Does it matter how you end your email? With all the attention that subject lines get, how you end an email is often overlooked.
When we’re done writing our business email, we sometimes get stuck at the end. How should we sign off to sound professional and nudge the recipient to reply?
The most important tip is to close an email with an actionable sentence.
What I mean by that is crafting an ending that will encourage the reader to do something specific, be it answer a question, open your application, read an article, go to your offer, or whatever else you want to encourage them to do.
There are many common expressions that everyone uses on a daily basis. Here are some examples of reliable email closing lines:
Kind regards, (…)
Dear Mr. Jones, (…)
Warm regards, (…)
Plus some more formal ones:
Yours faithfully, (…)
When you want to underline your request:
Many thanks, (…)
Thanks in advance, (…)
I appreciate your help, (…)
I’d really appreciate your feedback, (…)
What is interesting is that research suggests the sign-off “thanks in advance” has the best reply rate.
And here are some examples of more informal phrases:
See you soon, (…)
Talk soon, (…)
Have a great day, (…)
Being actionable is necessary for any form of communication. Giving the recipient a clear indicator of what to do next is the best way to achieve the desired outcome.
Close your email with one specific question or action that should be taken by the recipient. Posing too many questions or steps to complete is a recipe for overwhelming the reader. Decide what the most important action is. It will make your conversation more dynamic, without any unnecessary information.
Not everyone will do what you want them to, but the goal here is not to achieve a perfect result. The goal is to maximize your chances using what we know about user behavior.
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Many emails that we receive are closed with a vague “what do you think?” or “when would be best for you to meet?". Although the intentions here are clearly good, and indicate a high level of writer’s empathy ("I value your time and opinion"), it’s not the best way to end an email.
Be specific and include a proposed time for the meeting. If you’re establishing the project timeframe with a coworker, set up a deadline. Skip the ASAP part, and make sure that whatever you’re working on will be well taken care of. Don’t forget to make this deadline sound like a proposal, not an order.
An email signature gives you the opportunity to add links to social media or to your website. To see if anyone clicks the link in your signature, add UTMs to these links. Additional data is always useful when it comes to analyzing traffic sources.
|Ideas of resources to link in your email signature:|
Fancy signatures with photos and brand logos are more suited to marketing emails. In casual business correspondence, I’d stick to a simple plain text signature with a link or two to relevant pages. The links should say more about you and what you’re proposing.
Adding a PS (postscript), which comes from post scriptum (“written after”) is Latin for a way of adding “one more thing” before moving on to whatever you’re doing.
There’s no definite grammar rule to write PS versus P.S. The version with periods appears more in American English, but it’s not a definitive rule. Simple PS works anytime.
PS lines have proved effective in marketing emails. Should we use it in business emails as well? It depends on the goal of your messages. If you’re writing a job application or contacting a potential business partner that you already have a relationship with - I’d advise you to skip it. However, if you’re cold-emailing, pitching offers, or doing any action that has a lower reply probability, then go ahead and write something catchy and interesting. Remember that research shows readers tend to read the PS first.
Go ahead and try a PS and let us know if it works for your prospects.
This class was all about finishing your email in a professional and effective way. Some tips work better for standard correspondence and others are more aimed at sending offers or contacting someone for the first time.
How you end your email matters. Research indicates that there’s a correlation between email sign-offs and reply rates. It’s not only about the style, but also about optimizing your results.
Go to the next lesson where we’ll talk about the importance of follow-up emails.
In the next lesson
The Importance of a Follow-Up Email
Learn what are follow-up emails and why you should send them. This class is designed in partnership with Keap.Go to lesson 4
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