Do you have that professional email mostly written, but you’re not quite sure how to wrap it up? Or do you feel like you’re defaulting to the same email closings every time and want some alternatives? Sure, if you’re emailing someone you talk to everyday, it’s not necessarily the end of the world to skip the sign-off and end with just your name. But when you want to make sure an email makes a good impression, taking an extra beat to consider how you’re ending your note could help it land the way you want it to.
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When you’re sending a professional email—for work or school, in your job search, or in a personal situation where you’re dealing with a business—the ending of your message “can leave a lingering favorable impression [and] give a satisfying sense of completion,” says Muse career coach Barb Girson.
Read on to see how to end your emails the right way—plus a list of professional closings for any situation.
What to Include When Ending an Email
The amount and type of information you add to your email endings will depend on the situation. But generally the less you know the person you’re emailing, the more info is required.
Here are the most common elements of a professional email ending:
- Closing line: Jumping from the main subject of your email directly to your sign-off might be jarring, especially for longer messages. You can ease the transition with a closing line that expresses gratitude or well wishes. Even if someone is quickly scanning an email, they often read the last line, Girson says, so you can also use this space to include a call to action or to reiterate to the recipient what you need from them.
- Closing (or sign-off): This is the word or phrase that goes right above your name. Think “Sincerely,” “Best,” “Thanks,” or something like “Have a great weekend!” Unless you’re more than a few emails into an email thread (especially over a short period of time) or you’re very close with the recipient, you need a professional closing for your email. See below for a list of options.
- Name: If this is the first email you’re sending someone, you should generally go with your full name (first and last or whatever you commonly go by) or your first name followed by a default email signature that has your full name in it. For conversations with people you already know, your first name is usually enough.
- Pronouns: This is at your discretion and dependent on your comfort level—especially if you identify as LGBTQ. But for allies: Keep in mind that when you share your pronouns, you help create a safe environment and normalize the act in general so that trans and nonbinary people don’t feel conspicuous as the only ones doing it.
- Title and company: You might include one or both of these as part of your email ending, depending on who you’re contacting and why. If you’re emailing someone outside of the organization you work for, including both tells the recipient what you do and where you work. If you’re emailing a coworker (particularly from a company email address), the company you work for is a given and you can leave it off, but if you haven’t interacted with the person before, your position might be helpful to include. During your job search, you should generally leave your current workplace out. You’re not writing the email as part of your current company’s business (plus you’re trying to leave, so it could confuse the reader).
- Contact info: The person you’re emailing already has your email address (though you could include it in a default email signature), but you might want to consider adding other methods of reaching you such as a work or cell phone number. But only list ways you actually want to be contacted.
- More context about who you are/the work you do: If you’re making a first introduction or creating your default email signature, you can also use your email signature to give your email recipient more context about what you’ve done in the form of links to your LinkedIn profile, personal website or portfolio, and/or your social media accounts (if they’re professional and relevant!).
If you’re creating a default email signature, consider adding everything on this list from “name” down (you should tailor the closing line and sign-off for each note). Note that “Sent from my iPhone” is not part of a professional email ending and is appropriate only when it makes sense for the other person to know that you sent an email on the go. Otherwise, delete this before you hit send, and definitely keep it out of any email cover letters.
How might this look all together?
Sending a Cover Letter:
Thank you for taking the time to review my application, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Responding to an Interview Request:
I look forward to speaking with you on Thursday.
Reaching Out to Someone at Another Company for the First Time:
I look forward to working with you as your company begins the transition to XYZ’s new CRM software.
All the best,
Account Manager, XYZ Solutions
Emailing a Colleague You Work With Regularly:
I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this slide deck by Tuesday afternoon. Hope you have a great long weekend!
Examples of Email Sign-Offs
Here’s a list of possible email closings to help you change things up. When considering what type of sign-off to go with, think about who you’re emailing and why. “It is up to you, the audience you are reaching, and the message you are conveying,” Girson says. If you’re replying to someone else’s message, try to pay attention to cues and gauge the formality of their note in order to match it, says Muse career coach Lynn Berger.
If You Need Something Formal
Think cover letters, job search and application-related emails (especially if it’s the first time you’re emailing this person), and messages to people you don’t know well or at all. If you’re not sure what type of closing is most appropriate for a given situation, it’s best to err on the side of formality (but maybe loosen up that stuffy “Sincerely” and opt for a “Take care,” “Regards,” or the old standby “Best” instead).
- All my best,
- Best regards,
- Best wishes,
- Looking forward to hearing from you,
- Speak with you soon,
- Take care,
- Warm regards,
- Warm wishes,
If You Want Something Friendly
These email closings work well when you’re corresponding with someone you know well or when you’re a few exchanges deep in an email thread. Use these with close colleagues and coworkers or anyone else you have a professional, but more casual relationship with.
Read more: Sick of Signing All Your Emails With Best? Here's When You Can Start Dropping the Formalities
- Enjoy your [day of the week]/week/weekend,
- Good luck,
- Great catching up with you,
- Happy [day of the week],
- Happy holidays,
- Have a good one,
- Have a great day,
- Here’s to a great [day of the week],
- Hope this helps,
- Hope you’re making it through [day of the week],
- See you tomorrow/next week/at [that upcoming activity or event you’ll both be attending],
- Sending good vibes,
- Talk soon,
- Until next time,
If you’re many emails deep into a friendly or casual chain, you can also consider dropping the sign-off completely and just putting your name at the end of each email.
If You Want to Show Appreciation
Maybe the person is taking something off your plate during an especially busy week or connecting you with someone in their network. Or perhaps you’re just thanking someone for their time. Even when you’re just asking someone for something as part of both your job duties, it’s nice to show that you’re grateful. After all, don’t you like when you feel appreciated for doing your job? (Note: Try to match how effusive your thanks is with the reason you’re expressing gratitude to avoid confusion—“thanks a million” for something relatively small could leave the email receiver wondering if you’re being sarcastic.)
- All my thanks,
- I can’t thank you enough,
- I owe you,
- Many thanks,
- Much appreciated,
- Thank you,
- Thank you for everything,
- Thank you in advance,
- Thanks a million,
- Thanks for reading,
- Thanks for your consideration,
- Thanks for your help,
- Thanks so much,
- With appreciation,
- With gratitude,
- You’re a lifesaver,
- You’re the best,
Closings to Avoid
These sign-offs have no place in a professional email. Reserve them for exchanges with friends and loved ones only.
- Have a blessed day, (or anything else with religious overtones)
- Peace out! (or any other slang)
- Thx (or any other abbreviations)
- Yours truly (or any closings that suggest a devotion that’s a bit too much for the workplace)
As someone deeply immersed in the nuances of professional communication, it's evident that crafting the perfect email extends beyond the body of the message—it's a holistic approach that includes thoughtful consideration of how you conclude your correspondence. My expertise in this realm comes not only from a thorough understanding of business etiquette but also from practical experience as an effective communicator in various professional settings.
The article you provided offers valuable insights into ending professional emails with finesse, and it adeptly covers a spectrum of scenarios. Let's break down the key concepts discussed:
- Suggests incorporating a closing line expressing gratitude, well wishes, or a call to action for a smooth transition to the sign-off.
- Highlights the importance of the last line as it often receives attention, even during a quick scan of the email.
Closing (or Sign-off):
- Stresses the significance of a professional closing phrase above your name.
- Provides examples such as "Sincerely," "Best," or even more personalized options like "Have a great weekend!"
- Recommends using a full name or first name based on the familiarity with the recipient.
- Acknowledges the discretion of sharing pronouns, emphasizing their role in creating a safe environment.
Title and Company:
- Advises including title and company information based on the context and recipient, especially in initial interactions.
- Suggests considering additional contact methods, such as phone numbers, based on preferences.
- Proposes adding context about oneself or the work through links to LinkedIn, personal websites, or portfolios in the email signature.
The article then illustrates how these elements come together in various email scenarios, from job applications to casual colleague correspondence. It provides practical examples, showcasing the application of the discussed concepts.
Furthermore, the article furnishes a comprehensive list of email sign-offs categorized by formality, friendliness, and appreciation. It advises tailoring the choice of sign-off to the specific audience and context.
Lastly, it wisely warns against using unprofessional closings, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a level of formality in workplace communication.
In conclusion, the article serves as a valuable guide for individuals seeking to enhance their email etiquette, providing not only theoretical principles but also real-world examples that demonstrate the practical application of these principles in diverse professional scenarios.