Four Professional Ways to Close an E-Mail

by | Aug 3, 2009 | Writing Matters Blog | 11 comments

Just read Ruth McCann’s article in the Washington Post, ‘Best’ for Last? Or Should You Sign That E-Mail With Sincerely? Regards? Cheers? or L-, L-, Love?, in which she considers the best way to close an e-mail. Here are some of the e-mail closing options that McCann and her interviewees Arianna Huffington; Matthew Cox, senior staff writer for Army Times; Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC’s chief D.C. correspondenthave considered and rejected:

  • Regards – emotionally detached
  • Cordially – thinly veiled hostility
  • Cheers – too mock Brit
  • Sincerely – too old-school, too letter-like
  • XOXOX – too adolescent

I think the article missed one important point: how you close your e-mail needs to match what you said in your e-mail. Best wishes would be an odd way to close an e-mail about a 25% budget cut. Thank you is the wrong way to close an e-mail in which you let your staff know you’ll be out for a month recuperating from back surgery. The closing should continue the “line” of your e-mail and add a little flourish of feeling to wrap everything up. You should not omit the closing entirely unless you’re e-mailing someone you know very well and your exchange will be brief.

Four Professional Ways to Close an E-Mail:

  1. Looking forward toI like this closing because it helps me reiterate the point of my e-mail. If I’ve just e-mailed to invite someone to attend a course, I might close with Looking forward to seeing you at the September 22 web writing course. If I am e-mailing to request information, I might close with Looking forward to receiving your price list.
  2. Thank you forI really like this closing when my e-mail is a request. If I’ve asked someone to propose dates for a meeting, I’ll close with Thank you for letting me know when you’re available. Even if the reader hasn’t completed the requested action yet, the Thank you closing puts us all on the right track.
  3. Please contact me if youMany people use this closing in a generic formPlease contact me if you have any questions—but if I use it, I make it very specific: Please contact me to discuss training plans for next year or Please contact me so we can review the draft you sent.
  4. Sincerely, All the best, RegardsAny one of these closings is fine. Don’t obsess about which closing to use. The most important thing to remember is that the e-mail closing offers you the opportunity to remind your readers about the purpose of the e-mail and leave them with a good feeling about you and your e-mail topic.

What’s your opinion? Which e-mail closing do you use? Why? Leave a comment and let us know how you say goodbye. 


–Leslie O’Flahavan

Tags: E-mail


  1. Hi! I have been sitting here for 30 minutes trying to figure out how to sign an email, so that is what led me here. I definitely agree with go with the flow of the message, but my message is just short and to the not so nice point.
    I have never until the last couple of months thought so long about how to sign various emails, text messages, etc. It is becoming very diversified and that makes it difficult because I am beginning to realize even on my texts I am going to have to venture out from the old Take Care. Take Care on my text or email to certain people which I only used it to certain people was like a term of endearment with out any strings. Anyway just thought and I am sure you know, how this is getting to confusing for me.
    Thanks for the help . I will pick one and run. I am just going to leave it at thanks.

  2. what do you think of the email closing:
    professionally yours?

  3. Hmm… I find “Professionally Yours,” a somewhat odd closing. It seems that the writer wants to stress that he or she is not Personally Yours. I’m not sure I would use the closing “Professionally Yours.” What do you think of it, Irene?

  4. I’m sorry, it appears you contradict your self relative to “Sincerely”, and “Regards”…I like using “Best”, myself.

  5. I like “Holla atcha boy”

  6. Hi Terrell – “Holla atcha boy” works great, except when you’re emailing a girl! 🙂

  7. I’ve used “Best Regards” for the last 10 years. It tells the reader that you have respect for them.

  8. I have been using Regards and all the best as my professional way of closing emails but I am also realizing that I can turn to other closings which are more professional and have a meaning to the whole body of the email

  9. Led here because a colleague feels like Sincerely is unprofessional on a automated mailing from my company. Was really hoping XOXOX would be acceptable :). Thank you for this writing.

  10. Most of the time my email is follow-up with folk I see regularly. I mix it up and rarely agonize over it — Cheers, Regards, All the best, Thanks muchly, Your Humble and Obedient Servant, See ya. My spouse gets XOXOX — and no one else; that may sometimes change to “Love and Bacon” (I also read that piece which was your inspiration).

    But today there is some agony. I have to send out an invoice to someone who hasn’t paid a kinda big bill. Before “Cordially” sending the note, I stopped and found your well considered posting. I’m rewriting the note start to end and while there may indeed be some “thinly veiled hostility”, I’ll set aside my quill and inkwell, as well as the urge to add a semi-erudite parting salvo.

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