In December, we discussed salutations at the beginning of business emails and letters. Today, we’ll cover email and letter closings, such as sincerely and best regards. Although these words and phrases are technically called valedictions or complimentary closings, they are frequently just referred to as closings.
Regardless of what you call them, closings are almost always followed by a comma. One exception occurs in open-punctuation business letters. In this format, neither the salutation nor the closing is followed by punctuation of any sort. They just sit there alone—sadly lacking the companionship of a comma, colon, or period. While open punctuation is popular in emails, it should be used with caution; after all, you don’t want the recipient of your business correspondence to think that you forgot to use punctuation!
Unlike salutations, which are pretty much limited to dear, hi, hello, and greetings, complimentary closings give us an opportunity for personalization. The trick is to choose a closing that matches both the message and your relationship with the recipient. Here are some formal options to consider:
With many thanks,
Note that only the first word is capitalized in multi-word closings. Here are some casual options for informal emails:
All the best,
Of course, truly personal communication can close with anything from your friend to peace out. (But if you’re writing to your grandma, I think you should always close with love.)
In Part 2, we’ll tackle the issue of ending emails and letters with sentences and elliptical clauses such as “Have a nice day!” and “Thank you!”
Until then, warm regards, best wishes, and cheers!