Closing Messages of Emails and Letters

When I was a young lad, selling gumballs to family and pens I obtained for free to my school friends (at exorbitant prices, I might add) I one day stumbled across a Microsoft Word feature that offered stock closings: sincerely, very truly yours, etc. I soon became enthralled at the myriad ways one can end an email or letter. There was a stretch of time when I literally tried to change up my closing for each email I had with someone. Seth Levine — better known in blogland as the man who rocks to disco music — recently provided a humorous analysis of all the ways you can end letters. Here are my takes.

  • Aloha — This has been my go-to closing for the past several months. Some people have told me, "Hey! Aloha means hello. You can’t close with that." Not so. "Aloha" encompasses love, peace, good fortune, and best wishes. See Managing With Aloha for more. And no, I’ve never been to Hawaii.
  • Cheers – I’m a happy guy, and I want you to know that.
  • Best – I don’t want to spend time thinking of something more creative.
  • All the best – It’s been awhile.
  • Sincerely – I’m really formal. I probably wear heavy starched dress shirts.
  • Thanks – Your time is valuable, I respect that. Note: repeated use of this closing dilutes its meaning.
  • Hope all is well – I don’t give a shit how well you are, but I’m supposed to.
  • Warm regards – I have a high EI, thus I can inject "warmth" into plain regards.
  • [nothing but your name] – I’m as plain as vanilla ice cream.
  • [nothing but the first letter of your name] – I’m so busy, I can’t even type a few more letters.
  • Very truly yours – If in an email, the person is probably not a native speaker.
  • Cordially – I got too greedy with Microsoft Word thesaurus.
  • Best wishes – A sincere good luck and don’t talk to me again.
  • Onwards – Things couldn’t be worse, but there’s got to be better times ahead. Then again, maybe not.

So know that the next time you send me an email I am going to psycho-analyze the bejesus out of it!!

4 comments on “Closing Messages of Emails and Letters
  • Wonderful Ben! Welcome to the Ho‘ohana Community, the learning community of Managing with Aloha. Mahalo, thank you for reading, and you are right on: Aloha means so much more than hello and goodbye. When you use the word you share your inner spirit with true authenticity and connection with another person. We recently talked about this at a high school where I’d been invited to speak, and one of the students wrapped it up for me with his peers this way, “Okay, cool, now I can think of Aloha as always keeping it real.”

    I’ll be looking forward to the day you do come to Hawaii (and I have a feeling it will happen) for we’ll have to add a lei to the greeting experience for you 🙂

    Another common email ending we use is “A hui hou” Literally it means “until the next time” in English, but in Hawaii words have kaona (hidden meaning) and here people will tell you it means “Until the next time we have the opportunity to share the aloha which thrives between us.”

    Me ke aloha pumehana,

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