In previous articles we have discussed audience profiling, establishing a message objective, creating subject lines, writing introductions and organizing effective body messages. Once you write your lead and middle sections, it’s time to develop a strong close. If you have read our other articles and followed our tips, your close becomes simple. Keep in mind that the closing doesn’t need to be intense or emotional. It just needs to restate and reinforce why and how you want the recipient to behave. For example:
- If you have asked to confirm a meeting date, your closing might be: Please notify me if we can meet on Tuesday at 2 P.M. If not, please suggest an alternative time.
- If you are disseminating a report, your close might be: Please let me know if you have any questions or require additional details.
- If you have asked for the recipient to complete a task, your close might be: I look forward to receiving the requested material by January 5.
Conclude your message with a sign-off that is consistent with the formality and occasion of the message and relationship. For conservative situations, a closing line such as “Sincerely” is appropriate, whereas in most intraoffice and business communications a closing such as “Best regards” or “Thanks” is better. End with your name. One Houston French Translator suggests that if you know the person, you should generally only use your first name. Even if you write the person routinely, end with your name because it signifies an end to your message.
Last, your message must include a subject line. When developing the subject line, consider the entirety of your message, your recipient and your objective. Then craft a phrase to engage your audience’s attention. The subject should communicate that the message is important for the recipient to read. For more information, read our article on creating subject lines.