Yours sincerely, warmest regards, best wishes, all my love, thank you, xoxo. You have probably never given second thought to how you end your emails. But, could it be that you are not closing your emails in the right way? Apparently, there is a right way and a wrong way to close an email. By the end of this short post, you will have learnt how to end an email professionally and which closings work best. You will also know which closings are the absolute worst to use therefore, you should avoid using them.
Which Email Closings Get The Highest Response Rates?
According to a study that was done by Boomerang, emails that closed with ‘thanks’ or a variation of it got higher response rates than emails which had other type’s of closings. The research involved studying email closings in over 350, 000 emails.
Emails which had a thankful closing had a response rate of 62%. Emails which did not have a thankful closing had a response rate of 46%.
Out of all the thankful closings that were studied, ‘thanks in advance’ got the highest response rate. Even though this phrase seems like an imposition to the reader, since it insinuates that you know the reader will do whatever it is that you have asked them to do, therefore you are you are thanking them in advance, it seems like the readers don’t mind this expectation. In fact, it is this expectation that prompts them to respond to your request.
Adam M. Grant and Francesco conducted a research to examine the effect that gratitude had on individuals.
In the experiment, a student called ‘Eric’ was requested to write an email to 69 participants. He asked the participants for help in writing his cover letter for a job application. In half of the emails, Eric closed his email with a thankful response, while in the other half of his email, he used a neutral closing.
After getting feedback from the participants, Eric wrote back to them asking for more help with his cover letter. 66% of participants who got a thankful reply were willing to provide Eric with further help, while only 32% of participants who received a neutral closing were willing to provide more help.
The researchers further extended the experiment by asking another person, ‘Steven’, to ask the participants for help the following day. 55% of the people who received a thankful reply from Eric, the day before, were more willing to help Steven, compared to only 25% of people who received a neutral reply from Eric.
These experiments showed that showing gratitude boosts the social worth of the recipient. Saying thanks makes someone feel appreciated and reassures them that what they are doing is worth it. This motivates them to respond favorably.
Saying thank you is not just about good manners, but a way to make the helper feel good and encourage positive behavior.
Variations of thankful closings that you can use
- Thank you
- Many thanks
- Thanks for your consideration
- Thanks so much
Whichever variation you choose to use, you are more likely to get a favorable response if you used it than if you didn’t.
Other email closings that were also analyzed and scored much higher than over a thousand other closings that were analyzed included
Cheers – This is an informal way of saying good bye. It is British, though a lot of people around the world have now adopted it.
Regards-Using regards is kind of cold. It shows that you do not have a close relationship with the recipient. It kinds of creates a safe distance between the two of you. It is often used when you don’t know someone well but you still want to be friendly towards them. Variations of this includes
- Kind regards
- Best regards
Worst Ways to End an Email
- Best -Using ‘best’ is one of the worst ways to end your emails. According to the study that was done by Boomerang, emails that ended with ‘best’ had the lowest response rates.
- Abbreviating your closing. For instance, instead of typing ‘Thanks’, you type ‘Thx’. The disadvantage of using abbreviations is that it can lead to miscommunication, if the recipient does not understand what the abbreviations stands for.
When Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of News of the World was being grilled during an inquiry by the British Parliament, there was a light hearted moment when she stated that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, used to sign off his text messages with LOL.
When Brooks explained to the PM that LOL meant laugh out loud he stopped using it to sign off his text messages. Apparently, the PM thought that LOL meant lots of love.
- Not signing off at all. If you have an email greeting, you must always have a closing. Leaving your content without a closing gives it an abrupt ending. It is like walking out on someone when they are in the middle of talking to you.
It can be interpreted as being intimidating. It also shows a sign of disrespect or disinterest.
However, if you are having a conversation with someone and you are mailing back and forth, then you can leave out the salutation, as well as the closing after the first email that you send.
Your newsletter should have a call to action at the end. Your last sentence should tell the reader what you want them to do after reading the email. For instance, do you want them to meet with you, follow a link, make a donation etc.
Here are the top performing email closings in order of effectiveness
Now that you know how to end an email professionally, I hope that you will start using them from today on.
How do you end your emails?