Signing off work emails can feel awkward — especially if you're in a back-and-forth conversation with someone. You don't want to sound repetitive or make the recipient feel like you're trying to sound professional, but you also don't want to be unprofessional.
So how do you do it?
FGBer StellaK took to the community board to ask others how they sign off on emails.
"How do you end a work email without annoying the recipients?" she asks. "Everyone has their own way of signing off... But sometimes when I end with 'cheers' or 'best,' I know I like the way it sounds, but I think it might make the recipient(s) cringe. Maybe it’s all about knowing your audience, but what’s your go-to or most comfortable way(s) to sign off? So curious!"
FGBers are sharing their go-to sign-offs, as well as sign-offs they've seen from senders. Here's what they have to say.
"As the recipient this week, I read 'warmly,' at the end of an email and I kind of liked it!" says JamieJacobs. "I think it was because the person who signed-off has the appropriate personality to pull it off without making it sound weird. But to your point, I was definitely thinking about the sign-off and without even realizing it, I was judging it."
But it's important to read your audience, as StellaK points out in her original question. Not everyone appreciates this sign-off.
"I cringe at 'warmly' especially!" says Krista F.
2. "Thank you"
"When in doubt... 'Thank you,' — it’s too classic to annoy anyone. Right?" asks PenelopeSage.
"Usually I [end] with 'Thanks' or 'Thanks for your help' if I was asking them to do something," says BansheeBailey.
But be careful with the thank yous.
"I don't like 'thank you' as a generic sign off," says Jen Stephens. "To me that says there is no genuine gratitude if 'thank you' said to everyone for everything. It makes the phrase meaningless (to me) — even for the times you are thankful to that person. And it doesn't always fit the context of the email. A lot of times I'm thinking, 'What are you even supposedly thanking me for? I haven't done anything.' If I say, 'thank you,' it's in the body of the email, and I say what exactly I am thanking them for."
3. "All the Best"
"I use 'All the best' if it’s a one-off email to someone I know I’m not going to probably talk to for a while," says an anonymous FGBer.
"'Regards,' is my standard sign off," adds Stephens.
"I usually sign off as 'best' for the first few emails I send to someone," says Stephanie Koehler. "Once I can get away with it, I leave off the exit greeting until I have something specific to say."
6. No Sign-Off
"Many times I don't even close it with something," says Trinity Griffin. "It's weird, but I spend way too much time thinking about which closing greeting will come off the best, that I don't even send one half the time."
"I use 'Cheers' in my email and in real life as well, so people who know me in email land, or in email-land and real-life, or in real-life hear that word from me, so it's very on-brand for me," says barb_hansen. "I have that word built into my signature file, so I never have to think about it or type it. The only time I do not end with 'Cheers' is if the email is of a serious nature; then I usually just end with my first name and my sig file with 'Cheers' edited out."
"I just put my name," says Kathie Thomison. "Unless it’s to a personal friend or family, just keep it business."
9. Something Extra
"If I'm feeling extra, I exit with 'Onward and upward,'" says Lindsey Joe.
Meanwhile, Jennifer A. refers to her favorite line from her step-mother.
"My step-mom (a real estate agent) signed everything with, 'I hope you are having a great day,' and I always liked that," she says.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.