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The last few lines of an email are called the closing. The closing is a critical part of an email because it ends the correspondence and is the final thing a reader reads. After wrapping up the main point of the email in the body text, writers should use the closing to express respect and gratitude to the recipient, as the closing leaves a lasting impression.
People can use closings in all kinds of emails, but it is of particular importance that people use a closing in emails in professional settings, like a workplace. The closing part of an email tells the recipient that the email is ending. It ties up loose ends and definitively ends the message.
Professional email closings typically do the following:
Restate the main point of the email
Express gratitude and respect for the recipient
Tell the recipient how to follow up if necessary
Sign off with a polite phrase and the sender's name
There are two main things that the writer should use the closing remarks of an email to do. The first is to express respect or gratitude to the sender. For instance, using phrases like "Thank you" and "I appreciate..." in the closing remarks helps craft a polite tone and show the reader that one cares about the time they took to read the email.
The second thing a writer should do in the closing remarks of an email is provide any critical information the recipient needs. For instance, if a person is sending an email to apply for a job, they should make sure to provide contact information in the closing remarks and mention when they would be free for an interview. Or, if a person is inviting the recipient to an event, they should include the event's details, such as the time and place. Sometimes writers use the closing to point the recipient to information that is in an attached document.
When selecting the tone and words for closing remarks, writers should reflect on their relationship with their recipients. For instance, the writer should use a formal tone when addressing a teacher or a job recruiter. When addressing a close friend or family member, writers can typically use a casual tone.
The following lists describe what to include and what to avoid when closing an email.
Thank the recipient
Mention contact information
Sign off with respectful phrases and the sender’s name
Sign-off phrases include words like "sincerely" or "best wishes," which end the email. The charts below demonstrate example sign-off phrases for formal and informal emails.
Include too much contact information
Use large images
Introduce new information that requires explanation
A cliché is a phrase that has been used so much that it has lost authentic meaning. For example, "Break a leg!" is a cliché phrase that people say to wish others good luck. Using clichés can reduce the authenticity of writing and make the closing of an email appear ingenuine.
While including contact information in the closing remarks is important in some contexts, writers should not be too detailed. Instead, they can include detailed contact information or identifying information in their email signature. An email signature is an ending that writers put at the end of each email they write. It includes their name, job title, contact information, and often the logo of their company or a picture of themselves. The signature makes the end of an email look professional and informs the reader about who the sender is.
When writing the closing of an email in a professional context, such as writing to a teacher or a boss, writers should use a formal closing. Writing a strong formal email closing is an important skill to learn because professional communication impacts professional relationships. Knowing how to communicate in a formal setting in an appropriate, effective manner can positively impact a person’s academic standing and career.
In a formal email, writers should use academic language and a professional tone. They should avoid contractions, slang, emojis, and abbreviations, and use concise vocabulary that maintains respect for the reader. If it is the first time the sender is contacting the recipient, they should also include their full name. If they are responding to an email or have contacted the recipient frequently, including their last name is not always necessary.
For instance, the following is an example of a formal closing to an email:
Thank you in advance for your assistance. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime at +1 (123)-456-7890.
Note how the author in this example said the recipient could contact her with any questions or concerns. Saying something like this is an effective way to ensure the recipient feels comfortable voicing confusion about the email's subject. It also encourages open communication between the recipient and sender, which is a positive first impression to make in a professional context.
When closing an informal email, writers do not necessarily have to use professional academic language. People use informal emails for casual contexts, such as emailing people they already know. In such contexts, writers still should maintain respect for the recipient but can use more casual language. For example, the following email closing demonstrates how one might write an informal email closing.
Thanks again for your help! Miss you! I hope to see you next week.
Note how the author here does not include her last name or contact information. She does not necessarily have to in an informal context because she already knows the recipient. The recipient likely already knows how to contact her. However, in informal email closings, writers can still include contact information like email addresses and phone numbers.
The tone and style of an email's closing lines will depend on whether the writer is writing a formal or informal email. It will also depend on the writer's personal writing style. The following list provides an example of email closing lines for both contexts:
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Thank you! or Thanks!
Thank you again for your help with this issue.
Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
If you are able to help me with this, that would be great!
If you need any help or support, please do not hesitate to reach out.
If you need any help, just let me know!
Once again, please accept my apology for the inconvenience.
Sorry again about that.
If you would like to reach out, I am available Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I’m free next week if you want to meet.
After the closing remarks, people should close an email with a sign-off phrase. A sign-off phrase is a way to say farewell online. These phrases officially end the email and make the last impression on the reader. Writers should select the sign-off phrase based on the context of the email, such as what it is about and who it is to. The following list provides examples of commonly used sign-off phrases for formal and informal emails.
See you soon,
I look forward to hearing from you,
I look forward to seeing you soon,
Catch you later,
Thanks so much,
Sign-off phrases should be followed with a comma. After the phrase, the writer should start a new line and write their name. If they know the recipient, they can use just their first name or a nickname. However, the sender should include their full name and context information in a formal email where they do not know the recipient.
People should end an email with a respectful closing line and a polite sign-off phrase.
Good email closings are ones that express respect and gratitude. For example, one might write: Thank you in advance for your reply. Sincerely, John Smith.
People should express gratitude in an email closing with phrases like: I appreciate your time and attention.
People should end a professional email with a polite phrase with an academic tone. For instance, one might write: Thank you in advance for your help. I look forward to your reply
One should end an email to a teacher in a formal, polite manner. Show the teacher respect and thank them for their help. For instance, one could write: I appreciate your help with this matter. Best, John Smith.
What is the end of an email called?
Which of the following is an appropriate way to sign off a formal email?
Which type of email closing should a student use when emailing a teacher?
True or False. Writers should introduce new information at the end of an email.
False. An email closing wraps up an email and therefore should not introduce new information.
What is a cliché?
A cliché is a phrase that has been used so much that it has lost authentic meaning.
What is an email signature?
An email signature is an ending that writers put at the end of each email they write. The signature includes their name, job title, and contact information.
Is the following closing line formal or informal?
Miss you! I can’t wait to see you soon!
Which of the following should a writer not do in the closing part of an email?
Use large images
True or False. Only formal emails require respectful language.
False. Both formal and informal emails require respectful language.
Why should writers avoid cliches in emails?
Clichés can reduce the authenticity of the writing.
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