If you’ve ever been worried about coming across as too formal, too casual, or too ‘anything’ when it comes to closing and sending an email, read on for our handy guide on how to best end an email.
Consider these things when ending an email:
- Who are you emailing? Is it a friend, colleague, relative, client or unknown contact?
- Have you spoken to this person before in person or by email?
- If you’re replying to an email, follow the tone already set by the person who emailed you
- Do you want the recipient to take action? If so, include a CTA before signing off
- Your personality. Whilst there are conventions to follow, staying true to your style of communication and natural conversation style can often be the best path to take
- Check for spelling mistakes and include an email signature
Getting Email Endings Right
We Brits are known for our tea drinking, queuing, apologising for everything and being a bit socially awkward at times. It’s unsurprising then that our anxieties over proper etiquette can transfer over to our electronic communications too. Whether it’s a formal work email, an introduction for a friend, a follow-up after a meeting, or chasing up a response, knowing how to wrap up and sign off in an email can leave even the most level-headed of us scratching our heads.
As the best email ending will depend on who you are emailing, whether it’s the first time you’ve spoken or not, and what action if any, you want them to take, striking the right tone can feel like a minefield of email etiquette. The good news is that we’ve put together some helpful tips to help you come up with an email ending that is appropriate, succinct and suitable for every email scenario.
Before You Sign Off…
When talking about ending an email, we’re referring to up to the last few lines of an email, up to and including the sign-off that you use before inserting your name. Before you simply stick your name at the end of the main body of your email and hit send, it pays to make sure that you’ve thought about the following points about how to end an email properly. They will help to ensure that you’re using the right tone, and level of formality, and can help you to get the response that you want from the email that you are sending.
Who Are You Emailing?
Is it a friend, colleague, relative, client or unknown contact that you’re sending an email to? The person or people that you are emailing is one of the biggest factors in determining the right tone and style for the end of your email. You can sign off your email any way you like to your friends, but it is safer to stick to professional email endings for colleagues and clients and use more formal email endings for unknown contacts.
Have You Spoken To This Person Before?
Whether you have spoken to the person that you’re emailing either in person or by telephone before is another big factor to consider when signing off your email.
If the email that you’re wondering how to end is the very first time the recipient will have heard from you, then it’s best to play it safe with a semi-formal and professional sign-off. Your choice of email ending will also of course be impacted by the nature of the email that you are sending.
For example, if you are contacting a friend, or a mutual acquaintance of a friend to ask for a favour or arrange a meet-up, then you’re likely to write an informal ending compared to if you are emailing a professional service provider who you have never met before for a quote.
If you have spoken to somebody on the phone and are following up that call with an email, consider the interaction you had already. If it was light and easy and you got on well, opt for informal tones but if it was a more serious interaction, you may prefer to go with a more muted and formal ending.
Can You Follow Their Lead?
If you’re replying to an email, then you are already a step ahead because you can simply follow the tone that the sender has set in their email to you. This is particularly useful in the early stages of email communications between two or more people who don’t know each other very well.
If taking this approach, it’s likely that email endings decrease in formality as the conversion progresses, particularly if there will be a lot of emails between you. An example of this might be when instructing an outsourced designer or PR agency to help your company. To start with, as the relationship is built and each side is getting used to the other, communications will likely remain semi-formal. As time goes on and the frequency of emails between each party increases, then a simple ‘thanks’ or ‘speak soon’ will be more than sufficient in the majority of cases.
Is A CTA Needed?
A CTA or call-to-action is a way of letting the person that you are emailing know what you want them to do as a result of receiving and reading your email. This could be as simple as calling you back to discuss something in more detail to a full list of actions that need to be completed or questions that need answering by return.
It’s Ok To Be You
As long as you’re not rude when signing off an email, it’s ok to let your personality show in your email sign-off by simply choosing an ending that feels right to you and the context of the email. Using your judgement and staying polite will ensure the easiest and most natural end to your emails. Just remember that emails stay around forever, so don’t say anything that you might later regret! For example, it’s probably not a good idea to choose ‘cheers mate’ when talking to your boss, and equally ‘Yours Sincerely to your best friend may also come across as a bit odd and you might want to avoid it unless that’s the vibe you’re going for.
Check For Spelling Mistakes And Include An Email Signature
The way that you end your email becomes far less important if the email itself is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Before you hit send, ensure that you have checked any autocorrect suggestions shown on the screen and have read through the text you have written to make sure that it makes sense, is clear and reads well by simply stating any questions that you have or actions that need to be taken clearly.
Adding a standard email signature is also good practice. By including your full name, job title if relevant, telephone numbers and social media links if appropriate, you will ensure that your email doesn’t end abruptly without the receiver knowing how to get in touch with you.
Examples Of Different Email Endings
Whether you’re looking for a suitable ending for work, job application, personal, service request or anything in between, there are plenty of ending options to choose from below.
Ending With Thanks
- Thanks for your consideration
- I appreciate your help in this matter
- Thanks for your help, please let me know if there are any issues
- It’s been great working with you
Endings For Action
If you need the person that you’re emailing to do something when they read their email, outlining the action that you want them to take as the final words of the email ensure it’s fresh in their mind when replying.
- Please let me know your thoughts by return
- I look forward to receiving your update on the matter
- Please respond with answers to the questions raised
- Let me know if you foresee are any issues
A Casual Ending
These types of email endings are most suited to people that you know well or have an informal relationship with such as family, friends or close colleagues.
- Have a good weekend
- I look forward to working with you
- Drop me a line if you have any questions
- See you soon
Sending emails to your friends, close colleagues and relatives are much easier than sending formal work or service request emails. Your friends and family are much more likely to know your quirks and personality, so, however, you decide to sign off your emails is far less of a concern and you’re free to inject as much humour and abbreviations as you like!
A Standard Professional Ending
It’s best to use one of these types of professional email endings when sending work emails, contacting new people for the first time, asking for quotes, or when you need to keep an air of formality.
- Best, Best regards, Regards, Kind Regards – These are all fairly similar in their tone and sentiment. Simply choose your favourite and you can’t go wrong.
- Sincerely – This option is a bit old-fashioned, but could still work well if emailing people you haven’t met personally yet.
- Thank you
Try To Avoid Ending Your Emails Like This
You’ve seen plenty of options to consider for ending your emails above, but there are also a few endings that you should try and avoid.
- Don’t forget to close! Ending an email without a sign-off is often viewed as worse than including a poor sign-off.
- Avoid abbreviations. Using phrases like TTFN (ta-ta for now) TTYL (talk to you later), C’ya, BW for best wishes or Thx instead of thanks can come across a bit too casual and may not be understood by everyone so are best avoided.
Don’t Forget Your Email Signature
Most companies will have a standard template for you to use at work which includes the business logo, head office telephone and email contact details as well as your direct dial and mobile if applicable. Sometimes social media and newsletter subscriber links are included for marketing purposes too.
Using standard email signatures that are automatically added to your work emails is so common that you may not even notice them anymore but is it worth taking a few minutes to set up an email signature on your personal email accounts too.
A good email signature will ensure that you always share your name and contact details, regardless of how you sign off your email. This can be particularly useful if you’re in a rush and forget to sign off properly as it creates a polished and efficient ending to the email.
By including your contact details as standard, it means the receiver can call you back if they need to speak to you off the back of your email and you don’t have to worry about remembering to include the same details over and over in each email that you write. If you don’t want to send your telephone number to somebody, you can simply remove this part of the email signature before sending your email.
- think about who you are emailing,
- adjust the tone based on whether you have spoken to the person before or if this is the first time you are contacting them,
- follow the tone already set if you are replying to an email sent to you,
- include any actions you need the recipient to take,
- be yourself. Ultimately as long as you’re not rude and remain polite, it’s ok to let your personality show in your email sign-off by simply choosing an ending that feels right to you and the context of the email.
- check for spelling mistakes and include an email signature
We hope this guide on how to best end an email has given you plenty of tips to consider and examples to follow the next time that you’re struggling to sign off an email. To recap, thinking about the points outlined above will ensure that you narrow down your options and choose a suitable email ending based on who the email recipient is, the relationship that you have with them, the context of the email, and whether you need them to do anything in response to receiving your email.