Complimentary Close: Definition, Tips and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When concluding a formal letter, it's critical to convey the appropriate level of respect to the recipient. A complimentary closing is important because it can help you end a letter in a professional and respectful way. Understanding the various complimentary close examples and how to use them effectively can assist you in retaining the receiver's attention. In this article, we explain why a complimentary close is important, list the examples of formal letter closings, discuss how to select the best complimentary closing and explore the format for using a professional closing with a few templates and examples.

Why is a complimentary close important?

A complimentary close, alternatively referred to as a complimentary closing, is that important phrase that appears before your signature in an email message or formal letter. This sign-off phrase shows your amount of respect and appreciation for the individual reviewing your letter or email. Using a closing remains an essential factor when writing formal business correspondence. A complimentary closing is appropriate when writing or emailing a cover letter for a job or any other type of business letter. Make sure that you choose one that is professional rather than casual.

Examples of formal letter closings

The following are all acceptable methods of concluding a formal letter:

  • With gratitude

  • With appreciation

  • With sincere appreciation

  • With sincere thanks

  • With respect

  • All the best

  • Best wishes

  • Best regards

  • Regards

  • Respectfully yours

  • Respectfully

  • Sincerely yours

  • Sincerely

  • Yours respectfully

  • Yours sincerely

  • Cordially yours

  • Cordially

How to select the best complimentary closing

All the options listed in the previous section are appropriate for business correspondence. Here are two steps that can help you in choosing the right or most appropriate complimentary closing:

1. Consider the circumstances

Consider the context of your correspondence to select the most appropriate tone to conclude your message with. For example, restrict thank-you options, such as With appreciation and With gratitude, to situations where you request a favour or express appreciation. Typically, Best regards, Sincerely and Cordially are the most common and acceptable closings.

2. Stay professional

A professional letter or email is different from sending a message to a friend or family member. Avoid casual closings, such as Love, Cheers, Ciao or Always. These options don't correspond to the formality of your letter. Maintain a professional tone throughout your correspondence, from the salutation to the conclusion.

Related: How To End a Cover Letter in 8 Steps (With Examples)

3. Select a format

It's important to include a comma after your closing phrase. Type your name immediately after the closing. If you're mailing a hard copy of your letter, leave spaces between the closing and your full name. This way, when you print the letter, you have plenty of space between your closing and full name to place your signature in blue or black ink. In an email, leave one space between the complimentary closing and your signature instead.

You can also include your job title, your phone number and your email address, beneath your name. You can include a section with your contact information in emails.

Related: Email Etiquette: How to End an Email (With Examples)

Complimentary closing templates for emails and printed letters

Here are complimentary closing templates for emails and printed letters:

Complimentary closing templates for emails

Here's an example of an email message signature:

Sincerely,
[Name]
[Job title], [Company name]
[Email address]
[Phone number]

Complimentary closing templates for printed letters

Here's an example of a printed letter signature:

Best regards,

[Written signature]
[Name]

Related: Top 3 Cover Letter Templates (Plus How To Impress a Recruiter)

Additional tips for writing a formal letter

When formatting a business letter, one of the primary considerations is the letter's readability and appearance. The following are some fundamental guidelines to follow when formatting an effective business letter:

Format of the document

The letter format refers to the appearance of your letter on the page, regardless of whether it's a hard copy or a soft copy. While there are many ways to format a business letter, the most common is block formatting, which involves all text being left-justified and single-spaced, with double spaces between paragraphs and sections. This straightforward layout ensures the letter is legible. There are three distinct types of block format:

  • Full block format: It is the most formal and frequently used business letter format. In this format, it's common practice to left-align all information with a double space between paragraphs.

  • Modified block format: Here, you position the sender's address and date in the centre and align the body to the left.

  • Company-specific format: Certain businesses may have their formatting conventions, such as indenting paragraphs within the body of the letter or using a specific font type and size. If your organisation uses a particular template, you can also use it to ensure consistency.

Size and style of font

Select a clear and readable font, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Courier New or Verdana. Throughout your letter, you can use a black colour font and avoid bold, italicised or underlined font options unless necessary. A consistent format makes your letter more comprehensible. When choosing a font size, keep it between 10 and 12 points. Fonts smaller than ten points can be challenging to read, and fonts larger than 12 can appear unprofessional.

Alignment, spacing and margins

Pay close attention to the spacing and margins in your business letter, as they can contribute to the document's readability, clarity and professionalism. Appropriately space out the various sections at the top of your letter, including the sender's address, the date, the recipient's address and the opening salutation. Ensure that each paragraph of the body contains a blank line. Ensure that you align your text to the left. It is critical to maintaining standard one-inch margins throughout your document.

Enclosures

If you're including any other documents with your business letter, you can inform the recipient by including the documents' titles beneath your signature. You can separate this section from the remainder of your business letter by adding a line below your name. Ensure that you align your text to the left.

Related: Professional Business Letter Format (With Examples)

Closing examples

Here are two examples of formal letters that include complimentary closes:

Example of a hard copy letter

Here's an example of a hard copy formal letter that includes a complimentary closing:

Nathan Chen
98 Hiu Shou Yeng Tsuen,
Chik Puk, Hong Kong
3542 5623
NathanChen@email.com

23 July 2021

Dear Ms Tsai,

My name is Nathan Chen, and I am writing to express my interest in the ‘Sales Manager' role that recently became available. I believe that my eight years of experience working with developing markets can benefit your organisation significantly. I am looking forward to bringing my results-oriented approach, interpersonal skills and strong work ethic to your team.

My data science background enables me to work comfortably with data to inform sales goals and strategies. In a previous position, my employers tasked me with the responsibility of launching a new retail location. I ensured the store's success by analysing sales data from previous openings. My data-driven strategy resulted in a 30% increase in sales over the last store's opening weekend.

Due to the fact that sales is frequently a customer-facing role, I continue to develop my interpersonal skills by participating in public speaking workshops. I recently organised a conference on sales and technology that drew over 400 attendees. Not only did the platform allow me to hone my skills, but it also enabled me to grow my sales clientele.

As a leader, I am confident in my ability to set an example of a strong work ethic. My previous employers frequently recognised my efforts by awarding me titles such as ‘Employee of the Month.' I strive to maintain a positive attitude at all times to motivate my team.

Please feel free to contact me via email at nathanchen@email.com or by phone at 3542 5623. Thank you for your time.

Best regards,

[Written signature]
Nathan Chen

Example of a soft copy letter

Here's an example of a soft copy formal letter that includes a complimentary closing :

Subject line: Junior Journalist, Bao Wan

Dear Mr Taurean,

My name is Bao Wan, and I am writing this letter in response to the Great Morning Post advertisement for a ‘Junior Journalist.' My ability to write factual articles and adhere to deadlines can position me as a highly competitive candidate for the position.

As a journalist, I make a conscious effort to uphold integrity, honesty and transparency. This has been critical to my success in the field. Here are some highlights from my professional career:

  • I was the editor-in-chief of my university newspaper.

  • I expanded magazine readership by 10% as a writer intern.

  • I received the Ethics in Student Journalism Award in 2019.

Because I have worked in print and on-air, I can adapt my writing style to various audiences. I have a passion for producing accurate and high-quality work, which I believe can be an asset in this position.

You can contact me via email at baowan@email.com or by phone at 6756 3318. I appreciate your time and eagerly await your response.

Best Regards,
Bao Wan
baowan@email.com
6756 3318

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