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It is very important to strike the right balance with the closing salutation. Anything else, and there is a risk of it coming across as too casual and disrespectful for business letters.

Different letters are written for different occasions and these serve varied purposes. A letter is made up of certain distinct parts that enhance the subject matter better, mainly―the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. While all the parts of the letter are important, many tend to neglect the importance of the conclusion in a letter. The conclusion is, just as much, if not more, important than the other parts of the letter.

Letter closings are important for a good impression in business writing and therefore understanding what to write is needed.

In this Buzzle piece, we will be focusing on the different aspects of writing a conclusion, with special reference to varied kinds of formal letter closings, their purpose of use, and how to write the same.

The Varied Factors

Formal letters demand a certain etiquette. One cannot sign off a business letter with a closing line that is informal, and thus sticks sorely out of place. This could make the entire letter seem unprofessional, and could therefore, give the wrong impression to the recipient. After having followed the correct format of writing out a professional letter, you need to also know what a professional letter closing demands.

The way you insert the closing lines will be determined by certain factors in writing business letters. These are the following factors that you need to keep in mind:

Whether you know the recipient's name
Whether you are addressing a friend or colleague
Whether you are addressing an entire department

The Basic Format

Sincerely
Regards
Yours truly
Yours sincerely


These four salutations are the most common closing lines that are used. These can be used in any setting and are considered most appropriate for closing a cover letter or inquiry.

Always remember that the 'Y' in the 'Yours' will always be in capital. The following word (sincerely, faithfully), however, will be written in small.

After these salutations are in place, place a comma and then leave 3 - 4 lines for your signature, followed by your name, and designation. You may or may not include your address. Make sure to leave your contact details.

For Known Recipients

Cordially
Yours respectfully


These closings are used when your relationship with the person can be termed slightly personal―either you have been interacting via mails, or have had face-to-face interviews, or even a phone interview.

Along with understanding how to close the letter, it is important to know how to begin the letter as well. Here are the 4 options in which you can address these closings:

Dear Ms Smith
Dear Mrs Smith
Dear Mr Smith
Dear Miss Smith

For Unknown Recipients

Along with the basic closing liners that are used, 'Yours faithfully' may also be used in case of an unknown recipient. This gives it a more formal feel. When you're corresponding with an unknown person, you will not address the recipient with their name either. Here are the options in which the greeting and closing is used:

Dear Sir
Dear Sir or Madam
Dear Madam

For Entire Departments

When addressing an entire department, the salutations should maintain a professional and formal tone. These will usually read: Dear Sirs - Yours faithfully.

For Closely Known Recipients

Warm regards
Best wishes
With appreciation

Even though these closing lines seem less formal, they are appropriate and can be used in situations when you have known the person for a period of time and have a connection with the person.

Examples of Salutations

Here are a few examples of the kind of closing salutations that you can use:

Sincerely
Thank you
Best wishes
Best regards
Regards
Cordially
Kindest regards
Sincerely yours
Respectfully yours
With gratitude
Faithfully yours
Truly

Examples of Closing Lines

Here are a few examples of the kind of formal letter endings that you can use:

I look forward to hearing from you.
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
If you require any further information, feel free to contact me.
We look forward to a successful working relationship in the future.
I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
Please advise as necessary.
Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience.
I look forward to your reply.
We hope that we may continue to rely on your valued custom.
I look forward to seeing you.

And now that you know the different formal letter closings and how to go about them, you will be able to make a lasting impression on the recipients.