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Sincerely, Insincere: What Your Email Sign Off Really Means

02.03.15

email--blog-photoIn today’s ever changing society, the Internet is a prevalent, if not dominant part of our everyday lives; and with this, so are emails. It is estimated that over 100 trillion emails are sent per year- that’s a lot of online communication! How many of these are first impressions, introductions, or business proposals? What is it you are communicating, or not communicating, through a simple and impersonal sign off? I believe it’s time that the ever present “Thanks” meet its end!

When closing an email, there are many things to consider. Who it is you’re emailing? What is the nature of the email? What do you want your recipient to gather after reading your correspondence? If your closing perpetually reads “Thanks,” soon enough that thanks begins to mean nothing. Save thank you for when there is due reason.

A closing I see similarly as often, is “Sincerely.” Not too bad as far other options are concerned, but still a little old fashioned. Appropriate for some industries, I still wouldn’t make this my everyday go to sign off. Instead of relying on a meaningless “sincerely” why not close with “I look forward to hearing from you” or “Let me know what you think” which would keep a conversation alive and position the sender for future interaction?

Lest we not forget “Best.” Best what? To some this is an incomplete and a brush off ending. Brief yet polite, “Best” sterilizes any genuine gratitude, interest, or contribution made within the body of the email. “Best” is the half smile you give when you make eye contact with somebody on the Metro, it doesn’t take away anything but it doesn’t add anything either. When creating a unique sign off, think about your audience. Inter office communications allow for a more laid back dialect incongruous with terms like “Best” “Regards” and “Sincerely.” While these may work in a pinch, developing your own signature sign off can enhance genuine communication and help your message stick out in a crowded inbox.

Let’s pledge not to be robotic in our correspondence! There are a multitude of words and phrases to choose from; keep a cache of strong closing words to use in different ways. Rather than having one over used sign off, change it up! Remember to consider key aspects such as your recipient, the body, and the take away. A thoughtful sign off should help you to better leave a lasting impression on your clients, and coworkers, while securing new clients and strengthening business rapport.

Written by Madison Carson

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