You’ve written the perfect email. The message starts with a killer salutation. After that, the body of the email sparkles with wit and charm. You’ve written persuasively, and your message is clear and easy-to-understand. Now what? You’ll need to come up with a conclusion that’s just as strong as the rest of your email! Luckily, we have a few time-tested email sign-offs to give you the perfect ending for your professional email. Before we get to the best closing lines, let’s examine some of the worst ways to conclude a business email.
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Avoid sending hugs and kisses to your colleagues. It’s not appropriate.
Even if you’ve been working with someone for years, think twice before sending your love in a business email. Save this sign-off for personal emails to close friends, family, and other beloveds.
Try not to abbreviate words in your closing phrase, especially in a formal email. Proofread your message for typos and to make sure that you’ve removed any internet shorthand—tbh, lol, smh, ttyl—before you press send.
Keep On Keepin’ On
While its common for friendly coworkers to conclude emails with silly phrases or song lyrics, be thoughtful about how you close a business letter. As an example, if you’re writing a cover letter to a potential employer, you probably don’t want to end your message with “positive vibes” or “rock on.” Unless you already have a close relationship with the recipient, these phrases are too informal.
When someone gets to the end of your message, you want that person to take action right away. When you write to someone for the first time, give the recipient additional information about yourself as a courtesy. Provide your full name to help your reader remember you and give additional context that facilitates a faster reply.
No Contact Info
Be sure to have your contact information written as text at the bottom of your email. Sometimes, people with email signature images assume they don’t need retype contact information. Unfortunately, some email programs block image files from appearing. So, if you want your recipient to be able to contact you, be sure to include your phone number, address, and email address in text format. You can easily set up an automatic signature, in Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and other mail services, that includes both an image and written text.
Email Closings That Work
Some of the most common email sign-offs have become popular for good reason. They communicate professionalism and sincerity without distracting the recipient from your main message. Simple phrases work best. The most successful closing lines usually have a few variations, so you can modify the line based on the circumstances.
Best / Best Regards / Best Wishes
This professional email closing keeps your reader focused on the main content of your message. Because “best” is one of the most common sign-offs, your recipient probably won’t give that part of your email a second look. At the same time, you express a cordial sentiment and imply that you plan to deliver your best efforts.
Sincerely / Sincerely Yours
Both of these options offer a classic, slightly impersonal sign-off. When you’re writing a formal letter or email, especially to someone you don’t know well, this closing line works well.
Regards / Kind Regards / Best Regards / Warm Regards
You’re able to customize this closing line for any occassion. If you’re writing to a business prospect about a new product, you might close your message with an offer to demonstrate the product, a request to set up a meeting, and “kind regards.” On the other hand, if you write to a close colleague about the upcoming holiday schedule, you might offer “warm regards.” Using “regards” without any modifier gives your message a more formal tone.
Thanks / Thanks a Million / Thank you / Thanks in Advance
Only use these concluding lines if you’ve expressed gratitude in the body of your letter. As an example, you might write a letter asking a colleague to fill an order for pens. At the end of the letter, you might say, “The pens you sent us last time really impressed our team. I appreciate your attention to detail!” Then, you could conclude your letter with the sign-off “thanks a million.” In the body of your letter, you’ve given enough context to explain why you feel grateful.
Cheers / Ciao
While it can be tempting to borrow lines from another language or culture, you may want to think twice. Including a mix of languages can confuse your reader, especially in formal correspondence. We recommend being authentic with your closing lines. If you’re an American who wouldn’t say “cheers” to your coworkers in conversation, it may be best to leave that sign-off out of your written correspondence. On the other hand, if you’re a proud polyglot who regularly throws a foreign phrase into your conversation, go ahead and close your emails and letters with one, too. Be yourself.
A Note About Culture
The culture within your company will set the tone for what’s appropriate in a sign-off. As you can imagine, how two colleagues write to one another within a Silicon Valley startup probably differs from how two circuit court judges correspond. Context matters. Whenever you have the opportunity, mirror the tone and style that’s dominant in your workplace. By doing so, you’ll avoid any missteps.
In addition, try to be open-minded when you’re exchanging emails with someone from a different culture. What sounds like a perfectly reasonable sign-off in one language may not translate well. When people use literal translations for their favorite sign-offs, the result can be quite funny. You might end up receiving a thousand kisses when you only wanted kind regards. Don’t take these mishaps too seriously.
As for writing the proper goodbye in American English, you’re well-prepared. The closing lines listed above should give you excellent options that enable you to finish all your business emails and letters with style.
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Kari Lisa Johnson
I’m an award-winning playwright with a penchant for wordplay. After earning a perfect score on the Writing SAT, I worked my way through Brown University by moonlighting as a Kaplan Test Prep tutor. I received a BA with honors in Literary Arts (Playwriting)—which gave me the opportunity to study under Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel. In my previous roles as new media producer with Rosetta Stone, director of marketing for global ventures with The Juilliard School, and vice president of digital strategy with Up & Coming Media, I helped develop the voice for international brands. From my home office in Maui, Hawaii, I currently work on freelance and ghostwriting projects.