Having recently donned a cyber power suit and a pair of clippy-cloppy shoes, I’ve finally stopped simply signing my emails with ‘loads of love’. Spinning around in this new business world I find myself hunting for an appropriate sentiment with which to close my communications. As I’m not just writing to my mum and friends, sloppy kisses aren’t really ideal and are unlikely to reap the type of clients I’m looking for! As we’re unable to use an entirely established etiquette or visible body language and tone of voice to ascertain how things are going in email discussions, we look so closely at both syntax and at the way the replier closes communications: it reminds me of counting the kisses on love-letters as a teen; more or less than the previous letter could result in hours of agonising or agonising grinning!
I’ve had a think and a hunt and have found that there are a significant number of signatures to mull over and consider; which one represents me, my words and my business best? I thought I’d share my deliberations with you.
‘Kind regards’ seems to be the accepted norm; but while it’s a wonderful sentiment – professional yet friendly – it seems so, well, samey. Surely by using the same signature as the rest of the professional world, I’m not really offering anything different to the rest of them either. I also feel I want to be able to offer more than just kind regards if I’ve been toing and froing a bit with a client, especially something has been resolved or it feels a more personal level of contact has been achieved. Maybe the answer is to draw out the level of conviviality: initially go with a ‘Kind regards’ or simply ‘Regards’ then move to ‘Warmest regards’ as the communication deepens. But then what happens, oh horror, when something goes wrong? Should one revert to the original sign off in a truly offensive ‘we’re Sie not du/ vous not tu’ response?
Several people regard ‘Best’ as a shocking brush-off, cold at best (no pun intended!), while others use it as a professional, formal and efficient close that is entirely neutral. ‘All the best’ however, feels more sincere and friendly.
‘Yours sincerely/faithfully’ seem to be have been left behind – at the bottom of printed and formal letters; I feel a little bad for them really, they’ve offered such an amazing service for so many years that it seems a little unfair that they get left behind on the cobweb-covered desk when their counterparts are leaping around at the cyberspace party. *A moment of silence for those nearly gone, but never forgotten… ‘Sincerely’ is, well, sincere, formal and I reckon can offer the range of professionalism and cordiality I’m looking for (OK, what about ‘Cordially’? Feels like ‘Yours sincerely’’s Grandma, BUT it offers something different and could become a contender – despite being considered by one article as ‘thinly veiled hostility’!).
Something I am known for when closing my phone calls is to say ‘Enjoy…’ (enter something to enjoy that has been referred to in the conversation) and I wonder if that couldn’t be transferred in my emails; ‘I’m looking forward to…’ may offer a written alternative that shows that I have read and inwardly digested what has been written.
‘With thanks’ is a nice option, but is only really appropriate if you’re actually thanking someone!
I wonder what we should think of a new, I’d say altogether too informal close: ‘xoxo’; what does it mean? What effect would it have on you if you received it from a business partner? It seems, to me, entirely inappropriate, but who’s to say I’m not just a tradition fuddy-duddy?
Ultimately it’s a deeply personal choice – enjoy making yours!
Here are some options for you to peruse and consider.
Business Email/Letter Closings
Informal Email/Letter Closings
Grace and Peace
Health and Happiness
Keep the Faith
Lots of Love
Onward and Upward
Over and Out
Peace, Love & Happiness
Peace & Blessings
Smell ya Later