Email Sign-Offs: The Definitive Guide
Let’s talk about email sign offs, how many times have you sat staring at your blinking cursor while trying to decide on the best way to sign off an email?
Should you go with “sincerely” or “all the best”? Or maybe a cheeky “cheers”?
Sometimes figuring out how to end your email can take even longer than writing the message itself.
But that’s OK, because the sign-off is just as important at the content of your email. The way you choose to close your email says a lot about your relationship with your recipient and will influence the way they respond to you.
So it’s crucial to get it right.
Email Sign-Off Etiquette
How should you end your emails?
When your email recipient finishes reading your message they should find two things at the bottom of your email:
- Your sign-off, followed by your name
- Your email signature
Both of these are essential.
Your sign-off signals to your email recipient that your email has come to an end, and this is your parting message. Ending an email without a sign-off is like walking away from someone at the end of a conversation without saying goodbye. It doesn’t leave a good impression.
Your email signature allows your recipient to quickly identify you, before even reading the email, and to easily find the various ways that they can get in contact with you.
What sign off should you use?
And now we get to the big question. What is the best way to sign off your emails?
Unfortunately there really isn’t any one answer.
The way that you choose to end your email may depend on what you’re comfortable with and what your relationship is with the person who you are addressing.
Here is a list of the most commonly used email sign-offs:
This is recognized at the most commonly used email sign off, and looking through my inbox I have to agree that this probably true. But I also agree with Judith Kallos that “best” is a rather benign and flavorless way to end an email. Many people who were once regular “best” users have since switched over to more meaningful sign-off choices.
A slightly warmer sign-off than “best.” It could be a good choice for when sending a quick message to someone or when responding to an email.
I’ve seen this sign-off mentioned by others but I can’t recall ever receiving an email in which it was used. I think I would remember it too, because this unnecessary abbreviation would annoy me.
This is the sign-off that I use the most frequently in my professional correspondences. It’s slightly formal but also has a friendly feel to it. I think it works well with almost any email.
All the best
Breezy but not too casual for professional emails, this one is generally a good choice.
Kind regards/ warm regards
I don’t think I have ever actually used either one of these but they have a feel-good sentiment that I like. When I do receive emails that sign off with one of these messages I can’t help but feel more favorable towards the sender.
This sign-off sounds a bit too much like a warning to me (take care? Do you know something that I don’t) and if used at all, should be reserved for personal emails.
If you’re wondering when to use “sincerely” in an email the answer is: very rarely.
While this used to be a common way to close a handwritten note, today it would be considered a little too formal for most email exchanges.
You’ll probably come across a few situations in which “sincerely” is appropriate, such as when emailing a cover letter or when sending a formal letter to a superior or government official.
Thanking your email recipient at the end of the message is a common practice which gives the note a friendly tone. Some people say that this sign-off should only be used when you are actually thanking your email recipient for something specific. Others use this sign-off for most of their emails.
According to a poll conducted by Huffington Post a majority of people don’t mind receiving a thank you at the end of their emails, and find it a lot less annoying than most of the other sign-off options.
I personally do use this sign-off quite often and view the “thank you” as an appreciation to the recipient for taking the time to read through my message.
Similar to the full-out “thank you.” Though be aware that to some people a simple “thanks” may come across as a bit terse. Attaching an exclamation point to the end can make the thank you sound a bit more sincere and enthusiastic.
Thanks so much
Adds a note of sincerity to your thank you.
Another warmer alternative to a simple thank you.
I have never received a professional email with this sign-off and I would probably be taken aback if I did. But according to Will Schwalbe, author of, “SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better,” it’s become acceptable to use this sign-off in casual business correspondences
Save this one for emailing good friends, or your mother.
For close friends and family members.
I like the cheerful vibe of this sign-off though I personally don’t think I could pull it off.
If this is something you’d say in real life then you can probably get away with it in your emails as well. Otherwise, it may come across as pretentious if you’re not British or Australian.
Simply ending an email with your name can be OK when exchanging quick messages with colleagues but in any other situation it will likely be seen as cold and abrupt.
Respectfully/ Respectfully yours/ Very respectfully
These are too formal for most email communications.
“Respectfully” and “very respectfully” or (V/R) are used in the military and they also may be appropriate for emailing government officials and clergy
This could also be a good sign-off for an email to someone that you deeply admire and respect.
Yours/ Yours Truly
A formal sign-off that was more commonly used for written letters, back in the day.
Sent from my iPhone
The reviews on this sign-off are mixed. Some feel that using this sign-off helps excuse a message’s typos or brevity. Others see it as a way to humble brag about owning an iPhone or as an easy out for being too lazy to double-check an email for errors.
Sent from my smartphone
An alternative to “Sent from my iPhone” for those who don’t feel the need to share the model of their phone.
A fun way to end an email, though before using it consider if it’s appropriate for the context and recipient.
Unique email sign-offs
Sometimes a unique sign-off can help make your email memorable. Just make sure it’s not a sign-off that’s too obscure or just really annoying.
Here are a few out-of-the-box sign-offs shared by Susan Adams in her article 89 Ways To Sign Off On An Email.
- High five from down low
- Sent from a prehistoric stone tablet
- Now go do that voodoo that you do so well!
- Stay gold
- Make it a great day!
Or there’s this one from Neil deGrasse Tyson:
Other good options for closing an email
Instead of using a one-word sign-off, you can wrap up your emails with a messages that conveys your interest in helping your recipient or which encourages some kind of action.
Looking forward to hearing from you
According to this article from Business Insider, ending your email in this way can be presumptuous if you’re asking someone for a favor, but it’s fine if you’re doing something for someone else.
Let me know what you think
A gentle way to encourage your recipient to offer their feedback on something.
Thanks so much for all of your help
This is a bit more detailed and sincere than a simple thank you.
Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with
This message is appropriate for a customer support email.
I hope this helps
A feel-good way to end an email in which you had offered helpful information or advice.
Keep up the great work
This is a nice way to sign off on an email to an employee or someone that has done a service for you,
Email Sign-Offs Best Practices
How to end a business email, with examples
Throughout the week you’ll send out many different types of emails and it might be tempting to save time by ending each email in the same way.
Don’t. That would be a mistake.
For each email that you send you have to take into consideration who you are emailing and what your message is, and then use an appropriate sign-off.
Writing “later ‘gator” in an email to your boss probably wouldn’t leave a great impression, and using “sincerely” in a message to your coworker would look really strange.
Here are some common examples of business emails, and the most appropriate sign-offs for each one
How to sign off an email to someone you don’t know well
When emailing someone that you don’t know very well take into consideration the content of the email and the identity of your recipient when picking which sign-off to use.
In general, you’re best off going with a friendly but slightly formal sign-off like “best regards” or “all the best.”
If you expect to see or meet the recipient in the near future then you can end the email with “I Iook forward to speaking with you” or I look forward to meeting you.”
How to sign off a cover letter
A cover letter is one of the few instances in which using the sign-off “sincerely” is appropriate since the email is a formal one.
You can also end your email with “I look forward to hearing from you,” which will make you sound confident and serves as a gentle prod to your recipient to respond to your message.
Another good option is “thank you for your time” which shows appreciation towards the hiring manager and will leave a positive impression.
How to sign off an email to a colleague
Emails to colleagues are usually more casual than other work correspondences and the sign-off that you use will depend on how close you are to your recipient.
In general, any of the below sign-offs would work:
- Take care
- Talk to you later
If your colleague has helped you out with something, or you are requesting their help, you can end the email with a “thank you” or “thanks so much for your help.”
You might not even need to include a sign-off if it’s someone that you are close with and whom you email regularly throughout the day. Such emails are more like quick text messages, which don’t require any sign-off.
Though in some work environments it may be common for colleagues to use more intimate sign-offs, such as “XOXO” or “warm regards,” as seems to be the case where Matthew J.X. Malady (who’s vehemently against sign-offs) works.
How to sign off an email to your boss
The sign-off that you use in an email to your boss will depend on the kind of relationship that you have with him or her.
If you have a casual relationship, as is often the case for anyone working at a small company or startup, then a casual sign-off would be suitable.
- Thanks so much!
If you work at a company where your relationship with your boss is more distant and formal then a formal sign-off would be appropriate.
- Thank you
- Best regards
- Best wishes
How to sign off an email to a client
The sign-off that you use with clients will depend on your industry, the content of your message and your relationship with your client.
When emailing a new client who you are just getting to know it’s a good idea to keep the tone of the email slightly formal and to use a sign-off such as “best regards,” “kind regards,” or “all the best.”
Customer support email
When you write an email that provides a solution to a problem that your customer has encountered with your product or service, you can sign off using one of these options:
- Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
- Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
- Let me know if that helps.
- I hope this helped!
- Let me know if the problem persists.
When sending an email to a prospective customer you want to make sure that your sign-off leaves your recipient with a positive feeling about you and your business.
Here are some suitable options:
- Please let me know if you have any (other) questions that I can answer for you.
- Let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with.
- Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions/concerns.
- Thank you for your interest in doing business with us.
If you prefer to stick with a traditional sign-off then any of these would be a good choice:
- Best regards
- Kind regards
- All the best
- Thank you
How should you sign an email
While your sign-off provides the final farewell to your recipient and the signal that your message has ended, your email signature lets them know how they can get in contact with you.
In some cases your recipient might even scan your signature first in order to see who you are and what professional details they may glean about you.
So it’s important to have that information easily available to them.
Here is the basic information that your email signature should include:
- First and last name
- Company name
Graphic designer,Star Design
Most people also like to include contact details and links to other places online where they can be found. Here are some additional information that you may want to include in your signature:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Mailing address
- Social media profiles
Tips for getting the most out of your email signature
- Automate your email signature using a tool like WiseStamp so that once you set up your signature it will automatically be added to all of your emails. This will be a lot easier than copying and pasting your signature every time.
- Add a profile picture to your signature to help make you more memorable.
- Include a call-to-action in your signature to turn your emails into powerful marketing tools.
These can be in the form of banners, YouTube videos or even just a link inviting you email recipients to visit a landing page or participate in an upcoming event.
- Don’t make your signature too long or busy because it might distract your recipients from the main content of the email.
How are you going to sign off your next email?