Email Closing Lines

This blog post is a few years old but still timely: Liz Danzico makes us think about our Email Closing Lines.

If a closing line can be so meaningful, so important, why are emailers squandering the opportunity, putting no thought in the closing? Time, perhaps, iPhone-finger exhaustion, multi-tasking—they’re all possible excuses. And many times, acceptable ones. We can’t be expected to neatly tie up every email every time. But once in a while, it would be delightful if people applied the same sincerity to the last impressions that we do to first ones.

My personal closing line “Waving from Brooklyn” is not on her list. What’s yours?

(via @brainpicker)

41 Comments leave a comment below

  1. There’s nothing I hate more than the short and sterile “Best”. No one says that in real life, I’ve never heard of it in era of paper-and-pen letter writing, and it says absolutely nothing.

    It’s even worse coming from a girl. Her “best” is code for “we’ll never be anything more than friends, and probably not even that. Why are you emailing me anyway?”

    Right? Right.

  2. I would like to see an updated version of this. I can easily think of 5 closers I see/use that aren’t listed.

  3. I don’t use a closer of any sort… just my name. Yes, I’ve been told that it’s rude.

  4. in french I usually close by:

    “je te souhaite une magnifique fin de journée”

    “I wish you a splendid end of day”

    (I do not seem to be able to render the word magnifique in english, for me it is at the same time, very beautiful, superb, splendid, cosy and nice)

  5. I usually use “kind regards” when I email someone senior, being a foreigner it’s even more difficult to assess what is appropriate and what would sound odd. I remember being taught at school that the safest option is to use the level of formality that your responder is using. that sounds sensible to me.

  6. I have to agree with Prescott:

    When someone signs off with ‘Best’ it sets my teeth on edge. Best what?

    Personally I prefer
    Formal- With regards
    Informal- Cheers
    Familiar- Just my initials

  7. I generally use “Please take care” unless it is a link to a cat video and then I use “Enjoy!”.

  8. Why is “Sincerely” on there 3 times?

  9. “Cheers” is my most common closing line (in email and in real life), and at times I’ll use “Many thanks” if I’m trying to be extra appreciative.

  10. “til soon”
    ….was the sign-off in an email from the great experimental composer Fast Forward.

    perfect.

  11. I agree with Prescott and Jason, when someone signs off with ‘Best’ . I get super agitated. Especially when it is an email requesting extra work, something free or above/beyond the usual.

    I normally use ‘Sincerely’ for all emails or ‘Thank You’. If I don’t like the tone of the email or the emailer is requesting unecessary, extra work, or duplication from (blatantly) not being in the loop, they just get my name, no pleasant sign-off for them. ( I am the lone office support for about 30 all-male outside traveling sales men, in case this response sounds crazy.)

    I love the French sign-off from Francesca. Can I use that in my own emails?

  12. I’ve long thought that “best” is just about the snottiest way to end an email but am guilty of occasionally using “all best” which somehow seems much less tart and more sincere. am I deluded? ;)

  13. Wonder where “Take Care” fits in?

  14. @Chris: It always makes me smile when I see your ‘hat tip’! :)

  15. Work related or anyone unfamiliar = Kind regards
    Friends and family = Kisses
    Not so close friends = Take care

  16. Thank you very much for this chart. As a non-native speaker I’m always wondering about the appropriate closing line. I like your “Waving from…” a lot.

    Villi Grüäss
    acqua

  17. in German with people I have never met but have over course of time become familiar (people from my company’s head offices) I use
    “mit den besten Gruessen aus Tokyo”

  18. Okay … I’m guilty of using “best”. Just seems appropriate for the abbreviated world of e-mail and the recipient is free to choose best “what”.

    And Preston, who ever says, “Sincerely” or a number of those listed in the chart? Can’t the written be different from the verbal.

    When I see “cheers” I imagine the other person is drinking on the other end.

    But lest I be considered “snotty” (which is true only when I’m suffering from a cold) I’ll retire “Best”.

    TTFN, Franca

  19. I don’t get why people don’t like “best.” I love it. I went through a period of not using it simply because I’d read online how many people hate it. But from me it is sincere, it’s to the point, it doesn’t feel self conscious and I like it.

    I also like all the best.

    I wish I could pull off cheers, but I’m not British and truthfully, many an email does not invoke the cheers ending. C’mon.

  20. Thanks very much,

  21. I hate ‘best’! It’s just seems lazy to me.

    I usually stick with “Kindest regards” for the official and/or unfamiliar, “Cheers” when appropriate, and “Big luv” to my friends.

  22. I know it’s dated but I prefer “Much obliged” when dealing with strangers, particularly those of whom I am asking a favor.

  23. “Much obliged” is old-timey, but I really like it, Evan!

    Add me to the list of people who hate “Best”. Best WHAT?

    I usually stick to “Thank you” or “Thanks” for business correspondence, depending on how familiar I am with the person.

  24. Since signatures are almost always automatically placed in a new email, the closing has a practical purpose. It signifies; “I’m done typing”. So, these days I just type ” “. Or sometimes “”, “” , “”, “” ;-)

  25. I’m a:
    “thanks!”
    “with luck,”
    or just
    “i” (nice to have an initial / way to say “me” in one)

    and from iPhone:
    “envoyé de mon engin de communication numérique”

    ps: also dislike “best,” and “cheers” when the sender is not from the commonwealth.

    with luck,
    ian

  26. I usually use, kind regards, or, all the best. If I am emailing out of the UK I generally say Greetings from the UK.

  27. Toodles

  28. I’m always formal with my clients, the closing sentence in your written communications is just as important as your phone answering message.

    I use my closing line as a sales pitch, “Please call or send me an E-mail if you have any questions or further instructions and I will do all I can to help you.” My clients aren’t my friends, family or drinking buddies they’re my business associates the reason we communicate is for commercial concerns, either theirs or mine. Much like wearing a pair of slacks, a button down shirt and blazer it’s one more way of communicating the idea that I’m a professional worthy of respect (and high fees), not “billy with a camera.”

    The closing message I find most annoying is the “sent from my iphone” seriously, am I supposed to be impressed that someone has an iPhone? Everyone has an iPhone, and everyone who has an iPhone knows it’s a POS, myself included.

  29. Can’t beleive Tnx made the grade. Text speak will never surpass the Tigger inspired TTFN – Ta Ta for Now!

  30. iDevice says Hi, I say Bye.

  31. Worst,

  32. peace :D

  33. If someone uses God Bless I mark it as spam.

  34. Work and formal > Kind regards. They teach that in school in the Netherlands, so that’s what I thought was appropriate :). Hate the “best”, cheers”, “toodles” (especially cuz that was kind of a trend here when I was 12/13 :D).

    Oh en “Laters” for friends (short for “see your later” in Dutch)

  35. I usually sign “thanks”.
    I hate “Ta”, and “Take Care”. Haaaate.

  36. Its very fascinating idea you propose from now on I m going to end all my lines with,

    Peacefully ,
    Self Id Name

  37. when someone really jazzes up my day I like to end my email to them with a blessing…one of my favorites is

    May you get all the green lights on your way home today.

    for the work at home crew I substitute with…

    May you get the fast lane on your next trip to the grocery store.

  38. all best seems sincere- esp. with someone you want to get to know MUCH better.

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