The Best Way To End An Email In Every Situation

Most of us probably have a signature email sign-off. Maybe it's "Best" or "Thank you," but there might be some phrase or word you love the most when ending your emails. And whatever you prefer or are comfortable with is, of course, up to you. But have you ever thought about the fact that maybe different email sign-offs for different situations might be better? Or that maybe your "Best" is too formal or bland for certain scenarios?

It can be really hard to read someone's tone through an email, especially if you've never met them, and the same can be said about other people reading yours. Maybe your sign-off came off as very casual, and you were emailing an executive about a position you just applied for. Or perhaps you wanted to send someone gratitude, but they read it as blasé. That's never going to be your fault if you didn't mean it, but you always want to put your best foot forward in the professional world. So that's why it might be good to think about the best way to end an email in different situations.

Casual emails

Starting off with casual emails, these types of messages don't need to be thought about too much. Odds are these are emails going to friends or people you chat with outside of emails and work. This can mean sending an email to peers, classmates, colleagues that you're close with, or anyone you're remotely familiar with. Basically, you have a good rapport with them. That is, as long as this person isn't your boss or someone in an authority position like a professor. We'll get to how to address those types of emails in a little bit.

The Muse gave a slew of great closing signature phrases to send in a casual or friendly email. You have the ever-lovely "Cheers" and the classic "Enjoy your day" or week/weekend. Other friendly examples include "Good luck," "Have a good/great one," "Sending good vibes," and several others. Which one you use is all up to the message and vibe you're trying to convey to the receiver. And it obviously needs to make sense. For example, if you're emailing about a trying time or helping with something, signing your email with "Hope this helps" is great. But when it comes to these more casual messages, don't stress too much about your sign-off.

Professional emails

When it comes to professional emails, where you have to be formal because you're emailing someone of importance or authority, or maybe you're emailing someone in a professional setting or scenario, it's important that your sign-off phrase reflects that. Earlier we wrote that "Best" is a classic one that might be old at this point. However, when it comes to professional emails, "Best" is completely okay. According to Indeed, other good professional email signatures include "Thank you" and "Please let me know if you have any questions."

In addition to those great choices, Grammarly wrote that "Regards," "Sincerely," and "Best Wishes" are among the best formal or professional ways to end an email. While "Sincerely" seems like the oldest phrase in the book, it gets the job done, especially if it's for a cover letter. Same with "Regards"; it just works in a professional setting. And as for "Best wishes," it's a bit more cheerful or bright than the others with a bit of personality in a minuscule way. But it's also not inappropriate, so it works for business emails.

For your job application process

Even though we just touched on professional email send-offs, if you're in the middle of applying to jobs, there are some specific phrases you'll want to gravitate toward. As we already mentioned, and as Indeed also writes, "Sincerely" is always a great one for job emails. This can be when you're sending in applications or inquiring about the position via email. It's also good when you have an interview and are conversing back and forth about meeting.

When in doubt, a "Thank you" is always a good way to end an email in a business or professional setting such as this one. First off, it's always great to send thank you emails after every interview, regardless of if it's too early to hear back. It sends gratitude and puts a good perspective of you in your potential employer's mind. It's also good to use after you hear back from them or get feedback. Regardless of whether you got the job or not, it's good to leave things on this gracious note.

When giving thanks

Again, you can never go wrong with ending an email with "Thank you." It's classic, it's nothing fancy, and it's very polite. When you're writing emails of gratitude or thanking someone for something, it's good to choose a send-off that matches that. While "Sincerely" or "Best" do still work, it hits a bit differently when you end with "Thanks in advance" or simply "Thank you." Grammarly wrote that a Boomerang study found that emails using "Thanks in advance" at the end had "the highest response rate." It gives a polite confidence that you'll hear from them, and you're already showing you're grateful for when you do. For this reason, though, don't use it if the email isn't particularly about gratitude or if it's a very professional or serious scenario.

Interestingly enough, Grammarly also noted that "Thank you" could sound expectant as well, so be careful with the usage of it. And they also note that "I appreciate your help" — or input, feedback, feedback — is a lovely way to end an email when someone has helped you out or taken the time to comment on you or your work or evaluate you in some way.

How to compose closing thoughts in an email

Just like we have concluding paragraphs in an essay or article, you should have a closing paragraph in an email. As Hunter writes, it's only a line or two that basically lets the reader know that the email is done, and it's a pleasant way to add more "well wishes" or sign off in addition to your signature. Same with an essay's conclusion, closing thoughts in an email are a great way to repeat any important information you need to or restate your main purpose (especially if you need a response or are meeting up in the near future).

Some examples from Hunter include, "It was great to speak with you today. I'll be in touch soon to schedule our next call" and "Again, I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention. I will see to it that we address this issue in a timely manner." As they report, it's a small little paragraph that might stick out from the rest of your email's content in case they skim and see action items or a specific farewell.

What not to write at the end of an email

It's important, yet simple, to choose an appropriate sign-off phrase in your emails. Even if it's just casual, it's good practice and shows that you take pride in your work and correspondence. However, there are some send-offs to always avoid. For example, The Muse reported that anything religious is completely out, which is a no-brainer. This includes "Have a blessed day" or "God bless you." Any variation of those or that mentions blessings or faith should be left out.

There are also some other obvious ones, like using "Love." This should never come up unless it's addressed to someone you actually love and who knows that (partner, close friend, family, etc.). The same can be said for "Yours truly." It's far too personal, and even in casual scenarios, it can be kind of weird to use either of these. You should also stay away from abbreviations ("Thnx") and don't use slang ("Peace out"). Try to stay away from exclamation points too.

Interestingly, Grammarly mentioned some seemingly harmless send-offs to avoid: "Take care" and "Looking forward to hearing from you." Their reasonings involve some paranoid readers that might take the first as a warning of danger to come instead, and some might take the latter as too expectant or "passive-aggressive." But that's up to you, depending on the scenario and the recipient. And, of course, never leave it blank or with just your name; it's a bit too aloof.