6

How should you end a business letter?

If you are writing a letter to your grandparents, I would use

With Love from 'name'

However, if you are writing a professional letter to someone important that isn't your family, how would you end the letter? The only one I can think of is

Sincerely

or

Thank you for your time.

6

I liked this question - writing letters is a professional use of writing skills, but it's becoming rare to the point of looking like a lost art.

The norm (UK, at least) always used to be that if the letter began "Dear Sir / Madam" it would end with "Yours faithfully", while a salutation of "Dear Mr. Smith" would give the valediction "Yours sincerely". Things are a lot more liberal these days, and I'll find myself writing letters that look more like e-mails, with no salutation or first name only and "Regards" at the end.

Writing Stock Answer - consider the audience. Do you know the recipient at all, and in what way? Do they seem formal, or a person who would appreciate formality (or could expect it by position, such as a prospective employer or mentor)?

I can't (and shouldn't) Tell You What To Write, but it looks like you're thinking along the right lines, and for a formal communication you won't go far wrong with the ideas you've had - you could even do both. "Thank you for your time" followed by "Sincerely" is a nice way to end a formal letter.

  • 2
    "Regards" is my fallback as well; it's more or less a catch-all when I'm not sure what to write. – Watercleave Dec 28 '17 at 10:13
  • 1
    I think the conventional, formal closing in the US is "Sincerely". "Yours Truly" is a little out of date I think but wouldn't surprise anyone. – Jay Dec 29 '17 at 22:23
4

It depends upon the content of the letter.

Just "Thanks," alone can sound off key if there is nothing obvious for which thanks to the reader is warranted, or too light-hearted when providing serious information. "Sincerely," is (to me) taking on an emotional component of a personal relationship to emphasize feelings. In professional communications no such intensifier is necessary or desired. It can look false and amateurish, because in many professional communications insincerity is assumed.

The most common endings I see are neutral ("Regards,") to apply to any situation, from informing somebody they are terminated to informing somebody they are hired.

Another common exit that works is "Thank you for XXXX," as in,

Thank you for your interest,

Thank you for your time,

Thank you for considering us,

And so on.

In general, the rule in professional communications is to remain very neutral or understated, and avoid (in the letter, salutation, or closing) exaggeration that sounds very emotional. Nobody is angry, they are "disappointed". Nobody is joyful, they are "pleased." Professional communications are generally even-keeled and tilt only a modest amount toward positive or negative tone. Even terrifying or horrific news is this way: "We regret to inform you..."

We stick to the facts, "look forward to" some event, "Hope to hear from you soon," etc. Find ways to keep effusive emotions out of it. If emotion seems to be warranted, search the online thesaurus for a synonym that understates your feelings (or if you can't put a finger on what you feel, try an antonym to the opposite of what you feel, or an antonym to something you definitely do not feel).

3

I always use, "Best" or "Best wishes". If someone's helped me a lot, I like to end with, "Thanks for everything".

  • These are good for a second or third communication (ie. thanking someone for help they've already given), but for a first approach I would be inclined to be more formal. Might just be me, though. – ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Dec 28 '17 at 9:35
  • Best or best wishes are usually for greeting cards, but in different circumstances they can work. – Sweet_Cherry Dec 29 '17 at 14:35
  • Heh, I get it from others a lot in my business emails :) Maybe it's the new norm? Eh well, I use it. – Steven Choi Jan 2 '18 at 20:22
2

When writing a business letter, you should end with something more formal. Here are some that are commonly used. (Hint: Most people use "Thank you" instead of "Thanks" because some say it sounds more appropriate for business letter writing.

  • Thank you for your time
  • Thank you
  • Sincerely
  • Most sincerely
  • Yours Truly
  • Kind Regards
  • Thank you for your consideration (reminds me of Katniss Everdeen)

    What not to use (These are appropriate for letters to a close friend

  • Cheers
  • Cordially
  • Hopefully
  • Later
  • Thanks!
  • See you later
  • Warmly
  • Bye!
  • See ya!



Hope this helps!

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