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The Art of the (E-mail) Close

Signing off as "Salty" instead of "Sally." Including 18 line items in your signature block, including your parents' home number. Forgetting that you already pushed "send" on your daily e-mail to your mom, and closing the subsequent e-mail to your boss with, "Love, Sean XOXO." Realizing that upon sending said e-mail to your boss, you accidentally hit "reply all" and thus also sent your hugs and kisses to your entire team. The ways we can bungle a professional e-mail are endless and there is arguably no worse way than how we sign off.

Signing off as “Salty” instead of “Sally.” Including 18 line items in your signature block, including your parents’ home number. Forgetting that you already pushed “send” on your daily e-mail to your mom, and closing the subsequent e-mail to your boss with, “Love, Sean XOXO.” Realizing that upon sending said e-mail to your boss, you accidentally hit “reply all” and thus also sent your hugs and kisses to your entire team. The ways we can bungle a professional e-mail are endless and there is arguably no worse way than how we sign off.

goodbye stop 

(Photo Credit: Peter Kaminski/Flickr)

From warm and conversational to formal and assertive, clever and comical to unprofessional or downright bizarre, a one-, two-, or three-word phrase can make a surprisingly big impression, especially when it is the last one in a given correspondence.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

To help you safeguard yourself against hilarious but potentially damaging snafus in your professional correspondence, here is a round-up of email signature and sign off “dos” and “do nots.” The “dos” include a stable of options to select or customize depending on the recipient and circumstances while the “do nots” make it easier to know quickly whether it is appropriate to close an e-mail to a colleague with “TTFN” (“ta ta for now”). (The answer is an emphatic and indisputable “no,” unless you are a middle school girl dishing to your best friend!)

DO use any of the sign-offs in the list below. A customized e-mail signature is also a great idea. A solid signature would include your name, title, company name, work number, and website link, if applicable. Optional additions: cell, fax number, links to social media accounts such as LinkedIn, a vCard, and your company logo. Be mindful of graphics in relation to the latter. If you do include a logo, tailor sizing and pixilation for mobile devices. According to the professional marketing and technology firm, Xink, this means setting your logo image as the signature’s “horizontal anchor,” with sizing between 300-320 pixels (width), and below 650 pixels (vertical).

  • Sincerely
  • Best
  • All the best
  • [Name] or [Initials]
  • Warm regards
  • Kind regards
  • Best regards
  • Regards
  • Take care
  • Thank you
  • Thank you!
  • Thanks
  • Thx
  • Many thanks
  • Much Appreciated
  • Respectfully

DO NOT

Sign off with any of the following closings. Also keep in mind that emoticons, over-sized logos, hot pink font (or anything other than black), and anything you would put in a text to a friend or family member have no place in your signature or sign-off.

  • Love
  • Lots of love
  • Peace
  • Peace out
  • Peace out, dude
  • With haste
  • Blessings
  • Have a blessed day
  • XOXO
  • Hugs
  • Kisses
  • Snuggles
  • Smiley face [spelled out]
  • See you around dude!
  • Your friend and my favorite, [name]
  • “Stay gold…”
  • “Now go do the woodoo that you do so well!”
  • Pardon my monkey thumbsThank you for your patronage
  • To your success/To your service/Talk to you later
  • TTYL
  • TTYS
  • TTFN 
  • Later
  • Later dude!
  • See ya
  • Bye
  • Goodbye

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Have additional tips about e-mail signature best practices? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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