Your business email sign-off is like the bow on a package. It wraps your message up with a final touch. This touch can help to solidify the tone and intent of your communications.
You want to be perceived favorably. So how do you go about closing your emails with the appropriate tone?
Many also stress their concern about not looking redundant by always using the same closing. So let’s talk about your options and considerations.
Using the Proper Email Sign-Off
All sign-offs need to include your name. Whether you include your first name alone or first and last name is dependent on the level of formality you want to relay in your email.
You can include your last name for first-time contacts, but that isn’t necessary for subsequent communications. If you have your email program set up properly, your last name is in the From: field.
Your Choices Set the Tone
Not only does how you sign your name set the tone of an email, so does how you choose to sign off. Some have their own way of signing off that reflects individuality or their personality.
For example, I am known for signing off my emails with “At your service” or “Virtually.” (If you see anyone else using these closings, you now know where they got it from!)
Most Popular Sign-ups (and my comments)
Best what? Not a fan of this one. I would go with Best regards.
Yours for what? Alternative: Yours truly.
Good for new contacts.
- Best regards,
Commonly used in business communications.
- Best wishes,
What do we wish for? Better for personal emails.
A staple of business sign-offs — if you are, in fact, being sincere!
- Kindest regards, Warmest regards,
Good for professional communications where you’ve communicated before and genuinely appreciate/like the other side.
- I remain yours truly,
Not sure where this fits in professional communications. More of a sign-off that a “fanboy/girl” would use.
Use contacts that have an established relationship.
- Thanks again,
Always a good sign-off when asking for help or thanking for previous assistance.
- My sincere thanks for your time and consideration,
When asking someone to go out of their way for you, this sign-off fits.
- Take care,
I use this quite often. It’s a nice sign-off that shows how I feel.
- Continued success,
This seems more of an end of email statement such as “To your continued success!” rather than an email sign-off.
Use Your Discretion
Discretion is key to relay the status of the relationship. For example, you wouldn’t use “I remain yours truly” in business communications. However, you would use that closing with someone that you admire, like, or would like to have a friendly email relationship with.
Whereas “Regards” is the other end of the scale. Very professional, unemotional, and depending on the content of the email, could be perceived as a terse closing. I tend to use this sign-off when I don’t have an enjoyable or friendly relationship with the person I am communicating with.
A sign-off that does not match the essence of the email’s text can be perceived as being sarcastic or possibly rude. For example, I doubt if you were sending a professionally stern email that you would sign off with “Warmly.”
Before You Sign-Off
The above examples are not the end-all-be-all either. For example, your sign-off isn’t exclusively the words above your name separated by a comma. You can also use phrases that reflect the purpose of your email as well. Some examples could be:
- Good Job!
- All the best of success!
- I really appreciate your time/help/assistance!
- Have a great day!
- Keep up the good work!
- Thank you!
- Appreciate your quick response.
- Thank you for taking your time.
- Looking forward to your reply.
- Enjoy your weekend!
- HTH! (Hope This Helps!)
- Have a good one!
Your closing is the icing on the cake. It needs to align with your email’s overall tone and demeanor to ensure that your message is delivered with clarity. You don’t want to leave room for misunderstandings or incorrect perceptions.
Tone, Intent, Clarity
That is the dilemma we all face when writing and closing our emails. Determining the best words to use to relay the exact tone and intent — with clarity. From how you open your email to the content and then the sign-off, each part of your email is a component that contributes to the overall interpretation of your message.
By taking your time and choosing your words carefully from start to finish, your email signature file sign-offs will be one more indicator of what a pleasure it will be to communicate with you.