Email Sign Offs: Using the Right Email Closing

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 15, 2020

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It’s little disputed that email is one of the most common communication methods in the business world. Whether you’re conducting business deals, solving client needs, or applying for a job, your career may rely on you being able to send well-crafted emails.

When doing this, it’s essential that you are able to not only craft a friendly yet professional opening and body of your message, but also that you know how to end it on the right note.

Why Email Closings Are Important

Have you ever eaten something that tasted good while you were eating it, but then it left an unpleasant aftertaste, making you hesitate to eat it again?

Emails are the same way. No matter how professional and polite the rest of your message is, your ending can either add to your interaction’s pleasantness and effectiveness or leave the reader hesitant to continue corresponding with you.

It can also impact the likelihood that you’ll get a response, as a good closing can reiterate that you need the recipient to follow up with you. It can also provide additional motivation for them to respond to you, as people tend to be more likely to help friendly, thankful people.

What to Include in Your Email Closing

  1. Wrap up the body of your message with a closing line. Your email closing is more than a signoff phrase and your name, and it starts in the last line of your email.

    This final line should be a call to action, a note of thanks, or an offer to answer additional questions – whatever helps create a positive tone for the email and leaves the reader with a pleasant impression of you.

  2. Choose an appropriate closing. While simply signing your name at the end of an email is appropriate in some instances, it’s typically not a good idea to start an email conversation this way. Using an appropriate closing along with your name helps set and maintain the tone of your conversation.

  3. Sign off with your full name. Even if your first name is incredibly unique, it’s still a best practice to sign off with your full name, especially on the first email you send to a person.

    This helps them fully know who you are and prevents them from getting you mixed up with someone else with the same first name. (This happens more than you might think and can have embarrassing consequences.)

  4. Finish with your title and contact information. If your company doesn’t already require this, make sure you include this information on your signature. You don’t necessarily need to as the conversation continues, but it’s a good idea to add it to at least your initial email.

    Having this easy access to your contact information not only allows the recipient to know exactly who they’re talking to, but it can also save you both a lot of time by removing the need for them to ask you for that information.

Tips for Creating a Professional Email Closing

Now that you know what you need to include in your email closing, here are some tips for making it as effective as possible:

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  1. Keep your contact information brief. If your company doesn’t already have a standard email signature, or even if it does, it can be tempting to list every phone number, email address, and portfolio link possible in your closing.

    Don’t give in to this temptation, though, and keep it to the bare minimum to avoid bogging down your email thread and annoying your recipient.

    If you don’t have a standard, company-wide signature, you should also consider what you need to include for the particular person you’re addressing. If you’re emailing someone who works at the same company as you, you probably don’t need to include the organization’s name, but mentioning your title may be beneficial.

  2. Don’t include any quotes. These are often more distracting and confusing than they are helpful, especially if they’re meant to be funny or ironic. Some people may not appreciate your sense of humor, so it’s best to keep it professional and leave quotes out of your email closing.

  3. Leave off large photos or company logos. If your organization doesn’t require you to include these features, don’t add them. They can cause your emails to load slowly and create formatting problems. Plus, they just get clunky to have to scroll past if you’re trying to read back through an email chain.

  4. Tailor your closing to the situation. Even if you have a go-to email closing, take a second to make sure it’s appropriate for the particular message you’re sending. Depending on the recipient and purpose, you may need to adjust it slightly.

    You can even use a more formal phrase in your first message and an informal one during the rest of your conversation.

  5. Focus on being professional instead of expressing your personality. While it may be tempting to make your sign-off unique, it’s better to aim toward one that is crowd-pleasing.

    Choose a basic font and color for your signature, and don’t use any emojis or other graphics that aren’t provided by the company.

    While you and your close colleagues may enjoy these little touches, not everyone will, and it may affect your ability to get a response from or build a professional relationship with the recipient.

Email Closings To Use

When you’re choosing an email closing phrase, here are a few classic ones to pick from:

  1. Thanks. Ever a classic, this is a solid casual yet professional closing phrase.

  2. Thank you. Slightly more formal than “thanks,” this closing is always a safe option.

  3. Thanks so much. This is an especially warm way to close an email and can be used in many circumstances.

  4. With gratitude. An even more formal version of “thank you,” this closing is best used when making a formal request of someone you haven’t met.

  5. Sincerely. This is a safe way to end a formal letter or email, especially if you’re writing a cover letter.

  6. Best. A friendly yet professional sign-off, this is a good go-to choice if you want to be somewhat generic.

  7. Regards. Brief, amicable, and neutral, this is also a safe option.

  8. Best regards. A step warmer than just plain “regards,” this closing exudes goodwill and professionalism.

  9. Warm regards. Similar to “best regards,” the difference is mainly a question of preference and personality.

  10. Cordially. Very formal, this phrase is a touch friendlier than “sincerely.”

  11. Respectfully. This is an excellent option if you’re writing a formal note to someone in authority over you, especially if you’re asking a question or making a request.

  12. -Your name/-Your initials. If you’ve been in one email thread for a while now with someone, this can be a good option to help keep the conversation moving. This isn’t a good idea for an initial email, though.

Email Closings to Avoid

While there may be some instances to use these closing phrases, you should use them with care, as people often view them as unprofessional and even annoying:

  1. Cheers. This can be fun if you know the person you’re writing to well, but beyond that, only use it if you’re actually from Great Britain or Australia.

  2. Peace. Again, this might be appropriate for emails to your close coworker friends, but it isn’t very professional to use when emailing anyone outside of that small circle, including your boss.

  3. Your friend. This tends to read like you’re writing to your grade-school pen pal and is best avoided in professional correspondence.

  4. Yours truly/faithfully. This can also be misinterpreted, as it’s often associated with romantic notes or letters to dear friends.

  5. Thanks a million/bunch. While this may be a friendly way to sign a note to a colleague you have a strong personal relationship with, you should avoid it in any other circumstance.

  6. Rgrds. While abbreviations are helpful when you’re sending a message from your phone, this one tends to look lazy since it’s only missing two letters.

Five Examples of How To End an Email

  1. If you’re signing off on a cover letter, this is an example of an appropriate closing:

    Sincerely,

    Amy Stuart

    Administrative Assistant
    333-444-5555
    amys@email.com

  2. If you’re talking to a subordinate or external contractor about a project’s status, you might close your email with something like this:

    I appreciate all your help with this project. Please let me know what questions you have.

    Thank you,

    John Wolf

    Director of Marketing, ACME Inc.
    555-333-2222

  3. When you’re sharing details with a colleague about an interdepartmental project you’re working on together, this is one good way to close your email:

    I look forward to working with you on this project!

    Best,

    Jane Herman

    Sales Representative
    janeh@email.com
    111-222-3333

  4. This email closing is a great option if you’re asking someone for information:

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Thanks,

    Jim Stevens

    Account Representative
    Jones Interiors
    2222 S Main Street
    Lincoln, NE 44444

    jims@email.com
    333-222-5555

  5. When you’re sending an email with information or an answer to a question, you could close with something like this:

    Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks so much,

    Rhonda Seaburg

    Interior Designer, Homes R Us
    333-222-9999, rhondas@email.com

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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