Email closings are important, especially for business emails. What you write when you end an email makes a difference. A professional email closing leaves the reader with a good impression of you and of your business. An unprofessional email closing has the opposite effect.
There are good ways to end an email and not-so-good ways to end an email. In this tutorial, you'll learn the right way to end a professional email, with some clear examples of the best ways to end an email. You'll also discover why an email signature template can make a real difference in your email closing.
If you need help with more than your email closings, here are some more tutorials to help you write professional emails:
- WritingHow to Write Clear and Professional EmailsDavid Masters
- How to Master Proper Business Email Format - and Avoid Professional DisasterLaura Spencer
Now let's explore the best ways to end an email professionally.
Why Your Email Closing Matters
You may think of your email closing as an afterthought, but you couldn't be more wrong. How you end an email makes a difference. A good email closing can:
- Motivate the reader to action
- Identify the sender for future reference
- Leave the reader with a good final impression
- Provide the recipient with your contact information
Here are a couple examples to consider:
Email Closing Example 1 - With Missing Info
Imagine receiving an email about an exciting new business opportunity. As you read the email you think to yourself, "maybe I should give this a try?" At the same time, you're also wondering "who sent this email to me?"
So, you skim down to the bottom of the email, only to find that the sender has signed off on the email as "Brian." There's no last name and no contact information.
"Who on earth is Brian?" You wonder. Not remembering anyone named Brian, you conclude the email is spam and you move it to your trash folder.
Email Closing Example 2 - With Proper Closing
Contrast that with the experience of receiving a similar email, but with the proper closing information included.
You skim down to the end of the email and find that it is signed by "Brian Jones." Brian also uses a proper signature template with his complete contact information.
"I remember him now," you think. "I met Brian Jones at the meetup last month." You pick up the phone and call Brian's number (using the contact information from the signature template) to find out more about the business opportunity described in his email.
It's Clear Which Email Closing is More Professional
So, yeah how you end an email is important. It can mean the difference between getting a response and getting your email moved to the trash folder.
For instructions on how to open and close a professional business email, study this tutorial:
Today, we'll address the topic of email endings in more depth. Let's begin with some important guidelines to follow:
Guidelines for Closing a Professional Email
You're finishing up an email and you want to be sure to leave a good last impression. Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
- Don't skip the closing. You may feel that this one is obvious, but it happens a lot. Since email is a more casual form of communication, it's not uncommon for an email writer to skip formalities like the opening and closing—even in business emails.
- Make sure the closing is appropriate. Your email closing should take your audience into consideration. For example, you wouldn't want to close an email to your boss with the word "love." Although, that's a perfectly appropriate ending for an email to your mother.
- Be sincere. Your closing should be genuine and realistic. This may require some thought on your part. For example, you wouldn't want to end an email to an out-of-town colleague with the words "See You Soon" unless you really are going to see them in the near future.
- Check spelling and grammar. A closing full of typos and grammar errors leaves the reader with the impression that you are sloppy and unprofessional. It just takes a few minutes to read over your email and use the spell check tool. Take those minutes.
- Use your full name. Unless you are very well-known to the recipient, you should use your full name in an email rather than just your first name. Even if you do know that recipient well, they could know more than one person with your first name.
- Include a call to action or next step. The final sentences above your signature are important too. A call to action tells the reader how they should respond to your email. Don't assume that they'll automatically know what the next step is.
These are just a few important guidelines to use when closing a professional email. Now, let's look at how to format the close of your email.
How to Format Your Email Closing Properly
The closing of your business email is like the closing of a business letter. It should look something like this:
Final paragraph of email body (should include a call to action or next steps action in the wording).
Signature Template (if used)
First and Last Name
Title and Company
You may wonder whether you need to include contact information below your name if you are using an electronic signature template. The answer is "yes." It's important to also type the information below your name since some email accounts block images. If you leave contact information out below your name, a recipient whose email account blocks images won't know how to contact you.
But what closing phrase should you use before your signature line? Let's discuss some common closing phrases.
15 Common Email Closing Phrases Evaluated
The topic of the best way to end your email is hotly debated. Even the experts don't agree on what works and what doesn't in every situation. One thing is clear; however, some email closings are more effective than others.
Generally speaking, formal closings work for business situations where you don't know the recipient well or where the recipient is in a position of authority. Semi-formal closings can work for colleagues you know well or peers. Be careful when using casual closings. Some marketers use them to build a sense of familiarity. If you're not sure, reserve casual closings for friends and family.
The variations of how you can close an email are nearly endless. But, here are 15 common closing phrases (in alphabetical order):
- Always (Casual). Variations include "Yours always." This closing may seem vague.
- Best (Semi-formal). A very popular closing. Variations include "Best Wishes" and "Best Regards."
- Cheers (Casual). This British-sounding closing is best left for personal email.
- Cordially (Casual). Although this email closing is considered casual, it has an old-fashioned sound to it.
- Later (Casual). This is too informal for nearly all business emails.
- Love (Casual). Variations include "Love Ya." This email ending is not a good choice for professional emails.
- Regards (Semi-formal). Variations include "Warm Regards," "Kind Regards," and "Best Regards."
- Respectfully (Formal). Use for extremely formal professional emails.
- Sincerely (Formal). Variations include "Sincerely Yours."
- Take care (Casual). While this is a great email closing for a friend, it's too intimate for most business emails.
- Thank you (Semi-formal). Variations include "Thanks" and "Thanks in Advance."
- TTYL (Casual). An abbreviation for "Talk to You Later." It's probably best to save this email closing for friends and family.
- Warmly (Semi-formal). This can work for a less formal business email.
- XOXO (Casual). Save this email closing phrase for friends and family.
- Yours truly (Formal). Variations include "Yours Faithfully" and "Yours."
Note: Even the experts disagree as to whether some greetings are formal, semi-formal, or casual. The comments above are merely suggestions.
So, which closing is the best one to use for a professional email? The experts are mixed. Many experts prefer the use of the closing "Best," or a variation of it. But other experts dislike this closing as being too vague or common.
A recent study from Boomerang found that variations of the email closing, "Thanks" actually got the most responses. However, other experts dislike the closing phrase "Thanks," considering it to be fake if the sender isn't really thankful about something.
Also, you should know that using a formal closing phrase for a business email may be considered cold if you know the recipient well. For those cases, a semi-formal closing is the better choice.
How to End (and Not End) a Business Email
It's one thing to read a list of guidelines and closings for professional email, it's another to see some examples. So, let's examine some sample closings for professional emails. We'll review both the good and the bad.
Here are two examples of professional email closings. Compare the properly formatted example of an email closing with the poor example.
How to End a Business Email Example (Good)
Here is an example of a properly formatted email closing:
Why This Closing Works
In this example, the email author did everything right:
- They include a call to action: "Call me to set up a time or if you have any questions."
- They use a formal business closing phrase: "Sincerely."
- Finally, they made use of an attractive and professional email signature template, followed by the email author's name and contact information.
Note: The previous example used an Email Signature template from Envato's GraphicRiver. GraphicRiver is a good source for professional email templates like the one used in the example above.
to End a Business Email Example (Not-So-Good)
Here is less than ideal email closing example:
In this example of an email closing, you can see that the author skipped a lot of the elements of an effective closing.
What Went Wrong?
Here are a few problems with this closing:
- Notice that this example closing does not include a call to action.
- There's no closing phrase, which may be too casual for a professional business email.
- Also, the author only included their first name. This could be a problem if the recipient knows more than one Juan.
- Finally, there's no contact information in the signature.
Note: The information depicted in these examples is intended to be fictitious and does not represent any real persons or organizations.
Don't Forget the Template
As you probably noticed, the good example above used a signature template. There's a good reason for that. Templates are a great way to add an extra degree of professionalism to your business email.
Here are some reasons to use pro email signature templates:
- Saves Time. With a signature template, you don't have to create your own professional looking electronic signature. All you need to do is modify the template to include your own information.
- Saves Money. Using a professional email signature template means you don't have to pay a designer to create a brand-new template for your email signatures.
- Professional. Since email signature templates are created by design professionals, the template you use will follow design conventions and appear professional.
- Proven. You can see the number of downloads and ratings to determine how well a particular email signature template has worked for others.
Browse through numerous professional email signature templates at Envato's GraphicRiver marketplace. For a closer look at some of the best and most popular email signature templates, review these articles:
Conclusion: Close All Your Emails With the Right Impression
Your email endings may be the last part of your email, but they are far from the least important. You can improve your professional emails by learning the best way to end an email properly.
Important elements that you should pay attention to when you end an email include:
- call to action or next steps statement
- closing phrase
- email signature template
- sender's name
- sender's contact information
Your email closing is the last thing a reader sees, so it can leave a lasting impression. A good, professional email closing will make a positive impression. A sloppy email closing full of mistakes may cause the recipient to view the email sender as less than professional.
For more about using email, check out our eBook on professional email management strategies: The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery. Learn how to manage your email accounts to be more productive.
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