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The 10 Best and 10 Worst Ways to End an Email

Updated on October 5, 2023Professionals

You wrote a great email. It has a solid opening line, clear email message, and closes with a call to action that’s sure to convert. Before you click “Send,” there’s just one last thing to do: Write a great email sign-off.

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What is an email sign-off?

An email sign-off is the final section of an email. It is generally composed of a word or short phrase followed by your name and professional signature. An email sign-off goes directly after the email’s closing line and signals that the message is complete.

Email sign-offs are used in just about every kind of email. They’re a crucial part of business correspondence, and because of this, using an appropriate email sign-off is good email etiquette.

What every email sign-off should include

Every email sign-off should include the following:

  • A farewell
  • A signature
  • Contact information

The first part of an email sign-off, the farewell, is the word or phrase used right before the sender’s name. It’s an important part of the email’s tone, and it can impact how the reader interprets the email. Here are a few examples of email farewells:

  • Best regards
  • Sincerely
  • Cheers
  • Talk soon

The next component, the signature, is the sender’s name. If you have a professional email signature, you don’t need to type your name after an email’s farewell. If you don’t have an email signature, be sure to include your name and any relevant contact information, such as your phone number or social media handle, so the recipient can reach you through a means other than email if necessary.

An email signature is a personalized block of content you can set to be automatically included in every email you send, or just to specific audiences, such as people outside your organization. An email signature typically contains your full name, job title, phone number and extension, LinkedIn profile, and office address, and it may include additional information like an inspirational quote or headshot.

Different kinds of email sign-offs

General email sign-offs

Most emails end with general sign-offs. These are the short statements that precede a sender’s name and do not address anything specific to the sender’s relationship with the recipient or the email’s content. Possible sign-offs of this kind include:

  • Regards
  • Thank you for your interest
  • Have a great day/Have a great weekend

Personalized email sign-offs

In some cases, a personalized email sign-off is a better choice than a general email sign-off. Usually, personalized email closing phrases are reserved for email recipients the sender has an existing relationship with, either personal or professional. These sign-offs are usually one sentence and often take the place of an email’s closing phrases. Here are a few examples:

  • I’m looking forward to starting this project with you
  • Thank you so much for this opportunity
  • Thank you for your hard work

As with a general email sign-off, the sender’s name comes immediately after a personalized email sign-off.

10 best ways to end an email

Email sign-offs for formal business

An appropriate sign-off is part of a professional email closing. These include:

1 Sincerely

This traditional sign-off is a popular choice because it ends an email on a positive, yet formal, note.

2 Regards

This, and its variations warm regards, kind regards, and best regards, sends a clear, positive message without straying from professional communication guidelines.

3 Best wishes

A bit more gregarious than the previous entries, this sign-off makes it clear that you wish the recipient well.

Use these email closing phrases for individuals outside your organization, prospective and current clients, outreach to vendors and other partners, and colleagues if your industry or company has a more formal culture. These are also ideal for emails sent with job applications and cover letters.

Email sign-offs for informal business

When you’re emailing colleagues with whom you have a close relationship, or you’re otherwise conducting less formal business, the following email sign-offs are appropriate:

4 Cheers

Similar to best regards, cheers is a conversational, friendly way to end an email.

5 Take care

This sign-off communicates that you have a warm relationship, but it isn’t over the top.

6 Best

It’s simple, straightforward, and fits just about any email.

Email sign-offs for gratitude and requests

When you’re making a request or saying “thank you” for a favor, endorsement, referral, or opportunity, you can reflect this in your email sign-off. Examples of this kind of sign-off include:

7 Thank you

It’s simple and to the point.

8 I appreciate your [help, input, feedback, etc.]

Similar to the previous entry, this sign-off clearly expresses your gratitude to the recipient. In a follow-up or reminder email, this can be a useful strategy for ensuring a response.

Email sign-offs for casual conversation

In casual exchanges, personalized email sign-offs are more common. However, there are plenty of general sign-offs that are just as appropriate for casual conversations, such as:

9 Talk soon

If you’re planning to talk to your friend soon, feel free to let them know!

10 Catch you later

Similar to talk soon, this sign-off acknowledges that you’ll see your friend soon.

10 email sign-offs to avoid

Because an email sign-off needs to make a good impression on the recipient, there are certain sign-offs you should avoid. These include:

1 Looking forward to hearing from you [Thanks in advance]

This sign-off can come across as manipulative or passive-aggressive because it implies a demand that the recipient write back.

2 Yours truly

You don’t truly belong to the recipient. This is insincere.

3 —[Name] or —[Initial]

Unless you’re sending a very brief, informal email, omitting the sign-off can come across as brusk or careless.

4 Love (or a variation, like XOXO)

Unless you’re writing an email to your significant other or a close family member, this sign-off is too personal.

5 Emoji (👍👋🙂✌️)

While some emoji are acceptable in business communication, it’s better to leave them out of your sign-off, which is meant for more formal and less ambiguous communication.

6 Respectfully yours

In contrast to the previous entry, this sign-off is considered very formal, to the point of feeling stiff or aloof.

7 Have a blessed day

It’s generally best to avoid any religious overtones in professional and casual emails.

8 Have a good one

This is another example of an overly informal sign-off that’s better said in person than in email.

9 Hope that makes sense

This sign-off can also be considered passive-aggressive, as it implies that any misunderstanding is on the recipient’s part, rather than due to your communication skills.

10 Good luck

This sign-off leaves too much up to interpretation—does it imply the recipient needs luck, that a task is too difficult, etc.?

An inappropriate sign-off is just one kind of email mistake that can detract from your message. Failing to include a sign-off is a similar faux pas.

Email sign-off FAQs

What is an email sign-off?

An email sign-off is a short line, typically a word or phrase, that precedes the sender’s signature. In some cases, senders write personalized email sign-offs. These tend to be one full sentence or less that matches the email’s tone and that may include a call to action.

What should every sign-off include?

Every email sign-off should include:

  • A farewell
  • The sender’s name
  • The sender’s contact information

What are the different kinds of email sign-offs?

The different kinds of email sign-offs are:

  • General sign-offs
  • Personalized sign-offs

What are three examples of good email sign-offs?

  • Best regards
  • Sincerely
  • Cheers
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