Recently reading a lot of emails (because that is what I do), I realized that there is no correct or incorrect way to perform written communication. If you are a student, all the letters that you have written and the formats that you have learnt, apparently you shall forget them as soon as you start working i.e. be of age of actually writing those letters. Also, there is nothing like US or UK format. There is simply no format.
When I spent a couple of minutes browsing through different emails, there was something more that I realized. The closing or every mail changed a lot. It is similar to how we take home the climax of a good movie. Similarly, the closing changes the tone of the email.
Here is a list collated from the ones I saw -
I am not sure how this came into being a part of the business communication at all. Imagine all the mails where you are berating the other or demanding explanation yet you finish the email with Regards. Another comical example is applying sick leave on email and then ending the same with Regards. Right, you are the one who is unwell yet you would like to show Regards to others. However this is the safest option as it is a mildly happy emotion. There are no expectations from this and neither any strong sentiments reflecting from the same.
Never used in the real world! Sincerely, if I recall was to make the tone formal. Writing any business email and then ending it with Sincerely ensured that the tone of the email remained formal and business meaning. People were supposed to know that you meant business and that you are sincere in your approach. However this has never been used even once in any email that has passed from my sight in the past nearly four years of my experience.
- Best Wishes
Seldom used in quite jovial mails. This is like 'Regards' but in stronger sentiment. Imagine firing someone and ending it with 'Best Wishes' - almost like you are wishing him/her away. This is showing that the sender is simply too happy. And trust me, happiness is not an emotion that your boss likes. He is soon going to sense your happiness and burden you with more work. So no Best Wishes.
Now I have seen a lot of people from other countries posting some info or a very neutral email and ending with Cheers. While Cheers always seems to lighten the mood, it never makes sense to write your name after Cheers. That totally shows that the sender is drunk and takes Cheers to a totally different meaning.
This is totally the safest option of them all. From applying for leave to berating someone, thanks can be used everywhere. Depending on the reader, it can be conceived as ending the conversation or putting you as a humble person. When in doubt, go with Thanks!!
- Mixed Tone/ Multiple closing notes
Horrible choice! Never go for it! Often people will mix two notes which don’t match each other. That makes the situation disastrous. Other times having long closing notes or multiple line closing notes makes the email content smaller than the same. So unless you are totally sure - totally not advised. Topic closed!
- No closing note
Why? In a world full of words, you don’t even find one for yourself? It often makes you sound rude and changes the tone to be angry. Avoid it unless you can afford it.
Never appeared anywhere else other than the formats written in school. Won't appear either. Don’t bother yourself.
- Short forms or abbreviations like Thnx or Regds
Like who stole your vowels? How much extra calories are you going to burn typing those extra alphabets? You know right that signatures can be saved and configured to be attached to mails automatically? Did you know you were sending an email and not an sms?
- Take Care
Becomes too good will seeking. Read passage for Best Wishes.
Right! We could have never guessed your name unless you wrote it. This is only useful if you have a long name - like really long and you are working with people from other regions as well who might have difficulty pronouncing your name or your name is too long to write. Only then it is acceptable to sign your name or short of it to ensure people know what you like to be called. It is also better than nothing. In general sense, not a too preferable practice.
What? Freaking complete your sentence/phrase/sentiment and then I will complete mine.
Some other humorous closing notes that I found on the internet -
- Sent from my iPhone / Sent from BlackBerry
Flaunting your phone/ application? Would the content change if you sent it from desktop?
It explains away brevity and typos—who’s at their best when typing on a phone? But it also conveys that you don’t care enough to do away with the default email signature that came stock with your device’s email app.
Some people get creative with this signature. A few fun (if not necessarily business appropriate) examples found round the Internet include:
- My parents wouldn’t buy me an iPhone so I have to manually type “Sent from my iPhone” to look cool
- Sent telepathically
- Sent from my laptop, so I have no excuse for typos
- Sent from my smartphone so please forgive any dumb mistakes
- I am responsible for the concept of this message. Unfortunately, autocorrect is responsible for the content
- Sent from my mobile. Fingers big. Keyboard small.
- iPhone. iTypos. iApologize.
- My phone can’t spell for crap.