How do you end an email? We wish there was one best email sign-off that you could use in all your correspondence. Unfortunately, there’s none out there. Even business etiquette experts can have polarized opinions regarding the same email closing.
Emailing is all about context, and it’s especially true for email endings. While “Best regards” is perfectly fine for formal communication, it may sound too stiff and distant to your close coworkers. The same applies to most email closings. Here are a few things to keep in mind while choosing the best email sign-off.
How to sign off an email: 3 tips to succeed
- Pay attention to context. What is your relationship with a recipient? Do you know each other well? What is the overall level of formality in your company or industry? Answering these questions helps you pick the best email sign-off.
- Make sure a closing matches with a greeting. If you started an email with “Dear,” it’s pretty strange to use “xoxo” as an email ending. The email closing should always align with the overall tone of your message and the salutation you’ve chosen. For more help, check the best email greetings to use.
- If in doubt, stick to a more formal closing. You can always go more casual after you and a recipient know each other better.
Below, you’ll find a number of email endings that are appropriate for most situations and the ones you should definitely avoid in business emails.
7 email sign-offs for business emails
This is a common closer for formal emails although it may feel a bit distant and abrupt. If you’re looking for a more friendly sign-off, check a couple of variants with “regards” below.
A lot friendlier and warmer than a simple “Regards,” this email closing is a great choice for business correspondence.
This email ending is slightly less formal than “Kind regards,” but it’s still a safe bet for your business emails.
This is an appropriate sign-off for cover letters. Otherwise, it may sound too stuffy and formal, especially for more casual emails.
Warm, yet not overly casual, this greeting is suitable for business emails. Just make sure it aligns with the tone and content of your message. Writing unpleasant things in your email and then singing off with “Best wishes” is a bad idea.
This is the best email sign-off, according to Business Insider. “Best” is a safe and inoffensive choice for most occasions. At the same time, if you feel this email ending is too colloquial, you can pick “Best regards” for an initial email.
If you sincerely want to express gratitude, this email closing is fine to use. “Thanks” is pleasant and professional, although you’ll want to avoid it for more formal correspondence.
Keep in mind that, just like “Thanks in advance,” this sign-off may imply an expectation. If you don’t want to sound too demanding, it’s better to pick another email closing.
10 email endings to avoid
Respectfully or Respectfully yours
Use it if you’re addressing POTUS or government officials. For all other emails, this sign-off is overly formal.
Would you tell a recipient, “I am truly yours” in person? If not, don’t use this sign-off. It sounds way too old-fashioned and insincere for business emails.
While this ending may be OK for letters, it’s too old-school for modern emails. If you need to use a formal email closing, it’s better to pick “Kind regards.”
Use this email ending only if you’re really going to talk to a recipient soon. For example, it may be appropriate if you set up a meeting in your email. Otherwise, it looks fake and out of place.
Thx or Rgrds
This is a big time no-no for professional correspondence. Such a sign-off only demonstrates your carelessness and disrespect. All in all, this is an email, not a text message.
This is fine when you’re emailing your friends and family but inappropriate for all other situations.
Just like with “Love,” you should avoid it in business communication.
Sent from my iPhone
Everybody is definitely happy that you have an iPhone, but why not replace this default sign-off with a real email closing? Show a recipient that you care enough to craft a thoughtful response and email ending.
“Sent from my iPhone” may work as an excuse for typos, but simply rereading your message before sending works even better.
-[Name] or -[Initials]
This closing may work for short casual emails in a long email chain. But it looks too abrupt for an initial email, especially a formal one addressed to someone you don’t know.
[No closing at all]
Choosing the right email sign-off is hard. That’s why it’s so tempting just to omit a closing. Don’t do it! Always include an appropriate ending, especially in initial emails. This shows a recipient that you take your correspondence seriously and care to be polite.
In a long email chain, the other person may stop including their sign-off, and it’s fine for you to do the same. All in all, repetitive “Best regards” or “Thanks” look redundant in your ongoing dialogue.
How to format an email closing
The sign-off you’ve chosen goes to the end of your email, followed by a comma and your full name.
For business emails, you’ll also want to paste your company name, job title, and contact details. Just don’t include too much information in your email signature. It’s fine to add your phone number and website or LinkedIn profile, but listing all your social media pages is unnecessary.
Here’s an example of how to sign off an email:
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