Email sign-off etiquette: A comprehensive guide
The importance of email sign-offs cannot be understated when writing emails. While the beginning of your email may be limited in variety, the choices for email sign-offs are vast. Choosing the right sign-off can greatly impact the recipient's reaction and response. Email signature specialists Rocketseed recently released a guide, How to Sign Off on an Email Correctly
that aims to help you select an appropriate sign-off for any situation, striking the balance between professionalism and personalisation.
14 Sep 2023 09:39
Key sections in this email sign-off guide include:
- What are email sign-offs? Email sign-offs are the brief phrases used to conclude an email before your name and signature. They are often overlooked but can leave a lasting impression.
- How should you sign off an email? Unlike traditional letter writing, there are no strict rules for email sign-offs. However, certain best practices can guide your choice:
- Consider the context of your message.
- Reflect on your relationship with the recipient.
- Always maintain respect in your sign-off.
- Check for correct punctuation and spelling.
- Personalise your sign-off when appropriate.
- Exercise caution with creative sign-offs.
- Align your sign-off with your brand image.
- Use emojis judiciously.
- When in doubt, opt for a safe, non-specific sign-off.
- Which sign-off delivers the highest response rates? Studies show that gratitude sign-offs, such as "Thanks in advance," tend to receive the highest response rates.
- Professional email sign-offs: Examples of professional sign-offs include "Sincerely," "Best regards," "Respectfully," and "Best wishes."
- Work-friendly email sign-offs: In a less formal work environment, you can use friendlier sign-offs like "Warmest regards," "Warmly," or "Cheers."
- Funny email sign-offs: When appropriate, you can add humor to your emails with sign-offs like "See you later, alligator!" or "And that's a wrap!"
- Creative email sign-offs: Use creative and pop culture references like "To infinity and beyond!" or "Yabba Dabba Doo!" with caution, as they may not resonate with everyone.
- Email sign-offs to avoid: Be mindful of overly formal, emotional, or offensive sign-offs. Avoid abbreviations and political or religious references.
- Passive-aggressive email sign-offs: Recognise passive-aggressive phrases in email sign-offs and understand their underlying meanings.
- Generational differences in email sign-offs: Different generations may prefer varying sign-off styles, from traditional to more informal expressions.
- Cultural differences in email sign-offs: Consider cultural sensitivities when choosing email sign-offs, as meanings can vary across cultures.
- Email sign-offs for all occasions: Find suitable sign-offs for different situations, such as apologies, appreciation, condolences, holidays, vacation, bad news, and job applications.
- Relationship between email sign-offs and email signatures: While email sign-offs convey your tone and emotion, email signatures provide vital contact details and branding. Using a professional email signature manager tool can ensure consistent branding across your organisation.
In summary, the right email sign-off can enhance your email's effectiveness and leave a positive impression on the recipient. It's important to choose a sign-off that aligns with the context, relationship, and tone of your message. In addition, email signatures play a crucial role in conveying professionalism, aiding communication and reinforcing brand identity at the end of every email you send.