By Carly Bauer, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
Having proper email etiquette at work can help set you up for success when communicating with other professionals. It sets the tone for your email and acknowledges the recipient in a polite, respectable manner and helps establish you as a credible person in your role. Email etiquette is a highly valued skill that every professional should have in their tool belt and know how to use effectively. It is a major communication method in the professional world and when done poorly your efforts won’t be fruitful. In this blog post I am going to be focusing on using the right sign-off for your work emails or any professional emails you send.
The importance of using the right sign-off
Some may consider an email as a form of communication that’s between a letter and a formal instant message. Although an email is not a formal letter, the sign-off remains an important part of concluding your message and ending it with the right tone.
The content of your sign-off depends on what you are trying to achieve within your email.
- Are you trying to inform your audience about something?
- Are you asking your audience to take action or respond?
- Does your audience expect you to be formal or more casual?
- Consider what your existing relationship looks like with your audience. Is it someone new, like a potential lead or new client? Is it someone you have already developed rapport with, like a coworker, long time client, or boss?
It’s important that your sign-off makes sense and works within the context of your email as it helps set the tone of how you communicate with your audience and their receptiveness back.
In sales and marketing, a great email sign-off engages the reader, can encourage them to convert, or help them to learn more about your organization. A good sign-off helps end your message on a strong note and provides next steps. For example, ‘Thank you’ implies a request has been made, while ‘Best’ or ‘Regards’ indicates that the sender has provided all the information they plan to share with the recipient.
Email sign-offs are a signal of respect. Without it, a recipient might think that the sender either lacks basic business etiquette or simply forgot to end the message in the customary way – neither option makes a good impression.
Email signatures boost credibility. Most companies require employees to adopt a standardized company signature that is then customized to include the sender’s name, job title, and contact information. This helps build the corporate brand and boost the sender’s credibility. Email signatures may also include the company’s logo and relevant links to share more information and can enhance their credibility.
Types and examples of great email sign-offs
These kinds of sign-offs acknowledge a request was made in the email or expresses appreciation for your audience’s time and attention.
- Thank you
- Thanks again
- Thank you in advance
- Thank you for your consideration
- Many thanks
Expresses mutual respect and can be a good way to get readers on your side.
- Yours truly
A great way to leave a good impression and end on a positive note.
- Best wishes
- Wishing you all the best
- All the best
- Have a good/great day
- Take care
A more formal way of concluding your message
- (My) Regards
- Kindest regards
- Best regards
- Warm regards
Communicating next steps
If there is more information coming a reader’s way, the sign-off can be used to let them know or make them aware.
- I’ll be in touch
- More to come
Requesting a response back
Use your sign-off as a way to call the reader to action or ask for a response back.
- Chat soon
- Let me know
- Keep me posted
- Looking forward to hearing from you
Things to avoid
While opinions can vary on the appropriateness of many email sign-offs, there are some ways of ending an email that most people can agree should be avoided in a professional context.
- Your name or just your initials with no sign-off. It can come across as unfinished and at times careless, especially in an initial email. It also expresses a lack of respect by not addressing the recipient accordingly.
- Using “Love” or “xoxo”. An expression of endearment for close and less formal relations, like to a family member or best friend. But it’s too familiar for a business context and depending on the context of the email and the role of the recipient, it’s simply not appropriate.
- “Peace”. Another sign-off that is good in a personal context but is not ideal or appropriate in a business context and most likely doesn’t support the purpose of your email to the recipient.
- “Thx” or “Rgrds”. We aren’t teenagers and we are not texting. A sign-off like this, communicates, laziness, disrespect, and lack of intention to a reader.
- “TTYL”, “TAFN”, “TTFN”, etc. Slang and acronyms like TTYL (talk to you later) or TAFN (that’s all for now) are simply unprofessional. These are other examples that express laziness, incompetence, and disrespect to a recipient, especially when communicating about business matters.
- Nothing at all. Not signing an initial email or using only the formal signature you’ve created to append to your outgoing emails comes off as impersonal. Excluding a signature certainly isn’t a no-no (some may disagree) as an email chain progresses, particularly if your recipient also drops the more formal sign-off. But it’s crucial to have an appropriate sign-off and signature when initially sending an email to start a conversation or address a specific matter.
- “Have a blessed day”. It’s best to keep anything with religious overtones out of your professional engagements as a consideration for everyone’s religious stance. The exception would be if the email was to someone regarding a religious matter, such as a church event.
I hope some of these insights and tips are helpful in your email development journey. For more about how to address someone in an email, here are a couple great resources from Email Etiquette Guru and Indeed.
If you are looking to write effective marketing emails, here are four great tips! Even if you are just starting out and consider yourself a not-so-great writer, here are some tips for you.