Work Relationships

This is the Best Way To End An Email to Get the Highest Response Rate

Written by Peter Jones

You spend all this time drafting the perfect email and then you stall out as soon as you get to the sign-off. What are you supposed to say? You don’t want to sound too formal or too casual, and thus ruin the whole tone of the email. “Cheers” seems too flip, or too British. “Sincerely” sounds… well, anything but. “Best” feels just bland and boring. And all the possible versions of “best” are overwhelming in and of themselves: “all best,” “all the best,” “all my best,” “all best wishes”… it’s enough to drive you mad. All the same, you can’t go without a sign-off, particularly if you’ve opened the email with a salutation.

Avoid the minefield by not letting yourself get overly familiar. Stay away from “xo” and “love” (obviously) in a professional setting. “Warmly”/”fondly” fall into the “best” trap, while being borderline creepy. “Yours” and “yours truly,” or anything else with an adjective after “yours,” sound both fake and formal.

Then there are things like “take care” (this makes you sound dismissive) and things in the bland “regards” family (too much like “warmly”). You could try “looking forward to hearing from you,” but that’s a little presumptuous. Or “speak soon” (but only if you plan to).

In truth, the best ways to end an email, which have been proven to increase your rate of response by up to 65%, are sign-offs that include the word “thanks.”

So next time you’re stuck, try any variation on these farewells:

  • “Thanks in advance”
  • “Thanks”
  • “Thank you”

If you’re really stuck and can’t make “thanks” work, then variations on “best” or even the pretentiously European “cheers” will do in a pinch—and still might get you the response you need. But if you can, sign off with gratitude and get results.

About the author

Peter Jones