How to End a Letter Properly: Guide with Examples

How to End a Letter Properly: Guide with Examples
Table of Contents
  1. How to End a Letter Properly: Guide with Examples
  2. How to End a Business Letter
  3. The Most Popular Closings
  4. Examples of How to End a Formal Letter
  5. Using a Complimentary Close
  6. Formal Letter Closing Examples
  7. Which Ending Is the Right One to Use?
  8. Conclusion

How to end a letter if you are writing for a business or any other purposes? Some people consider a letter writing an art and they are in some way right. It is important to use the right tone and language. There is a whole bunch of words and phrases you need to use to have a correct letter ending. In this article our experts will reveal the most useful tips on how to end a business letter and demonstrate some useful examples to your service. Keep on reading to learn more.

How to End a Business Letter

The most important requirement of any letter ending is simple - your recipient should be satisfied and have a positive impression. The letter is not just the tool to inform your reader about something but to give a positive impression about you. You need to be respectful and informative at the same time.

So, how to end a business letter? There are few main rules that are controlling the level of familiarity used by a writer. The entire impression about you as a person may be built by one ending only. So, you need to make it obviously formal and respectful.

Another important thing about closings is its tone and appropriateness. A proper closing will make your letter sound good and state your awareness of business etiquette. The information you are using in your entire writing should resonate with the ending words.

The Most Popular Closings

There are few the most common and popular endings such as:

  • Regards (Best regards)
  • Sincerely
  • Yours truly
  • Cordially
  • Yours respectfully
  • Best wishes
  • With appreciation

With these words and phrases you will never lose a tone and offend anyone. Some people consider them to be the most effective and appropriate of all. Those are, probably, the most popular ones and fit perfectly for any type of letter not just business or formal.

These are also great for more personal writing. But usually it is much easier to choose an ending in case you know a person at least a little.

Examples of How to End a Formal Letter

Business letters are not the only formal type. There are lots of other occasions when you can use a formal tone for a letter. It depends on the person you are writing to, your relationships, and the information you are providing with your writing piece. There are also few requirements on how to format your ending:

  • Punctuation - the word or a whole phrase you are using for closing should be followed by a comma. You also may add a space and your signature. Read about proper use of colon here
  • Hard copy - you should get four lines left between a ending word and your name in case you are sending not digital but a hard copy of a letter. Your signature should be signed by hand.
  • Digital - in case you are sending an email, just get one space left between the ending and your typed name. Then add your contact information just under your name.

Using a Complimentary Close

If you are inserting a term before your signature in a formal letter, it is called a complimentary close or closing. It can be used both in digital mail or hard copy of a writing piece. It is used by writers to show their respect to the recipient. It is also a nice way to engage your reader to reply to your message. While this method is pretty old, some people even consider it too old fashioned, it is still broadly used all over the business world. 

This detail will make your letter sound more professional and business wise but not casual. Do not use too long words unless there are some professional terms. 

Formal Letter Closing Examples

In this part we will list the most appropriate closings for various types of letters:

  • Best regards,
  • Best wishes,
  • Best,
  • My best,
  • Regards,
  • Respectfully,
  • Respectfully yours,
  • Sincerely,
  • Sincerely yours,
  • Thank you,
  • Yours respectfully,
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Yours truly,
  • Cordially,
  • Cordially yours,
  • With appreciation,
  • With gratitude,
  • With sincere appreciation,
  • With sincere thanks.

Which Ending Is the Right One to Use?

Any of those examples we have listed in this article will work great for formal correspondence or for handmade greetings card with interesting souvenirs from London. You need to choose one that is the most appropriate to your message, the tone you are using there, request, and style. You also should not use those appreciative words too much.

There are also various closers with different variations such as “Best regards”. This phrase can be divided into two separate words “best” and “regards” and it will be absolutely enough to end your writing piece in a proper way. There is no use of thinking what ending is the best fitting into your message. All them are good enough to use.

If you are not some kind of a manager or secretary, you probably do not write those formal letters everyday. For most people it is quite unusual and complicated to write a one page message without any emotion and with keeping such formal tone. So, it is always better to have a raw draft, if you are writing a hard copy or at least reread the message before sending it to a recipient. Please remember that proofreading, editing, and writing are equally important. You can check the difference between proofreading and copyediting here


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