How Do You Sign Off Your Emails?

How Do You Sign Off Your Emails?

We’ve looked at inappropriate email sign offs, but there seems to be no real consensus or set of rules on how best to end an email. Additionally, your situation may dictate a differences. How do you sign off your emails?

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Photo remixed from an original by Dominic Wilcox

Nearly every time I sign off on an email I wonder how it’s going to be interpreted. It’s hard to convey a feeling with only words, and if you succeed in doing so it might not be the feeling you intended. There’s been so much controversy over “cheers” that I’ve never used it. (Australian editor notes: this is an odd American neurosis. The conclusion of local readers when we discussed this last year was that “cheers” is entirely acceptable.)

I waver between “thanks” with an exclamation point and “thanks” with a comma, depending on the situation. Sometimes I opt for no sign off because I don’t know what would be appropriate, then worry that the email seems a bit cold. These are a few examples among many, and when evaluating all the emails I receive on a daily basis I’m finding there is absolutely no consistency. So, readers, how do you decide how to sign off your emails? Are you as neurotic as I am?

Comments

  • Yes – the hardest part of writing an email is how to sign off!

    I’ll share my M.O.:
    For the initial email to someone you haven’t met, kind regards, warm regards.
    For follow up emails, regards.
    For brief emails, thanks.
    For colleagues, cheers.
    For email chains with friends, “R”.

  • Made me go through my Sent box.

    “Regards” for professional/informative work emails
    “Cheers” for informal.
    “Thanks” if I am asking for something to be done, or asking a questions.
    and
    Just sign off with my name for personal ones like – “hey, lunch at 12? – sarah

  • Well I never use exclammation marks because they always seem infantile and/or effeminate…

    – Cheers is my default
    – Thanks only if I am actually thanking someone for something
    – Regards I find is cold and impersonal so I only use it when I am trying to convey that
    – With friends or close colleagues I will often not sign off an email at all

  • Cheers for everything.. although sometimes I feel like it is unprofessional. Then I realise I never say warm regards IRL but would always say cheers.

    I like bridging online communication with my real life communication as often as possible. I genuinely feel fake when I say anything other then “Thanks!” or “cheers,”… Oh, unless it’s “regards,” that’s saved for those aggressive emails regarding conflicts.

  • You need to mix up your sign offs so people don’t get bored:

    ‘Regards,’
    ‘Cheers,’
    ‘Later,’
    ‘Sincerely,’
    ‘Nice,’
    ‘Yours in undying attention,’
    ‘Namaste,’
    ‘Check ya,’

    and of course the super lazy option

    ‘L’

  • just don’t sign off at all works best for me, or sometimes I go with the wanky:
    my name
    my current location (city wise)
    the year

    and sometimes for fun I’ll throw the weather in also…

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