We spend a lot of time using emails each day. In fact, a report from 2012 suggests that the average email user writes 40 messages each day and spends about 28% of the work day managing emails in general. Writing so much so often can make us seasoned vets when it comes to crafting a standard message, but it can also mean we take certain things for granted when we’re hitting “Send.”
One of those things is crafting an appropriate close to your messages. Often we find ourselves sending so many messages that have a pre-made signature ready to go at the click of a button. This certainly has its purposes, but over time, the same close can give off a sense of insincerity depending on who’s on the receiving end of your messages. I myself have been on the receiving end of messages that have left me scratching my head as to the close of an otherwise professional-looking message and even if it comes from a well-known co-worker it can still be off-putting.
I like the four rules laid out by Forbes’ Susan Adams for signing off on emails:
1. DO include some kind of sign off. The entire point of signing off an email isn’t so much about style as it is clearly communicating your message.
2. Don’t include quotes.
3. Include your title and info, but keep it short
4. Avoid oversized corporate logos. Along the same line of thinking as #3, this is to ensure that your sign-off doesn’t distract from the message itself. If your logo/signature is larger than the message, it can be a distraction to the reader.
So… what sign-off should you use? This comes down to a matter of both the content of your message and your own personality. My colleagues and I tend to use iterations of “Best Regards” for more formal touches along with some semblance of “Thank You” when talking amongst ourselves in the office to typify our general appreciation for the work we all do.
Perhaps the most important item of note here is that you don’t spend too much time coming up with a close that fits for you. As I already noted, we spend enough time as it is crafting emails, there’s no need to complicate the process even more. With that in mind, I give you a list of 57 ways to sign off on an email.
Pick a few that work for you and let them be your go-to closings. The people who read your emails might not say anything to you either way, but from someone who spends a decent portion of his day working with email it certainly won’t go unnoticed.