With Best Regards: Closing Your Letter

Best RegardsWhen writing professional or informal emails and letters, it is often considered proper etiquette to complete your correspondence with an appropriate closing signature. In many ways the valediction or complimentary closing for a business letter or formal email has traditionally been to use the word “sincerely,” however, in recent years this outdated closing has been replaced with “kind regards,” “best regards,” and simply “regards.” But what does it mean to end a formal or informal correspondence with these words? And what exactly do these goodbyes mean? And when is it appropriate to use this closing statement? For information on how you can learn to craft a topnotch business email, check out Enspark Interactive’s course titled Business Email Etiquette. Course sections include detailed information regarding an email’s essential parts, and along with the following information, will help you create interesting and work-appropriate communications.

 “With Best Regards”: What Does it Mean?

Ending an email or letter with the phrase, “with best regards” means you’re offering a kind and professional ending to your correspondence. A simple breakdown of the words reveals that according to dictionary.com, when used as an adjective, “best” refers to anything “of the highest quality, excellence, or standing.” The word “regards” means, “to look upon or think of with particular feeling,” or “to have or show respect or concern for.” Using “with best regards” as a closure to an email or letter tells the recipient that you respect him or her and that you wish them the best. This method of closing a letter is best used with longer, more formal emails, letters of rejection, and those correspondences that may contain difficult topics. The sentiment expressed implies a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation while continuing to maintain a formal tone that is often essential in the work place. If you’re interested in learning more about writing professional emails and documents, look into Jakki Bendell’s How to Write Like a Professional.

When to Use The Phrase

While the closure, “with best regards,” is perhaps best suited for a more formal letter that is meant to convey a disappointment or more serious content, the phrase can also be used in regular daily communications. The expression effectively expresses thankfulness toward the recipient, and therefore acts as an excellent closure for personal as well as business emails and letters. While I wouldn’t recommend signing an email to your mom this way, it works with friends and co-workers as well as future clients and those in higher positions along the corporate ladder. Jane Watson, and author and consultant offers and excellent course on business email writing titled, Writing Effective Business Emails. In her course you’ll learn how to craft persuasive and professional emails, while simultaneously improving your writing skills.

When to Avoid The Phrase

As I mentioned above, you might not want to sign an email to your mother using “with best regards,” despite the fact that it is a polite and perfectly acceptable form of valediction. The phrase is a bit formal for close family members and friends, and is generally more commonly used in the workplace or to finish formal correspondences. I usually end my informal correspondences with “love” or “see you soon,” and rarely send along “best regards,” even if it’s clear I have a deep respect for the letter’s recipient. For more information on building a professional and personal network, head to Mike Fishbein’s How to Build an Awesome Professional Network. You’ll learn to better communicate with colleagues and acquaintances, and you’ll improve you’re ability to craft emails and texts.

Whether you’re writing a cover letter for a job application, or crafting an email to your landlord about that security deposit return, the words “with best regards,” can really go a long way. Expressing both appreciation and recognition for your subject can have a great impact on that person’s self worth and his or her view of you, the writer. While letter writing seems to be nearly obsolete, emails bombard us daily and require our constant attention. Learning how to craft one that is both compelling and persuasive can be an effective tool to have in your back pocket. To learn more about communicating effectively and honing your interpersonal skills, check out Donald White’s course Communication Skills- Consulting Skills Series. In it you’ll find helpful tips and tricks for improving your ability to interact with others.