How should you close an email or letter?

There are many, many choices for closing correspondences (Sincerely, Best Regards, Thank You, etc), and I’ve seen MANY over the years. From the standards I just listed to “Toodles”, “TTYL” (talk to you later), and even “Hasta La Bye-Bye”. Obviously, some of these should be reserved only for close friends or family … if that.

So, what’s the best way to close your emails or letters?

While there is no single “best” sign-off, some are (I feel) more appropriate than others. What’s important is that you consider three things …

1) Type of communication (business or personal?)

2) Audience (who will read this?)

3) Message (what’s the topic?)

Any one of these variables could have an effect on the type of closing you should use. For example, a business email to another professional might warrant a “Sincerely”, but if it’s a business professional you’ve known for years and have a friendly rapport with, “Take it easy” might fly. On the other hand, it won’t ALWAYS fly. What if you’re sending them a message of condolence or a get well letter? You must always consider each of the variables above.

My best advice on this would be  …
DO NOT make your sign-off a permanent part of your email signature.

Your sign off should be written along with your correspondence – not only to make sure that it is appropriate for the message you’re writing, but to keep you from looking insincere. (After all, people WILL notice if you say “Yours, as always,” on the first email you’ve ever sent to them!)

Keep your options open. If you find yourself stumped for a closing too often, you might consider keeping a list handy. Need inspiration? Here are some of the sign-offs I’ve seen recently. Everything from stuffy to casual, boring to unique. (Note, I don’t necessarily recommend some of these.)

The old stand-bys:
* Sincerely,
* Best,
* Thank you,
* Regards,
* Cordially,

The gushy:
* Yours most sincerely,
* With kindest personal regards,
* All the very best wishes,
* Grace and Peace,
* Very truly yours,

The “I’m fun and hip”:
* Cheerio,
* Ciao,
* Over and out,
* Peace,
* Gotta’ run,

 The kitschy or geeky:
* Gotta’ boogie,
* Later ‘gator,
* Toodles,
* Live long and prosper,
* May the force be with you,

 The new age or religious:
* Peace, love and happiness,
* Keep the faith,
* Blessings,
* Prayerfully,
* God bless,

The motivational:
* Enthusiastically,
* Onward and upward,
* Sending positive energy,
* Wishing you the best of everything,

The friendly standards:
* All the best,
* Hope all is well,
* Your friend
* Best wishes,
* Warm regards,

… what others have YOU seen out there?


One Response to “How should you close an email or letter?”

  1. John Miller Says:

    Peter, thoughtful piece as always. I often use the following for my clients: Thank you for your business and your trust, Business owners are a major part of my practice and thanking them for their business seems to resonate with them. Usually I reply to you via LinkedIn so we’ll see how this Blog at WordPress works.

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