In today’s mobile and Blackberry world, we are tempted to write short one-liners while on the run. In some contexts, these types of communications do not leave a good impression in a professional context. One-liners would not typically have greetings or closings. Receiving an e-mail without a pleasant closing and signature can create a bad impression in the mind of the reader. Readers may think those who do not use salutations are abrupt or, even, rude. Work and professional e-mails should not be treated like text messages. We must keep in mind that proper openings, closings and use of pleasantries or acknowledgments can go along way in setting a friendly tone and encouraging two way dialogue and amicable business relationships.
In signing off professional, formal and work e-mails, the writer must chose a proper greeting followed by a comma, a line break, and sign (type) their name.
So, which are the greetings that are appropriate for formal e-mails? Extracted from an article from the Entrepreneur Magazine, I have divided up the greetings listed based on formality. Some may fall into two categories.
Category 1: Formal Work E-mails (New contacts, Managers, etc.)
Thank you, Thanking you
Kind Regards, Kindest Regards
Best, Best Regards
Sincerely (More for written communication, cover letters, etc.)
Category 2: Work E-mails to Colleagues We Talk To Everyday
Thanks (Colleagues we talk to daily or are friends with.)
Cheers (Those colleagues we are friends with.)
Category 3: Friends
Category 4: Should Not Be Used At Work
Avoid ‘trendy’ greetings.
If it is easier, keep a list of greetings in your cubby and refer to it as needed. It is suggested not to use the same greeting in every e-mail.
What are some other greetings you have seen or used in formal e-mails at work? Feel free to share your views in the comments below.
Author, Jennifer Kumar offers sessions for corporate teams on business communication, including email skills and meeting management, in Kochi, Kerala. Her office is in Infopark, Kakkanad. Contact her for more information.