How Important is Your Email Sign-Off?

How do you end a professional email?

Whether you are writing a cold email, a follow-up, a thank you email, or any other professional communication, the way you end it can contain subtle word nuances that you may or may not intend.

On the other hand, the last remarks you make can have weight in persuading the reader to take action or invest in what you had to say.

Related: The Art of Saying “Thank You”

When discussing professional emails your email sign-off should, of course, be professional and not too familiar. “Later, dude!” is not going to cut it. It will leave an impression, but not a good one.

So what are some acceptable ways to end an email that will work in your favor? published an article by Justin Bariso that breaks down many common ways to sign off and when to use them. I’ve tailored the list below to suit executive job search type situations and professional communications. These are not listed in any particular order.

#1. Regards,

This is a simple and common way to end an email. This is especially good if the email is quick and you don’t want to over do it.

Dear _________,

Thank you for meeting with me today and I look forward to hearing from you.


#2. Best regards,

This is even better than simply using “Regards”, especially if the relationship is new. Justin and I both view this as a step-up from “Regards.”

#3. Best,

This is a shortened version of  “Best regards.” I think it should be used less often as it slightly conveys a sense of familiarity that may not be established yet. Plus, it’s a little lazy.

#4. Kind regards,

Kindness always gets my vote. The world could use some more kindness, don’t you think? “Warm regards” also conveys the same feeling of goodness, but I tend to use it with people I know better.

#5. Sincerely,

It’s a good strategy to use “Sincerely” when the communication is possible strained or uncertain. Or if the person my perceive you are trying to take advantage. Sincerely is also useful if you are giving a compliment and are afraid the person might question your motives.

Of course, the key here is to be truly sincere.

Dear ___,

I am really hoping to connect with you since I admire you as a successful writer and researcher. Would it be possible to schedule a meeting?

Peter Newfield

#6. Best wishes,

In a professional situation this  should only be used if you think the relationship isn’t going anywhere (like you didn’t get the job), or if you don’t plan on seeing or hearing from this person for awhile (or ever). It sends a note of finality, albeit, even temporarily.

An exception might be if the person is leaving for a vacation, sabbatical or a new job. It’s not closing any doors, it is just truly wishing luck in whatever it is they are going to do.

#7. Take care,

Same as “Best Wishes”.

#8. Thank you, Sincere thanks, Many thanks, Much appreciated

Only use this type of email sign-off if the person truly did something for you. It is appropriate to thank someone for granting you an interview, but don’t forget, they also need something–you, or someone like you, to fill a need they have. In this case, a different closing might seem more appropriate and not “over eager”.

Note: Simply using “Thanks” is too informal for professional communication.

#9. Respectfully,

This is used a lot and is perfectly acceptable in a professional email. It might be your closing of choice if you are communicating with a person of authority (or a person much older than you).

Keep in mind, “Respectfully” is also often used when someone is disagreeing with someone else. Be sure that is not the message you want to send. If nothing in your email conveys that than you needn’t worry.

What is your favorite email sign-off?

I’m really interested in this topic and would love to get your take on how you use different email closings and when. What is your “go to” sign-off?

Kind Regards,

Peter Newfield

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