Karen’s question: “I receive numerous emails daily from staff and other community contacts who end their messages with ‘cheers’ or ‘thanks much.’ Whatever happened to closing with ‘sincerely’ or a simple ‘thank you’? What is the appropriate way of ending an internal email or one received by a fellow service worker from outside your business?”
BizWritingTip response: Emails were designed to get away from the formality of letters. Therefore, “sincerely” is considered too ceremonial for most emails.
When you end an email, the complimentary closing line should be based on your relationship with the reader. If I send a message to senior management or to someone outside my organization, I use a more formal close.
Examples of Formal Close for an Email
Note: Yes, you can say “Best regards.” It is not my personal choice, but there is nothing wrong with it.
If I write to a colleague within my company, I am less formal.
Examples of a Neutral Close for an Email
If I send an email to a close friend who works for the same organization, I can be very casual and use an ending that means something to the two of us.
Examples of a Casual Close for an Email
TGIF (Thank God, it’s Friday)
TTFN (Ta, ta for now)
Note: Never use a casual closing when writing to an external reader or to a senior manager.
I know some of you are wondering “why bother putting a closing line on at all.” There are two reasons: First, it just comes across as courteous. If you were leaving a meeting, you would not normally just walk away. You’d probably say “good bye” or “see you later.” The same holds true for emails. You want to sound like one human being talking to another.
Second, most organizations have long disclaimers that get added to messages when they are sent externally. The closing line signals to the reader that the message is actually over. The print below is a legal requirement.