Do you want to write a professional mail but are not sure of the business e-mail format? Are you worried about making embarrassing mistakes? First, you must learn how to format a professional e-mail, to ensure that your message is received well. What should the greeting be? What is the perfect e-mail structure? How can you avoid that the subject line leads to your e-mail being disregarded? Here...
From “Best” to “Sincerely”: The way you end an email is just as important as how you start it. Those last few words are a chance to show your professionalism and take care of your (business) relationship with the email’s recipient. Keep reading for an overview of common email sign offs, including which formulations are safe and which you should avoid.
- Classic email sign offs
- Casual email sign offs
- Email endings with “thank you”
- General tips for email sign offs
- Other tips for closing an email
- Three examples of a good email ending
- Mistakes to avoid
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Classic email sign offs
|Email sign off||Tone/meaning|
|Best||By far the most common email sign off; neutral, safe, and friendly|
|All the best||On par with “Best”, in case you feel like switching it up|
|Best regards||A slightly more formal version of “Best”|
|Regards||Another neutral sign off that it’s hard to go wrong with; less common than “Best” and a touch more formal|
|Warm regards||For when you want to add some heart to your email sign off without losing on professionality|
|Sincerely||For very formal contexts|
You should always end cover letters and job applications with “Sincerely”.
Casual email sign offs
|Email sign off||Tone/meaning|
|Have a great day!||Personal and positive|
|Have a nice weekend!||A variation appropriate for Fridays|
|Warmly||Can be used to indicate a close relationship with the recipient|
In the UK and Australia, “Cheers” is a common casual email ending. You may come across it in the US as well, but some people consider it odd when coming from someone with no ties to those countries.
Email endings with “thank you”
|Email sign off||Tone/meaning|
|Thank you!/Thank you,||A friendly and grateful response to an email; errs on the side of less formal|
|Thanks!/Thanks,||An even more informal variation on the above|
|Thanks in advance||Appropriate when you have asked the recipient for something; while usually harmless it might come across as pushy in the wrong context, so be careful.|
|Hope this helps!||A nice sign off for an email in which you have answered questions for the recipient|
All of these gratitude endings assume a certain familiarity with the recipient and shouldn’t be used alone in an initial email or a formal environment. However, a “Thank you” can always be paired with one of the classic email sign offs listed above to make it more appropriate.
General tips for email sign offs
In general, the email ending you choose will mostly be determined by your relationship with the recipient. When in doubt, it’s best to play it safe in professional contexts and use a neutral sign off. Keep in mind that even in digital communication you’re representing not only yourself but also your company. Your email sign off should reflect this. Try to match the tone and word choice of the person you’re corresponding with - are they already signing off with their first name or are they keeping things formal?
You can get a sense of how casual you can be based on certain characteristics of the email recipient - for example, their position, age, and company culture/culture in their sector. In the startup scene, communication is usually very casual from the start. When it comes to banks, insurance, and government offices, communication will probably stay on the level of more formal email etiquette.
Other tips for closing an email
A complete email ending is about more than just the sign off. Don’t forget these other important elements:
- Closing line: Before the email sign off itself, you should include a sentence that sums up the rest of the email and/or signals to the recipient what you expect from them. For example, you might request that they get back to you or send you documents mentioned in the email.
- Your full name: In more formal situations, you should always sign your full name at the end of an email. Even in more casual contexts, it’s a good idea to include your full name at the end of your email to avoid confusion. After all, you might not be the only one at your company with your first name.
- Position and contact information: This information is usually included in your email signature. If you don’t already have one, you should absolutely create an email signature. The signature should be present in all of your emails, even if you’re in regular contact with a person. That way your phone number and other contact information is easily accessible.
And of course, a good sign off is only as strong as the rest of the email. Make sure you know how to best write a business email.
Three examples of a good email ending
Example 1: Response after receiving important documents within a project
I’m looking forward to hearing about your availability for reviewing the documents.
Example 2: Application for a new position at a traditional company
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Example 3: Response to a meeting invitation
I look forward to the meeting on Monday.
Have a nice weekend!
Check out our digital guide on how to optimize your email signature.
Mistakes to avoid
While opinions vary on the appropriateness of many email sign offs, there are some ways of ending an email that most people agree should be avoided in a professional context:
- “Name”/“Name” with no sign off: Comes off unfinished and slightly careless, especially in an initial email.
- “Love”/“xoxo”: Too familiar for a business context, unless the recipient happens to be your best friend
- “Peace”: Another email sign off that works well in a personal context but is inappropriate in a business context.