Writing Effectively at The World Health Organization

Opening and closings for informal letters

Opening and closing sentences can be challenging to compose. However, your purpose and your main message provide a focus for introducing the topic and for ending the communication. There are some standard kinds of sentences, too, that may provide you with some ideas about how to open and close your informal letter.

Responsive Letter
Openings Closings

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concern over [situation X]

We are sending the information about XX that you requested in your letter of [date]

I was pleased to receive your invitation

I'm writing to express appreciation for your cooperation (support, assistance)

If you have further questions, please contact me [give contact information]

Thank you for your interest in WHO [our programme, this project, this area]

Thank you for your assistance [or cooperation, or invitation]

I hope this information will be of assistance
Initiative Letter
Openings Closings

I would like to inquire about …

Could you send me some information about …

I am writing to ask for your help in …

We would appreciate any information [assistance] you can provide.

Since there is some urgency in this matter, I would appreciate receiving an answer from you by [date].

Please call me [telephone contact number] to discuss this further.

Thank you for taking time to consider this request.

The format of an informal letter will vary according to the standards and established practises in your region. You can find styles and standards in the WHO Style Guide, and many regions have their own style guides.

WHO style is to use set pairs of standard salutations and closings, according to whether or not the name of the addressee appears in the salutation.

Letters – Standard Salutations and Closings
Name is used Name is not used

Dear Mr [Ms or Dr] [name]

Yours sincerely,


Dear Sir [Madam],

Yours faithfully,


© WHO 2011