When we end a conversation, we close it. It only seems polite to know how to close an email as well.
While, one-liners would not typically have greetings or closings, as they may resemble IMs or text messages, the tone of longer emails rings nicer with a relevant closing. 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. We suggest not to treat work and professional e-mails 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 choose a proper greeting followed by a comma, a line break, and sign (type) their name.
So, which are the closing 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.
Thank you, Thanking you
Kind Regards, Kindest Regards
Best, Best Regards
Sincerely (More for written communication, cover letters, etc.)
Thanks (Colleagues we talk to daily or are friends with.)
Cheers (Those colleagues we are friends with.)
Maybe there is absolutely no need for a close at all!
In this category, we speak of closes that may not be suitable for closing professional emails using American Business English.
Ciao – More European (can be used, but sparingly)
Talk Soon – If you are really casual with a colleague, but still somewhat formal
Later – This sounds too much like slang among teenagers
Yours/Yours Truly – This is generally for those near and dear (spouses, friends, etc.)
Avoid ‘trendy’ greetings
Here’s a unique one I learned in 2021 – “kindly.” Kindly as an email closer was used by a colleague from Ireland. She told me that this closing is used in business emails when you feel like a friend to a colleague, which means that’s it’s somewhere between formal and casual.
If it is easier, keep a list of greetings in your cubby, cabin or near your workstation and refer to it as needed. We suggest not to use the same greeting in every e-mail or have the sign off as part of your email signature.
Do you want to learn about how to structure the body of the email so it flows nicely into a suitable closing? In our program The Ultimate Guide to Email Writing for Ease and Professionalism. we teach you a simple email skeleton which you can use to write easy to read emails that are answered very quickly. In this course, we teach you about what you can say and should avoid saying in American business English in each part of the email skeleton. This will elevate your working relationships with US Americans when working remotely from outside the United States of America.
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