A Guide to Ending a Business Email

FT Contributor  | 

It’s important to end every business email correctly. A strong, professional closing can leave a good impression of your brand and bolster your own personal reputation. Including a weak or ineffective ending or failing altogether to provide a conclusion can have the opposite effect. 

If you struggle with properly ending your electronic communications, here are some tips and tricks to improve the effectiveness of your business emails by ending on a strong note each and every time.

The Basics of a Business Email Closing

When it comes to closing a business email, consider both the structure and the tone of your words. A few essential components that go into this include the following:

Format

It’s important to match the format of your closing to the font and size of the rest of the business email. This includes your signature. In addition, your ending should be written in block style, with everything left-aligned and sans indentation.

Be aware that some organizations have specific fonts that they use. If this is the case, make sure to always use the standard font for your company in your email correspondence.

Tone

As is the case with most professional correspondence, the tone of your closing should take your audience into careful consideration. For the most part, business emails tend to consist of a mixture of friendly yet professional writing. This allows for some flexibility regarding the specific closing phrases that may be used (see the examples below).

This flexibility allows the sender to personalize the closing depending on the conditions under which the email is written. If you’re writing to a coworker you’ve known for a long time, you might use the closing phrase, “Warm regards.” If you’re writing to a hiring manager regarding an application, though, the phrase may be too familiar and a simple “Regards” or “Sincerely” would be more appropriate.

Business Email Signature

There are many different ways to include your signature in an email. The simplest option is to include your name and basic contact information. Other signatures expand to include a call to action, a business logo and information, social media links, and even a small headshot of yourself. Including these things can help you with networking, which is important for developing your career.

Always include your name and basic contact information at the least. Even if your contact information is already included with your signature image, some people won’t necessarily see the image depending on their email service and settings.

Business Email Ending Examples

The basic form that a professional business email ending should take typically follows this structure:

  • Your closing phrase.
  • A blank line.
  • Your signature template and another blank line. (Optional)
  • Your first and last name.
  • Your title and the name of your company.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your email.

While there is room for some variation, the important thing is that you adopt an email ending structure that is both professional and will provide your audience with all of the information they might need. Here is an example of this structure in action:

Thank you,

Sarah McDonald
Human Resources Manager, Free the Birds International
Ph: 486.684.7876
Email: smcdonald@freethebirdsint.com

This email closing is short, professional, and informative. It includes the name of the individual as well as her contact information, in the event that a response is necessary.

Here’s another sample business email ending:

Please call the office to book your appointment.

Best,

Jonathan Ehmann
IT Technician, Harbor Technicians, Inc.
Ph: 334.498.5268
Email: ehmann23@harbortech.com

In this case, the sender included a call to action, prompting the recipient to respond. They included a brief but respectful closing phrase, their full name, title, and contact information.

Business Email Ending Practices to Avoid

There are a few things that you should studiously avoid whenever writing business emails.

Not Including a Closing

A common mistake when writing business emails is to skip over the closing entirely. This is the most tempting when you’ve carried on an email conversation with someone for a significant amount of time. It may be appropriate to omit an ending in select cases, such as with people you know well. However, it’s wise to continue to include an ending in most other circumstances.

Choosing an Overly Informal Closing Phrase

There are many perfectly applicable formal closing phrases for business emails, such as:

  • Best.
  • Regards.
  • Thank you.
  • Respectfully.
  • Sincerely.

However, you should avoid using overly informal phrases, such as:

  • Cheers.
  • Peace.
  • XOXO.
  • Love.
  • Always.

These terms lack professionalism and should be saved for informal emails.

Obnoxious Email Signatures

It’s also a good idea to keep the information included in your email signature to a manageable level. A signature can include:

  • Your name.
  • Your title.
  • Your company.
  • Your office, cell, and fax numbers.
  • Your Skype username.
  • Your website.
  • Your blog.
  • Any number of social media links.

These are regularly included in a signature. However, including all of them at once would be overwhelming. An overcrowded email signature will likely be skimmed over or even skipped entirely.

Remember, once you’ve created your signature, it will be automatically included in every email you send. If poorly done, you won’t even notice the negative effect it’s having. Instead, select only the most relevant information for your current position and leave the rest out.


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