When I was in music classes in school, I remember my teacher saying that the most important parts of a piece were the beginning and the end, since they were the parts the audience was most likely to remember. The same kind of thinking can be applied to email.
All parts of an email are important to the overall message, but the ending is the last thing your reader will see — your last chance to inspire them to action (whether that's responding to your message, signing up for a service, or making a purchase). In other words, knowing how to end an email can make your messages much more effective!
These tips will make sure you know how to end an email, so your sign-off is as powerful and impactful as every other part of the message. Read on for all the details…
Why is the end of an email so important?
Think of the last time you met someone new in person — for example, a professional contact you met at a conference. At the end of the conversation, you didn't just turn and walk away without another word. That would be rude — not to mention pretty weird.
Email is no different. You can't just end the conversation abruptly: it needs a natural end and a courteous, professional closing. Not only does this help you and your message make a good impression, but it can be used to reinforce your personal brand or provide a call-to-action (CTA) that sparks action. How you end your email can influence your response rate, click-through rate, and other important metrics.
Think of it like this: the end of your email is the last part of your message that the recipient will see, and the part most likely to stick in their mind since it will be the freshest. With that in mind, what do you want the end of your email to communicate?
How to end an email
While the ending is just one part of the overall email message, we can break it down into three main parts: the closing line, the sign-off, and the signature. Below, we'll examine each part in greater detail.
To nail a professional email ending, you have to nail all three elements. Here's what you need to know.
The closing line
The end of an email may just be a closing sentence, or it may be a short paragraph following the main body of your email.
A professional email closing should accomplish two important things:
- Express gratitude to the recipient for taking the time to read your message.
- Either introduce or reiterate your CTA so they end on a clear directive for what you'd like them to do next.
Here are a few examples of great email endings that end on a courteous note and inspire action from the recipient.
Closing that introduces a CTA:
Thank you for taking the time to read my email. If you're interested in more messages like this one, please reply and let me know, or subscribe via the link below. I hope you have a great day!
Closing that reiterates a CTA:
If you'd like to schedule a meeting about [X topic discussed in the body of the email], can you reply back with a few times you're available next week? Thanks again for your time, and have a great weekend!
The sign-off is the closing phrase that you use at the very end of your email, just before your signature. There is a wide variety of sign-offs you could use, but not all of them are appropriate in all situations — it often depends on whether you're sending a professional email or a more casual one, who the email recipient is, and other factors.
Let's take a look at some appropriate sign-offs (and some that are less so) and some examples of scenarios when you might want to use each one.
Sincerely or Sincerely Yours
These are two of the most common sign-offs in professional settings because they're polite, respectful, and appropriate for just about any situation, from a cover letter to a sales email. If you're ever in doubt about what kind of sign-off to use, you truly can't go wrong with one of these.
Best Regards, Best Wishes, Kind Regards, Warm Regards, or Warm Wishes
These are all perfectly appropriate ways to end a business email or a formal email. They're respectful, they convey kindness, and they hit a nice blend of friendliness and formality that the best email sign-offs need to balance. Whether you're reaching out to someone for the first time or emailing a regular contact, any of these sign-offs should fit.
An abbreviated version of all the sign-offs above, "Best" conveys the same warmth with a slightly more casual tone. It's also one of the most-used email sign-offs, according to my inbox. While it might be out of place in an extremely formal exchange, "Best" is, for the most part, a safe bet for ending a professional email.
This sign-off is also on the casual side, but not so much so that it would be out of place in a professional exchange. Be aware though, that if your recipient is very traditional, they could be put off by the casual nature of this sign-off.
Thanks, Thanks in advance, or I appreciate your [help, input, etc.]
It's never a bad idea to end your email with some extra gratitude, especially if you're asking something of the recipient. In fact, a recent Boomerang study found that "Thanks in advance" is the email sign-off most likely to get a response.
Thx (or any other abbreviation)
If you're writing a casual email to a close friend, maybe a sign-off like this is appropriate. But in a business setting, abbreviating your sign-off sends a message that you're too busy to type out a full word for your recipient's benefit, and that's likely not the tone you want your message to set. Save this sign-off for informal emails to personal contacts, and end your business communications by typing out full words.
While this sign-off is respectful and reverent to the recipient, it's also dated and a bit stodgy. Many situations call for formality, especially in the business world. But you can be formal without sounding stuffy, and this sign-off might be one to avoid in most cases.
Have a Blessed Day
It's always best to keep religious sentiments out of the workplace. While this sign-off may seem innocuous to someone who shares your religious beliefs, it's important to be cognizant of how this kind of sign-off can feel alienating to someone who isn't religious or who practices a different faith.
Bonus: sign-offs for personal emails only (don't use these in professional messages)
- With Good Vibes
- Catch you on the flip side
- [No sign-off at all]
The final piece of your email ending is your signature.
Because email signatures are customizable, many people see them as a way to inject more personality into their email — using their favorite quotes, fun fonts, multiple text colors, etc. But when email signatures get too fancy, they can undermine your personal brand, professionalism, and the message you're trying to communicate to the recipient. Avoid fancy signatures.
A great email signature keeps things simple. You should include:
- Your full name
- Your job title
- Your contact information, including your phone number
- Links to relevant social media profiles, especially LinkedIn
Some things that aren't strictly necessary but can help your signature stand out (without being too over-the-top):
- A logo or professional image
- A single promotional or CTA link
- Your pronouns
Here are a few examples of email signatures that are simple, concise — and effective.
How to nail your email ending every time
If your email ending has all three of the parts we've explored, you're already most of the way there. But we have a few more tips for how to end an email effectively every time.
Proofread before you hit send
This goes for every kind of email. It's always embarrassing to shoot off a message to a contact and realize, too late, that you made a spelling or grammatical error. Even worse if the typo is something personal — like misspelling the recipient's name!
Don't stop including a sign-off
It can be tempting, especially after you've exchanged a few emails with someone, to stop using a closing in every message. There are times when this is OK — for example, when you're exchanging quick messages with a close colleague who you know very well.
But if the recipient is someone you don't know personally, don't give in to the temptation to leave off a closing. Include one in every email you send, until you've built a good rapport and familiarity with them.
Use templates to make ending an email a breeze
While you should always personalize every email to the recipient and the message you're sending them, you can start with a template to make writing your email faster and easier. With Superhuman, you can save a few email closings for different scenarios as Snippets, then insert them into your messages with just a keyboard shortcut.
With other tools to make your inbox more productive — Scheduled Sends, Undo Send, AI triage, follow-up reminders, and so much more — Superhuman is the only tool you need to email like you have superpowers.