Wondering How to *Really* End an Email? We've Got You Covered


It might seem small at the time, but when writing an email, don’t underestimate the importance of an effective sign-off. The introduction and body of an email might be meatier, but it’s sometimes easier for people to write those sections than the close-out. Questions can whirl through your head like, “is ‘cheers’ too casual? Too pretentious? Too cheesy?” or “is ‘sincerely’ overly formal or too old school?” These thoughts are completely valid, and finding the right way to sign off of an email is sometimes easier said than done. That’s why we decided to come up with the right words for all kinds of scenarios from serious to sweet and everything in between.

How to End an Email

When it comes to properly ending an email, it all depends on who it’s going to. Is this a friend? Colleague? Manager? Business partner? Or simply someone in your family? Depending on that, it then narrows down to the context of the email. Are you following up, thanking them, reminding them, sharing information, or chatting with them? This sets the tone for how you should wrap it all up.

How to End an Email Professionally

Using the words, “thank you,” “thanks,” and “thanks again,” are fine when signing off a work email if you’re thanking the person for the work they did. If it’s a command disguised as premature gratitude, it’s best to choose a different sign off as not to be rude or sound ungrateful. As for “thanks!,” this phrase is fine to use with an exclamation point when you’re genuinely thanking someone for an actual thing they did for you. It’s light and cheery, so you can use it with professional colleagues that you’re cordial with.

If you’re not thanking someone for something they did, the next sign-off option is “best.” This word is professional and universally appropriate. It’s among the safest possible choices, and just generally gets the job done. Want to add a little more to your closing? “All the best” is slightly more formal than “best,” and it conveys more emotion. “Best wishes” also works and is ideal when the email is going to someone you have a good connection with. In the same vein, “talk soon” is fine to use if you actually will be talking to that person soon, but if you don’t actually plan to talk soon, it’s insincere.

As for “sincerely,” this sign-off can oftentimes sound formal and stuffy. But if you began the email with “dear,” then “sincerely” is appropriate. If you want to tone things down and make it more casual, you can say “cheers” if you would normally say it to people in person. If so, go for it. If not, keep it simple and just say “best.”

How to End an Email to a Teacher

Since a teacher is a higher authority, it’s best to use the same sign-off rules that you would use for a boss, manager, or business partner. Keep things professional and clean, and sign off intentionally. If you are asking your professor a question, you can say something along the lines of “thank you in advance for your help” or “I look forward to hearing from you.” Again, keeping things professional is best here.

How to End an Email to a Friend

If you’re conversing with an old or new friend via email, keep it light! You can sign off with something cute like “xx” if you have a pre-existing close relationship to the person or “xoxo” if you’re talking to dear friends or someone who you love. If you’re not necessarily close with the person you’re emailing but it’s a friendly email (i.e. not professional), opt for a phrase like “take care” or “can’t wait to hear from you.” Ending an email can be a piece of cake if you know who you’re serving sending it to, and in what context. Cheers!

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