Last Updated 3 weeks by Emily Standley-Allard

How To Master Email Etiquette

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels

Email communication has become an indispensable part of professional life, serving as a primary means of correspondence in both formal and informal settings. While the body of the email often receives significant attention, the closing remarks are equally crucial in leaving a lasting impression and ensuring effective communication. 

A strong email closing not only reflects professionalism but also enhances clarity and reinforces the message conveyed. Conversely, an informal or unprofessional email sign-off may diminish the recipient’s perception of the sender, undermine the seriousness of the communication, and potentially impact future interactions or opportunities..

Adam Yong, CEO of Agility Writer, discusses the five best and worst ways to end an email and provides actionable tips for effective email communication.

The Five Best Email Sign-offs

  1. Best regards: This classic sign-off strikes a balance between professionalism and warmth, making it suitable for various contexts. It conveys respect and goodwill without being overly formal.
  2. Sincerely: Widely regarded as a formal yet polite closing, “Sincerely” adds a touch of sincerity and authenticity to your message. It is particularly suitable for business correspondence and formal communication.
  3. Thank you: Ending an email with a simple “Thank you” expresses gratitude and appreciation, leaving a positive impression on the recipient. It also signals the end of the conversation while maintaining a courteous tone.
  4. Warm regards: This friendly and slightly informal closing is perfect for maintaining a professional yet approachable tone. It fosters a sense of warmth and goodwill, making it ideal for building relationships with clients or colleagues.
  5. Yours faithfully: Similar to “Sincerely,” “Yours faithfully” is a formal closing commonly used in business correspondence, especially when the recipient’s name is unknown. It conveys trust and professionalism while maintaining a courteous tone.

The Five Worst Email Sign-offs

  1. Cheers: While “Cheers” may be acceptable in casual settings, it lacks the formality required for professional communication. Using it in business emails can come across as overly casual or even insincere.
  2. TTYL (Talk to you later): Abbreviations and informal language have no place in professional emails. “TTYL” is too casual and may give the impression of unprofessionalism or lack of seriousness.
  3. Take it easy: Ending an email with “Take it easy” is overly informal and may be perceived as dismissive or insincere. It lacks the professionalism expected in business communication.
  4. Catch you later: Similar to “TTYL,” “Catch you later” is too casual and should be avoided in professional emails. It may undermine the seriousness of the message or the relationship with the recipient.
  5. Later gator: While playful and whimsical, “Later gator” is highly inappropriate for professional communication. It can be perceived as unprofessional and disrespectful, potentially damaging professional relationships.

Actionable Tips for Effective Email Communication

Be clear and concise

Keep your emails brief and to the point. Avoid unnecessary jargon or ambiguous language to ensure clarity and understanding.

Proofread before sending

Take a moment to review your email for typos, grammatical errors, and clarity. A well-written email reflects positively on your professionalism and attention to detail.

Use a professional email address

Choose a professional email address that includes your name or company name. Avoid using nicknames or irrelevant terms that may detract from your credibility.

Personalize your emails

Whenever possible, address the recipient by name and tailor your message to their specific needs or interests. Personalization shows that you value the recipient and enhances engagement.

Follow up when necessary

If you don’t receive a response to your email, consider sending a polite follow-up after a reasonable period. Persistence demonstrates your commitment to effective communication.

In the words of Adam, “Effective communication is the cornerstone of success in any endeavor. Paying attention to the details, including the way you end your emails, can make all the difference in leaving a positive impression and building strong professional relationships.”

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