Here’s a fun business etiquette question: Reader S wonders about the best way to end your emails in a professional setting. Do you vary your email sign-off by situation, or do you just use one across the board?
I am a long time reader — your website was incredibly helpful while I was in law school and now as an attorney. I have a question about “closing a letter.” I personally use “Regards,” and a more friendly/warm “Best regards,” when I’m closing a letter or email. I’ve always thought it was odd to see “Sincerely yours,” in a professional email as that closing seems overly familiar — but I just saw a letter from a judge, and he closed it “Sincerely yours.”
Wow, interesting question — but one that I admit I’ve pondered also, especially since I seem to recall seeing that my own preferred closing (“best,”) was deemed “cold and antiquated.” (Sadly, I don’t remember where I saw that — maybe in this Slate article?) I remember years ago getting an email from a fellow lawyer at work who signed her email “xoxo.” This struck me as super odd at the time because she had always seemed like such a cool chick and this seemed to be the email equivalent of dotting her letter i with a heart — but I just brushed it off and assumed she was either being ironic or she was just cool enough to get away with such things.
So ladies, let’s hear from you: How do you end your emails? Dotted with hearts and flowers? (Kidding!) Best regards? Sincerely yours? Sincerely? Cheers? Talk soon? (I’ve always kind of thought of that last one as a threat more than a civil closing, but that’s the introvert in me…) Do you have strong opinions on this, or do you think this is yet another example of people policing women’s speech, nitpicking, etc.?
Psst: We’ve talked a lot about business correspondence issues over the years, including when to answer work email at home, when it’s ok to reply to a fax with an email, and when to use last names in business correspondence.
Further Reading on How to End Your Emails:
- Email Message Closing Examples [The Balance]
- 57 Ways to Sign Off on an Email [Forbes]
- What Your Sign-Off is Really Saying [Entrepreneur]
- Here is the Perfect Way to End an Email — and 28 Terrible Sign Offs [Business Insider]
- Why Your Email Sign-Off Is More Important Than You Think [Inc.]
Picture via Stencil.