The way you sign off your emails can convey different messages and reflect your personality, communication style, and level of formality. Ever wondered if there’s a big difference between Regards, Best Regards, or Warm Regards? Or, what does it say for those who don’t add a sign-off all together? If you’ve tried to decode the unwritten rules of email sign offs, this list is for you.
Here are some common email sign-off styles and what they might say about you in the world of business etiquette:
- Regards: This is a widely used and neutral sign-off that suggests professionalism and politeness. It indicates that you are respectful and maintain a formal or corporate tone in your communications.
- Best regards: Similar to “Regards,” this sign-off adds a slightly warmer tone, indicating that you are friendly and approachable while still maintaining professionalism. This is, generally speaking, our suggested universal sign off for business emails.
- Thanks: Using “Thanks” as a sign-off is actually a bit risky. While it may indicate that you appreciate the recipient’s time and effort, we don’t recommend using this as a sign off because the tone is hard to understand and can come across abrupt.
- Best: This concise sign-off is often used in informal or brief email exchanges. It can indicate efficiency and directness, implying that you prefer to get to the point without unnecessary formalities, and it may be seen as a rushed sign off.
- Cheers: This sign-off is often used in informal or friendly contexts. It conveys a casual and lighthearted tone, suggesting that you are approachable and enjoy building rapport with others.
- Warm regards: This sign-off combines warmth and professionalism, striking a balance between friendliness and formality. It indicates that you have a cordial attitude and are open to building relationships.
- Yours faithfully/sincerely: These signoffs are more commonly used in formal or official correspondence, such as business letters or when writing to someone in a higher position. We recommend reserving these for written correspondence and not email, as it is a more formal and traditional sign-off that conveys a sense of respect and seriousness, which is traditionally reserved for written communication.
- No sign-off: Sometimes, people omit a formal sign-off altogether, especially in quick and informal exchanges. While it can suggest efficiency and informality, it may also be perceived as abrupt or lacking courtesy, depending on the context.
Remember that the appropriateness of a particular email sign-off may vary depending on the nature of your relationship with the recipient, the context of the email, and cultural norms. It’s important to consider these factors when choosing the right sign-off for each situation. As the prevalence of online communication continues to rise with social media, remote working, and short-form communication, the etiquette practices evolve too.