Most sincerely and lovingly yours, Lisa – How should we sign off on business emails?

As PR experts, we field hundreds of emails a day, at least. Recently, I have become obsessed with how people sign off on their emails and with finding the best way. It seems like there should be some kind of industry standard on how to sign a business email, or maybe a few choices for clients, your boss, your co-workers, your vendors, etc.  But, given the variety I see daily, it’s clear that no one agrees on one best way.

I asked about this topic on Twitter and Facebook recently and the answers were not only varied, but in some cases, the topic got heated, especially when I explained my unadulterated hatred for “Best.”  Who knew people were so passionate about the way they sign off on emails.

Here are some of the responses I received:

  • Most sincerely yours
  • Thanks
  • Best
  • All the best
  • Best Regards
  • Warm Regards
  • Regards
  • Warmest Regards
  • Thank you
  • Yours truly
  • Sincerely
  • Cheers
  • Truly
  • Very truly
  • Warmly
  • None

I am really not a fan of any of these, but I don’t really have a better answer either.  I know that “best” or anything describing the warmness of the sender’s regards is like nails on a chalk board to me. I tend to use “thanks” for an informal email and “thank you” for more formal. But my colleague recently hipped me to her favorite, the “~ plus first name” sign off. I love it because it skips the awkwardness of pledging yourself to belonging “truly” to your copy paper vendor, keeps a business tone to the email, but doesn’t look too formal or unfriendly.

I am going to start a petition for “~ plus first name” to become the industry standard for signing business emails.  Who is with me? And who has other sign offs to suggest or ridicule? Please post your thoughts here.

~ Lisa

 

 

  • http://twitter.com/logosmith Gary Smith

    How about – sincerely? No, not the word sincerely, but actually sincerely. I have a signature block that automatically bobs in at the bottom of every message unless I get rid of it for some reason. But I take that extra millisecond to type a sign-off that actually makes sense. And yes, it’s often “thanks.” I’m often requesting something in an e-mail, and that makes sense. But sometimes it doesn’t. Perhaps the whole e-mail is me thanking someone. Or I’m telling a contractor that everything about their entire working relationship with me is turning sideways. NOTHING you put in as a canned sign-off is always going to seem appropriate.

    I know there’s some hate for signature blocks, but they have so frequently saved my bacon when I’m pulled over at the side of the road hunting down my e-mail pen pal’s cell phone # so I can contact him or her with an update on the road that I’m going to keep right on using them.

    Gary (@logosmith on twitter)

  • msspace.org

    “Respectfully,”

  • http://soloprpro.com KellyeCrane

    You don’t like warmness? That sounds like a personal problem. :-)

    Like Gary, I always customize my sign off. Sometimes it’s “thanks” (if I have something to thank them about), sometimes it’s just “-Kellye” and sometimes, I’m afraid, it’s “best.” The only sign offs that bother me are those that seem too formal for the email medium — which includes anything with the word “sincerely” in it.

    Fun topic!

  • @maxwellstevens

    Today I used “Thank for all your hard work!”

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  • http://www.enterdialogue.com Tyson Goodridge

    Lisa- you’ve definitely stirred the pot! I’m a “best” kind of guy lately, which might make me change my tune after reading this post. What if I sign it,

    Best,
    ~Tyson?

    I like the idea of “~” but what if you’re on a mobile phone or iPad? just FINDING that silly little thing is hard enough! :-)

    ~ @goodridge:disqus

  • http://www.FranconaAdvisors.com Emily

    Please explain “~ plus first name” to those of us not yet “with it”…

  • mrychr

    “Yours truly” works.  It simply states that what you have written is true.

  • Gstevens1918

    I have used “best” as a default closing salutation for a couple decades.  To my surprise have had a few people comment that its inference to excellence (best work, best results, best service) beats the heck out of “sincerely,” which I also use occasionally when I have stated a point of view or opinion.  Not sure why ”best” grates on you so, but given other feedback over the years I’m not convinced to try something else.   Good luck!