familiar. As in all forms of writing, insert exclamation marks VERY sparingly: “Use it if you are the boss, but not to the boss,” Gottsman says. “It’s a bit too informal, but may still work once you have built a relationship with your boss. Use your judgment.”

SOMETIMES

“Sincerely”: Safe, professional, and neutral, according to Gottsman. But also boring. It’s an invisible word that leaves no impression. Avoid, unless you’re communicating for the first time with a large multinational conglomerate. That said, the word can come in handy for the rare times that you’re trying deliberately to telegraph a degree of subtle disdain. As in: “I truly support your decision to terminate your relationship with this company, and wish you luck in your future endeavors. Sincerely, Steve.”

“Take care”: Another example of a closing that actually says something, without crossing any lines. Best to use only with people you’ve encountered before.

“Yours”: Well, who else’s? Generally, this is archaic and stuffy, but when used with close friends, usually of the opposite gender, it’s largely inoffensive.

“Thx”: Alone, this comes across as dismissive and lazy. You really don’t have time to spell it out? But “Thx” with a bang (!) has a bit of energy to it, imparting good-natured rapport on a busy day. Thx!

“Many thanks”: A solid way to prime the pump. “It shows that you are expecting a good outcome to the email,” Gottsman says.

”NRN”: “No response necessary.” Properly deployed, this can help eliminate all those “Got it!” “No problemo!” and “Okay!” emails that clutter our inboxes. This isn’t used enough. But be careful: It’s okay to shoot an NRN down the chain and sideways, but never fire one up the ladder. In that case, it has a muzzling effect, to which the reaction might be something like, “Well, how about I just respond by firing your stupid ass? NRN.”

Initials: Generally fine, but only use if you’re okay with the possibility of those initials becoming your nickname. “I will also sometimes just put JW without ‘sincerely,’ depending on who person is,” Whitmore says. “Usually it’s for when someone sends me information I’ve requested: ‘Thanks so much! JW’” One colleague, however, noted the critical distinction between just running your initials and running your initials in lowercase. Our consensus: false humility. Avoid.

—“Ciao”: Unless you’re actually Italian, don’t. “If you are speaking with a conservative client, say you are his banker, and you sign off 'Ciao'—that’s a bad choice,” Gottsman says. “It's best to err on the side of something more generic.”

“Cheers”: Again, unless you’re actually British, don’t.

Anything attempting to sound remotely cool or funny. I once ended a long, slightly braggy email about a successful work project with “Humbly.” It worked—once. The next time I tried it, my colleagues called me out on it. The same thing happens every time I try to be cool, with some emoticon or something. Use humor and coolness as sparingly as you use exclamation points—which is to say, almost never.

NEVER!

“Regards”: This often feels as though it’s deployed with an automatic signature attachment. It’s cheesy and pointless. “Not my favorite,” Gottsman says. “It’s usually what you say when you aren’t sure what to say.”

“Best regards”: Pointlessness, squared.

“Best wishes”: Another seemingly benign platitude where if you sat down and actually thought about what it means, you’ll realize that you’re indicating your hope that good things happen to the recipient generally, which may or may not be the case.

“Respectfully”: If your entire missive up until this point hasn’t adequately conveyed the fact that you respect the person you’re writing, then this last-second gesture won’t save you. Grow a pair.

"Cordially": According to Gottsman, this one is an affectation. “It’s what you’d see if you were invited to a cotillion,” she says. (Well, I’d kinda love go to a cotillion, so I do hope I get to use this at least once in my lifetime.)

“Yours truly”: If you’re hoping to start a long chain of writerly correspondences with a young Hemingway-type that you’ll later publish in your memoirs, go for it. Otherwise, no.

So there you have it—your definitive guide to closing an email. But there’s one strategy that I saved for last, because it’s quite possibly the best and most universal—at least in casual use. For the ultimate in terminations, do nothing more than append your name. It’s quick, clean, and final. It also nicely skirts the meaning issue: There is, quite simply, nothing to interpret.

Yes. I like the sound of that.

Eric

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What’s the difference between wet, digital and electronic signatures?

yours and only signature

Sincerely. Warmly. Wantonly. I’d be thrilled to receive an email with one of these closings. Well, maybe not “wantonly” in a business context, but at least it’s better than “best.” “Best” has bothered me for some time in both business and personal contexts, for various reasons. Here are five.

1. “Best” …what, exactly? “Best Wishes”? “Best Tidings”? “I’m the Best”? “Best BBQ Ribs Six Years Running”? What you really should mean is “Best Regards.” Either tack that word onto the end, or find a different sign-off that actually only comprises one word.

2. “Best” has become what saying “Ciao” at the end of phone conversations was in the 90s: a trend embraced by smarmy business executives and Hollywood types and then adopted by anyone who thought they were “someone.”

3. “Best” is considered rude. If you don’t enjoy people USING ALL CAPS ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE IT’S THE EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING, then you should know that your beloved “Best” is considered cold and even a snub, so says The New York Times. So, by all means, sign your emails “Best” if you want to be known as the office ice queen/ king.

4. If you aren’t the office ice queen/king, using “Best” because the upper management at your institution does just makes you look like a tool. They look cold – you look like some pathetic sycophant.

5. If you really have so little time in your day to actually write “Regards” after your “Best” (or to think up another sign-off), then you need an assistant. Print this out and show your higher-ups; it will make you all look better, though perhaps not “best.”

What do you imagine when you hear the word “signature?” 50 years ago we might all have had the same answer, but today, “ink on paper” isn't the only option.

All the best? Yours sincerely? The last word on email signoffs

yours and only signature

When ending an email or letter, before you write your name, you usually include a small signoff with something like "Best regards", "Kind regards", "Best wishes" or "Yours sincerely". But which of these signoffs should you use and when?

Best regards

"Best regards" is probably the most popular signoff for an email or letter. It can be used both formally in a professional or business setting, but it can also be used informally, say in birthday card or personal letter. If you are really unsure of which to include "Best regards" is probably the best and safest choice for you.

Kind regards

"Kind regards" is usually a little more formal than "Best regards". We would recommend to use "Kind regards" in a professional email or business letter where you feel comfortable with the person you are emailing or writing to, and it should not be used personal correspondence. Using another sentence before "Kind regards" can either make you sound less or more professional, as you are required to be, for example:

Formal Use of Kind regards

Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any further queries.
Kind regards,
Your Name

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Less Formal Use of Kind regards

I look forward to talking to you more soon, enjoy your day!
Kind regards,
Your Name

Regards

Using just the words "Regards" would definitely be in a professional business email or letter. We also think that it doesn't necessarily invoke as much "kindness" or "lightheartedness", as "Kind regards". It may be used by someone that keeps their emails short and sweet and someone that doesn't have to go overboard with kindness. If you are using just "Regards", be careful that you don't come off to the person you are writing to, as not caring about the business or opportunity that you are writing about.

Warm regards

We have mixed feelings about using the words "Warm regards" in business emails or professional correspondence. If you know the customer or client personally that you are emailing, we think this is okay, but if you writing cold emails or emailing potential customers that have only inquired about your services and have not yet bought, stick to something more like "Kind regards" or "Best regards" until you get to know them more. Also, "Warm regards" may be more likely to be used in festive message or at a time when more "warmth" is required, for example:

Warm regards in a festive email or letter

Happy holidays to you and your family.
Warm regards,
Your Name

Warm regards, when more warmth is required

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your grandma. My deepest condolences.
Warm regards,
Your Name

Yours sincerely

"Yours sincerely" is a very professional way to end a business email or letter, but if you're only a small business, we would advise with going with something a little less formal. Leave "Yours sincerely" for the corporate companies, and get a little more personal with your email by using "Kind regards" or "Best regards" instead. However, if you are writing to a corporate company about a potential job or internship, where they are likely to use "Yours sincerely" in a more formal setting, we would recommend using it too.

Yours faithfully

Do people even use "Yours faithfully" any more? We certainly haven't come across it in any business or personal correspondence in the last five to ten years. Our recommendation, go with something a little more modern and upbeat, or have a good reason to be writing the particular word "faithfully".

Yours faithfully - the only good reason to write it

I never cheated on you with your best friend.
Yours faithfully,
Your Name

#kidding

All the best

We actually really like this one. It can be used in professional or informal writing. It invokes a sense of kindness that you are wishing them all the best, but it's shorter than saying "I wish you all the best". Use this if you don't need to be overly formal and are ok with more of a relaxed tone with the person you are emailing.

Results from our Poll - Which Sign Off do you use?

Since 2014, over 8,000 people have taken our poll! We asked the question, what signoff do you use? Here's the results.

1. Kind regards (1,620 votes)
2. Best regards (1,366 votes)
3. Regards (699 votes)
4. Other (351 votes)
5. All the best (332 votes)
6. Yours sincerely (189 votes)
7. Warm regards (156 votes)
8. No signoff (67 votes)
9. Yours faithfully (55 votes)

The people that voted in our poll came from all over the globe.


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Jerry Garcia's favourite guitar, Wolf, could be yours at auction later this Ettinger thinks only the most obsessive Deadheads can identify.

yours and only signature
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