What’s the best way to sign off on a business email? It depends on the person and the context. At CRU Solutions, sign offs range from “Best Regards” to “Warm Regards” to “Thanks”. In our business, we keep our sign-offs straight-forward. In your business, maybe quirky is better.
Here’s a sampling of Adams’ list with brief commentary:
Best – This is the most ubiquitous; it’s totally safe.
All Best – Harmless.
All the best – This works too.
Best Wishes –Seems too much like a greeting card but it’s not bad.
Best Regards – More formal than the ubiquitous “Best.”
Regards – Fine, anodyne, helpfully brief.
Warm Regards – Good for a personal email to someone you don’t know very well, or a business email that is meant as a thank-you.
Take care – In the right instances, especially for personal emails, this works.
Thanks – Works in the right context, but might be too casual for some people.
Thank you – More formal than “Thanks.”
Many thanks – Shows extra appreciation for the effort the recipient has undertaken.
Thanks for your consideration – A tad stilted with a note of servility, this can work in the business context, though it’s almost asking for a rejection.
Hope this helps – Good for an email where you are trying to help the recipient.
Rushing – This works when you really are rushing. It expresses humility and regard for the recipient.
In haste – Also good when you don’t have time to proofread.
Be well – Some people find this grating. Not appropriate for a business email.
Sincerely – Too formal for many situations. Maybe OK for some formal business correspondence, like from the lawyer handling your dead mother’s estate.
Sincerely Yours – Same problem as “Sincerely,” but hokier.
-Your name – Terse but just fine in many circumstances. Probably not a good idea for an initial email.
-Initial – Good if you know the recipient and even fine in a business context if it’s someone with whom you correspond frequently.
High five from down low – A colleague shared this awful sign-off which is regularly used by a publicist who handles tech clients. An attempt to sound cool, which fails.
Have a wonderful bountiful lustful day – Tim Ferguson, editor of Forbes Asia, regularly gets this sign-off from Joan Koh, a travel writer in southeast Asia. It’s weird and off-putting.
Sent from my iPhone – This may be the most ubiquitous sign-off. Helpful for explaining brevity and typos.
Typos courtesy of my iPhone – Slightly clever but it’s gotten old. Better to use the automated message.
Lengthy disclaimers – We’ve all seen these and ignored them, though many companies require them. Forbes’ in-house legal counsel, Kai Falkenberg, says she knows of no cases that have relied on legal disclaimers, though she says they might serve as persuasive evidence in a trade secrets case where a party was attempting to keep information confidential.