How to end an email professionally

Sincerely, Respectfully, Love, Cheers, XOXO…? It seems as if the hardest part of writing an e-mail is ending it. You attached the attachments, wrote the memo, addressed the recipient, you’re 99% finished, but most students get stuck on the step right before the send off – the closing. Luckily, there are many ways to sign off on an email, and it’s nothing to fret about.

Level of formality is the first thing to consider when closing your email. Unless you’re Gossip Girl, I would suggest steering clear of closings such as Love or XOXO. When writing an e-mail to your professor or boss, you want to keep it as professional as possible, and therefore options such as Sincerely, Respectfully, or Regards would be best. For more acquainted recipients such as co-workers or peers, a more casual tone comes across through Cheers, Talk Soon, or Take Care.

Albright_SignatureSample

Context of your message determines whether your closing should be thankful or asking for an action. For example, Thank You or Many Thanks would be appropriate when the e-mail is in regards to a favor or you are just thankful for the recipient’s response.

Don’t be afraid to be unique! Capture the recipient’s attention or pique their curiosity by using a phrase that is different, but meaningful to you. I used to sign off my e-mails with “Hakuna Matata,” which means no worries – even before the Lion King movie. However, since most people associate the term with the Disney movie, I decided to change this closing because I want to send a professional tone to everyone. This is something to keep in mind when using a closing that is meaningful to you – it might not have the same effect on your recipient. Pearson Campus Ambassador, Clay Craig, signs off his emails with “Namaste,” because of his connection with yoga He’s been practicing yoga for over 13 years, so not only does this closing allow him to show a passion, but also allows the recipient to connect with him simply through his choice of words.

Signature blocks allow you to include more about you. Whether it be additional contact information such as a cell phone number, your title, links to social media sites, or even your favorite quote – signature blocks can be included in emails to allow recipients to better connect with you. You can have your information automatically typed onto all emails that you send out, by going into your settings. There are a few things to consider when setting up a signature block. Be sure to check for spelling. Most address blocks don’t do spell check within them, so type your message into a word document to double check. Something else to keep in mind is what image you want to send with your email. Your favorite quote might be fun or meaningful to you, but will your recipient interpret it the same way?

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Closing an email is nothing to fret about. After considering formality, context of your message, and personality, you can ensure your recipient gets the right message. Oh and when in doubt you can’t go wrong with “All the Best” or at least “Sincerely.”

Since there are so many different ways to close an email, I want to hear from you! How do you sign off your emails? Please share below!

jessica-albright-thumb-150x150Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society,  Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.

Guidelines to Help You Choose Appropriate Closing Remark

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the appropriate closing remark for your business emails.

1. Consider the Type of Letter You Are Writing

As you already know, there are three types of letters; the formal letter, the informal letter and the semi-formal letter.

Now, in business, the best types of letters for communicating with clients are the formal and semi-formal letters. While you may use the formal approach for communicating with business associates, investors, bankers and prospective clients, you could use the semi-formal approach when communicating with existing clients and associates that you are familiar with.

So, the first step to choosing an appropriate closing remark is deciding on the type of letter you want to write.

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1. Subject Line Says a Lot

No doubt, a subject line is the first thing a recipient reads. The decision of whether or not to open an email depends highly on how the subject line looks. Make sure the subject line is simple, specific, but catchy. Use key words that briefly summarize the content of your message.“FYI” in the subject line is a commonly used abbreviation of “for your information“.email

1. The Subject Line

Going back to that news headline — what makes you read the story? What makes you care enough to click on an article or open up an email that lands in your inbox? The subject line, of course. For an introductory email that gets the attention of your desired recipient, you need to write a proper, professional subject line. If this email is your formal introduction, you don’t have to say that in the subject line. For example, while you could say “Hi, I’m Jane” in your subject line (but, please don’t do that), why not give a hint into the content of your email? Try something like “Open Marketing Position Inquiry”. It seems decidedly official, but the reality is you are writing a professional email. You don’t want your subject line to read, “Hey, It’s Jane! Just Wanted To Introduce Myself!” Save the subtle informalities for the body.

Credit: business2community.comCredit: business2community.com

I-will-find-you...3. The Body

So this is your introductory email, the email that will define your future correspondence (or lack thereof) with this person. What do you want to say? Well, to properly introduce yourself in an email, you need to have a few key points mentioned.

  1. Who are you? Don’t wait until the end of the email to sign off with your name. Start with an introductory sentence, “My name is Jane, junior copywriter for XYZ corporation.”
  1. How do you have this person’s email? Don’t be creepy. If you are applying for a job, it may be self-explanatory how you received John’s email address, but it never hurts to clarify. “I noticed your email address on the open marketing position posting on Indeed.”
  1. Do you already know this person? If you don’t, exclude this section. If you do, explain how. “We met at the Inbound Marketing Conference last month.”
  1. Why are you writing? This is the most important part of the email. Why are you writing an email in the first place? Be clear and concise. “I wanted to get in contact with you to learn more about the position and find out how I may apply.”

Formal and semi-formal

In formal and semi-formal letters, it's best to stick with traditional sign offs, such as those listed in the previous paragraph. Avoid using sign offs, such as Love, that imply a high degree of intimacy between you and the recipient. Semi-formal letters often use a truncated version of formal sign offs. Some formal and semi-formal variants of sign offs are listed below:

Formal Semi-formal
Yours truly Yours
Best wishes Best
Best regards Best or Regards
Sincerely yours Sincerely
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