When writing a business email, it is critical to make sure you structure the email in a professional way. From choosing the right recipient to having a clean body, a tidy email is paramount to effective communication.
The average worker spends around 28% of their time on email each day, and each workday around 144 billion emails are sent worldwide.
When writing an email to a coworker, boss or client, it’s important to make everything clean and to the point so you aren’t wasting anyone’s time—we all have hundreds of emails to sort through!
Signing off properly in an email can make or break the entire communication. An email can be worded perfectly without any kind of grammatical error, but a wrong sign off can completely deter the recipient.
Regardless if you’re emailing a coworker, a client or your grandma, it’s important to close your emails in an effective way. First, it’s important to look at the rest of the email before you think about the sign off.
General Email Etiquette Tips
Just as an improper signoff can deter the recipient, so can an improperly constructed email. Look at the body of your email to make sure you aren’t committing any of these email faux pas:
Check your grammar and spelling. Proofread, proofread and proofread again. Grammatical errors in an email can automatically affect the way a coworker, superior or client sees you. Your grandma may forgive you for using the wrong form of there/their/they’re, but a client may stop having you put together and edit their newsletter.
Always proofread and take time to look through your emails before sending them. You don’t want someone to think of you as less than competent just because you said “to” instead of “too.”
Avoid Slang. Even though email can be interpreted as a type of instant message, it is still a professional way to communicate with colleagues and clients. Shortcuts, slang and emojis all undermine the professional aspects of what you’re trying to discuss.
Using slang doesn’t save you as much time as you think—just play it safe and type out full length, businesslike emails.
Try to avoid jokes or sarcasm. A joke said in an email will never come off quite the same as when it’s said in person, so it’s best to avoid this altogether. It’s perfectly fine to be kind but without facial expressions or body language, jokes or sarcasm are hard to read.
This is especially important when emailing someone from a different country, or even a different state. You never know what people find funny and what they find offensive. Be polite and save the jokes for in-person communication when you can have better context.
10 Professional, Concise Ways to Close your Emails
- Best. Best is a fairly basic email signature. It’s polite and poignant—there’s no way someone could misinterpret best.
- Regards. Regards is more of an impersonal way to respectfully end an email, but it is still professional and kind.
- Thank you. Like Regards, this isn’t as personal, but it’s still a safe and polite way to end an email—especially after giving an instruction or after someone has given you information.
- Much appreciated. This is always a nice way to end an email after someone has done you a special favor or has promised you a special favor.
- Warmly. Warmly is a nice, warm (pun intended!) way to end an email that should probably be used with closer colleagues, but is still a perfectly professional way to close a communication.
- Cordially. Cordially is more of a formal sign off, and is probably best used when cold emailing or reaching out to a colleague or client that you aren’t as familiar with.
- Respectfully. This example is a more formal sign off as well, but it’s good to use in situations where you’re contacting a boss, supervisor or other superior.
- Best Wishes. It’s like saying best, but making it slightly more personal and warm. This is a good way to end an email if you’re not going to see a client or colleague for a while.
- Cheers. This is more of a trendy way of signing off on your email, but if you’re sending an email to a close coworker or even a friend, this is appropriate.
- Talk to you soon. Although it isn’t as universal, ‘Talk to you soon’ is a nice professional way of letting someone know you’ll contact them again soon or that you’d like to continue your conversation.
Email is an interesting space—especially since emails can almost be read as a businesslike instant message. It’s important to remember that while you navigate the space of emails, you keep your content, language and signoffs professional—unless, of course, you’re shooting a quick note to grandma.
There are hundreds of ways to sign off an email and we’ve outlined 10 common ones. These 10 are baseline, professional options when you’re looking to change up the way you sign off an email, but keep in mind that you always want to make sure you keep things professional.
Try one of these, or try all of them! No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to sound like you mean—and know—business.