UPDATED: April 15, 2017 – New ideas added and included email signatures
Whether personal or professional, your email closing or email signature can show a touch of your personality or reflect the theme of your company’s brand. This includes the salutations and this part of your email closing is often the part that gives us pause, wondering what’s appropriate. At least I know I do!
So, let’s look at two things here… what your ‘default’ email signature should include and also some ideas for the email closing or salutation that you might want to customize to a particular instance. I’ll also include some info on how to set them up to appear automatically in your emails.
Email Closings (Salutations)
Personally, I have my favorites that I use often but then if it doesn’t seem appropriate for a particular email or the person I’m sending an email to, then I have some others that I can pull from. You could pick 4 or 5 that apply to different situations and once you get used to using them for a while, they will come to you quickly so you don’t have to think about it much. Who wants to spend more time in email… am I right?
I see a lot of different email closings with my clients and colleagues and I rarely see one that seems inappropriate. However, I tend to work with most of my clients for long periods of time so the comfort level becomes more personal and less stuffy with time. But still, we have to keep in mind those times when we email people who don’t know us yet and should always treat customers and clients with respect.
In fact, some people forgo the closings all together. To be honest, it doesn’t offend me but it does seem to send a message that they are too busy to bother with formalities. This is fine most of the time but I would be weary of getting in this habit, especially in business as email is not Twitter and quickly breaking off can sometimes give the impression the email may not be complete or give a somewhat cold feeling.
Obviously, this won’t be the case if you’re firing off lots of quick responses back and forth but I’m sure you get the idea.
Professional Closing Examples
Here are my some of my favorite tried and true closings…
Kind regards – formal but not too stuffy, this is good to use when in the first contact stages. It could even be used as a default signature if you need one but I find mixing it up a little is more .
Best regards/Warm regards – same as above but a little more personal so I would keep this for someone I knew already.
Warmly – This one is nice and quick. I like it!
Best to you – I like this one for someone I’m already familiar with but am touching base with after a period of no contact.
All my best – This one is good when communicating with a familiar client but not necessarily expecting a reply. For example, I might send this with a monthly report delivery, where sometimes they ask questions but most of the time they might just say thank you or even nothing if it’s going to an entire team. Could just be used to show an air of ‘I care about your business’.
Respectfully – A little too stuffy for everyday use but could be nice in a situation where you want to remind someone that you do respect them. Maybe you’re reminding them of a previous arrangement or an unpaid bill. It’s a bit cold so I would only use it if I felt the expression was necessary.
Hope to hear from you soon – this one might seem a little desperate in some cases but I have used it when I want to make sure a person understands I’m waiting to hear from them. Just as a gentle prod.
Until then – Great for confirming an appointment or arranged meetup at a salon.
Looking forward to it – another good one for confirming arrangements.
At your service – This can be corny but I think it’s perfect for customer service communications.
To your success – A little formal but depending on when it’s used, it can also be a genuine well intended wish for success on a project you’ve been working on together. A variation I often use in the midst of a promotional period would be… ‘Hope you’re getting lots of signups for your program!! Let me know how it goes.’ (Sometimes, phrases rather than a few words is perfectly appropriate).
Cheers – Shows a lighter side and is most often seen between colleagues but could apply to clients depending on your product, service or brand. It’s probably a little too familiar for first time contact though in most cases.
Thanks – I suppose this is ok but if you’re really grateful, why not use a few more characters. Perfectly acceptable if you’ve been messaging back and forth a lot or it’s a colleague or close contact.
Thank you – This one is better and also good in customer service emails. Could even be a decent default closing if you don’t have time for personalized closings.
Thanks so much! – My favorite of the ‘thank you’ group! Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated?
Many thanks – same as above.
Hope this helps – Perfect when you’re really trying to help someone solve an issue or answering questions that can help solve a mystery.
These are just my favorites for business but you really should consider your brand and how you want to represent it and also consider who exactly you’re emailing. Is it a client, a colleague, a joint venture partner, or a vendor? Be appropriate and always respectful no matter who it is, even when familiar.
OK in More Personal Situations or Special Occasions
These are all great for personal emails or emails of a more personal nature with business associates.
- Take care
- Be well
- Best wishes
- Kind thoughts
- Wishing you the best
- Safe travels
- Wishing you a safe journey
- I hope to receive news from you soon
The following are great for those with inspirational roles…
- Onward and upward
- Shine on
- Love & light
- Best wishes for your future
- Smiles and laughter
- Stay on the road ‘cos its going somewhere nice
- Happiness is a choice
- Keep smiling
- Grace and peace
- In peace
- Keeping it real
- Here’s to always having loving ways and perfect days
- With joy
- Live well, laugh often and be merry
- May blessings & happiness be yours
- Seize the day
- In Gratitude
Additional Closing Messages
Sent from my iPhone – This one used to annoy me because it seemed sort of pretentious to use the brand of your phone. Then I got an iPhone and realized it’s the default so I immediately deleted it and created something more personalized. I think these days, we all understand that we’re often using our mobile devices to respond to email and typos can happen.
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail. – Seems a little outdated to me but I do still see it so it must be a signal of caring about the environment but I think most people are not printing emails unless there are a lot of action items to take. I trust people to use their best judgement so personally I don’t think this is necessary.
Lengthy disclaimers – I’m fairly certain that these go unread but if your business requires them, then by all means include them. I’m sure they can provide peace of mind in the case of confidentiality statements, when needed. Just keep them as minimal as possible and have your closing professionally designed so that it is separated well and is in smaller print. This way it will stand out without taking over the signature and still be legible for the rare person that wants to actually read it.
Rule of Thumb for Email Signature (Contact Info)
Looking to add a more attractive signature box to your email closings?
Custom email signatures are a great way of extending brand awareness through a tool that you use many times a day. Taking advantage of this space not only provides important contact information, but also shows professionalism and gives you the opportunity to share your company messages in a quick and effective way.
You’ll want to keep it as simple and compact as possible. An overwhelming signature just distracts from the email content and could be more confusing than helpful.
Use a nice clean font, one that matches your branding but most importantly, one that’s not difficult to read. Bolding text is not ideal here but if you feel you must, then please do so sparingly!
Make a list of information or features that you think are most important and give some thought as to how best to lay it out.
Personal signatures should include your full name and your preferred method of contact. If you are sending out resumes, then be sure to include your email, phone number and possibly your mailing address. You could also include a photo of you that shows your personality or a nice portrait.
Business signatures should include your full name, title, phone number and email address at the very least. Optionally, you could add your photo or logo, tagline, website address, graphic icons linking to social profiles, call to action, etc.
If you want to get really creative, you can use a service like WiseStamp.com to add other features like images, social links and calls to action. They have a variety of templates to choose from and you end up with a clean professional look. If you have a team who needs a unified, branded look, they have a corporate version of the service too. Here are some of their examples…
Need more than one of these options? That’s ok! In most email clients (Outlook, Gmail, MacMail, etc.), you can set up multiple email profiles with different information and just select the one that’s appropriate.
Hubspot.com has a free email signature generator that you could give a try. I haven’t used it but they have a great reputation so no doubt it’s safe to use!
I hope this has been helpful. I’d love to hear about your favorite email closings and signatures so please do leave me a comment below and good luck with putting together your best email signatures!