How to End an Email Professionally: Sign-Offs to Use and Avoid

How to End an Email Professionally

How you end an email and your email sign-offs are important. It leaves your recipient with a lasting impression of you – and you want to make sure that impression is a positive one.

A professional email closing leaves the reader with a good impression of you and of your business. An unprofessional email closing has the opposite effect.

You don’t want to use the same sign-off in every situation, however. Depending on the type of email you’re sending and how well you know its recipient, you can tweak your sign-off for best results. Remember, this is your final chance to leave an impression – so make it a good one.

There are good ways to end an email and not-so-good ways to end an email. In this blog, you’ll learn the right way to end a professional email, with some clear examples of the best ways to end an email.

Guidelines for Closing a Professional Email 

You’re finishing up an email and you want to be sure to leave a good last impression. Here are some basic guidelines to follow:

• Don’t skip the closing. You may feel that this one is obvious, but it happens a lot. Since email is a more casual form of communication, it’s not uncommon for an email writer to skip formalities like the opening and closing—even in business emails.

• Make sure the closing is appropriate. Your email closing should take your audience into consideration. For example, you wouldn’t want to close an email to your boss with the word “love.” Although, that’s a perfectly appropriate ending for an email to your mother.

• Be sincere. Your closing should be genuine and realistic. This may require some thought on your part. For example, you wouldn’t want to end an email to an out-of-town colleague with the words “See You Soon” unless you really are going to see them in the near future.

• Check spelling and grammar. A closing full of typos and grammar errors leaves the reader with the impression that you are sloppy and unprofessional. It just takes a few minutes to read over your email and use the spell check tool. Take those minutes.

• Use your full name. Unless you are very well-known to the recipient, you should use your full name in an email rather than just your first name. Even if you do know that recipient well, they could know more than one person with your first name.

• Include a call to action or next step. The final sentences above your signature are important too. A call to action tells the reader how they should respond to your email. Don’t assume that they’ll automatically know what the next step is.

These are just a few important guidelines to use when closing a professional email. Now, let’s look at how to choose the right email closing phrase.

Choosing the Right Email Closing Phrases 

Always: This is a fine choice for people you’ve built an ongoing working relationship with. It reassures your contact that things are as good between you as they’ve ever been.

Best: Best conveys best wishes in a cheerful, pithy way. If you get a lot of email, you know that nearly everyone uses this sign-off. That familiarity makes it seamless in the same way that regards is seamless in more formal emails. The downside is that it can be safe and dull, especially if you want your message to be dynamic and attention-getting.

Regards: Yes, it’s a bit stodgy, but it works in professional emails precisely because there’s nothing unexpected or remarkable about it.

Sincerely: Are you writing a cover letter? Sincerely conveys the right tone for formal correspondence. Keep in mind that it’s likely to come off as stuffy in more casual business emails.

Thanks: A simple thanks is also a solid choice when you want to express gratitude. But, just like thanks in advance, it can convey a tone of expectancy. Save it for when you actually mean to imply, “I expect you to do this.”

Professional Email Closing Phrases to Avoid 

Love: Save this one for family, close friends, and your significant other. The same applies to hugs or XOXO.

Thx: You’re not thirteen, and this isn’t a conversation happening in a messaging app. Use your words.

Yours truly: Do you really, truly belong to the recipient? Nope. This sounds insincere and hokey . . . unless you’re writing a letter home to your parents from summer camp.

Have a blessed day: It’s best to keep anything with religious overtones out of your professional correspondence, although this one’s fine if you’re emailing an acquaintance about what you’re bringing to the church potluck.

[Nothing at all]: We live in a world where people frequently email from mobile devices, so excluding a signature certainly isn’t a no-no as an email chain progresses, particularly if your recipient also drops the more formal sign-off. But not signing an initial email or using only the formal signature you’ve created to append to your outgoing emails comes off as impersonal. 

Sent from my iPhone: This may be the most common sign-off of them all. It has merits, of course. It explains away brevity and typos—who’s at their best when typing on a phone? But it also conveys that you don’t care enough to do away with the default email signature that came stock with your device’s email app.

As you probably noticed, the examples above can be used as an email template. There’s a good reason for that. Templates are a great way to add an extra degree of professionalism to your business email.

Here are some reasons to use professional email templates:

  1. Saves Time. With an email template, you don’t have to create your own professional looking electronic signature. All you need to do is modify the template to include your own information.
  2. Saves Money. Using a professional email template means you don’t have to pay a designer to create a brand-new template for your email signatures.
  3. Professional. Since email templates are created by design professionals, the template you use will follow design conventions and appear professional.
  4. Proven. You can see the number of downloads and ratings to determine how well a particular email template has worked for others.

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