Email etiquette: How to say goodbye

Dear Reader,

Starting an email is easy. In the majority of situations, you can use a mixture of ‘dear’, ‘hello’, or even ‘hi’. However, what about signing off? Signing off is the lasting impression you’ll have on the reader, therefore you must think about this carefully. Mostly, consider your relationship with the correspondent, your reason for emailing and in general, the brand personality in which you represent.

The Dos and Don’ts

We’ve compiled some of the most used sign-offs with great advice as to when you should use them.

Professional email sign-off ‘Dos’

Sincerely: This is possibly the most used sign off, owing to its professionalism. However, this could be off-putting and even generic if you are corresponding with someone you know well.

Best regards: This phrase is professional, but with some warmth. ‘Best regards’ is the best option to choose for business emails which aren’t entirely formal. For example, if you are conversing with a colleague or client that you work together with frequently and you have a good relationship with. For quick emails, it can be shortened to simply ‘regards’.

Respectfully: This is a formal send-off. It’s mainly appropriate when emailing the CEO, Chairman of the Board, or a high-level company executive.

The controversial email sign-off

Best: This is a controversial sign off as it purely depends on tone. It is widely interpreted, stretching from sincere to stale. Clearly, it is a shortened version of ‘best regards’, which is seemingly positive. However, it is often misconstrued as inauthentic, especially if there is no former relationship between you and the person you’re emailing. Be careful with this, as it’s not always ‘best’.

Professional email sign-off ‘Don’ts’

Fondly: The term fondly should rarely appear in your emails at the office. Although undeniably friendly, there is a level of familiarity that is best kept out of professional correspondence. There is a level of integrity, particularly with emails, that should be maintained.

Warm regards: This is a more formal version of ‘fondly’, but still not formal enough for professional use.

Yours truly: On the other side of the spectrum, ‘yours truly’ is too formal for an email. This closing is much more suited for very formal correspondence, for example a printed letter.

Witty Quotes: You may think that a witty quote might be a great impression and people will find it hilarious, however, this is most probably not true. Life philosophies and mantras do not need to be attached to your analytics report emails.

So keep your integrity on the screen to give the best impression of yourself to everyone you email. This may seem a lot of thought for a simple ‘goodbye’, but it could be the small details such as this which change you getting that account, or losing it.

With best, respectful and sincere regards,


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