If your email inbox looks like mine, you’re bombarded with generic email after generic email every day. I get it — it’s hard to make emails sent by the hundreds or thousands feel personalized. Nonetheless, nobody wants to feel like a number. While it’s hard to avoid inserting a generic salutation before hitting send on a batch email, segmenting according to audience and personalizing your sign-off for each is key.
People expect some emails, such as newsletters and form completion emails, to be formulaic. But if a sales pitch comes across as cold and impersonal, you’re doing something wrong. Even when you use a template to construct important emails, personalizing whenever possible can leave a lasting impression.
The sign-off section of an email provides a ripe opportunity to add a unique touch to automated messaging.
The best types of sign-off remind the recipient of a prior shared discussion or interaction — in short, they show that you’re a real person.
Goodbyes are hard, but not if you can manage a well-executed sign-off.
Use Your Words Wisely
I end every email with “High Five,” whether it’s to a potential investor, a team member, or a relative. It’s a great conversation starter, and it gives off a very approachable vibe. Ending emails with a generic “Regards” doesn’t tell your recipient anything about you, your reasons for reaching out, or your preferred next steps.
Email management company Boomerang examined more than 350,000 emails and discovered that how you say goodbye can have a huge impact. Closings that were viewed as “thankful” had a response rate of 62 percent, while emails that didn’t show gratitude saw a 46 percent response rate. The email signature with the highest response rate was “Thanks in advance.” In fact, showing gratitude when you sign an email was linked to a 36 percent relative growth of your average response rate. The worst way to end an email? “Best.”
When signing off an email, first and foremost, be relatable. If your emails are detached and disinterested, what will you be like as a partner or vendor?
Here are three points to consider to up your response rate and inject a little life into your email sign-offs.
- What is your email’s purpose?
Every email has a purpose — so make it obvious. Why are you reaching out? Are you giving encouragement? Are you showing appreciation? Are you drumming up the excitement? Your sign-off should reflect the end result you’re hoping to see from your email.
The end of any email should ensure that its message will be memorable an hour, day, or week later. If, for example, the goal is to arrange a meeting to discuss an issue or contract of some sort, a sign-off like, “Can’t wait to discuss this further” or “Let’s arrange a time to go over the details” is probably best. Most business communication is attempting to further a discussion, so ensure that your sign-off reflects this.
- What attitude does your sign-off convey?
Whether your email is professional, helpful, friendly, or funny, make sure your sign-off matches the attitude of the message itself. For a more polished email, maybe a “Best wishes from our whole team” will suffice. It’s better than a plain old “Best” because it encompasses your whole team’s sentiments.
Friendly sign-offs should always be genuine. “Glad we got to touch base” should only be your closing if you really are glad. If you can pull off a humorous closing line, you can add a little bit of fun media: “Because you made it all the way through, here’s a GIF of Fiona the Hippo!” Small personal touches like this in an email can really brighten someone’s day.
- What action do you want recipients to take?
Emails should have a clear call to action that lets recipients know the ball is in their court and that you’ll follow up again later. “Looking forward to your response” and similar sign-offs can nudge people into dashing off an answer. Even the busiest CEO can type a quick, “Thanks, I’ll get back to you!”
If you’re collaborating on a project or seeking information, ending with “Reach out if you have any problems” or a similar phrase lets recipients know that the next steps are up to them, but you’re available to assist. Whatever your CTA is, it needs to be visible. Using bold fonts and colors not only helps readers better understand the message but could also lead them to take the desired action.
Automated emails don’t have to be boring. Changing up your sign-off is an easy way to add personality and encourage recipients to respond. The answers to these three questions will help you craft the perfect ending every time.