- On June 24, 2015
Bloomberg Businessweek recently ran a story about how to close emails. Do you say Best, All best, Sincerely, Sincerely yours—or any of the many words and phrases we have long used to end correspondence? According to Rebecca Greenfield, the Bloomberg reporter, the answer is none of the above.
“Just end the email,” she says, citing Best as the most vapid and meaningless close.
That gave me pause, because that’s the one I use. Sometimes I even go one step further and write All best. Not anymore—at least not so readily.
I started paying attention to how people end their emails. Ms. Greenfield has a point. Many times—I wouldn’t say always—you can do away with the close. This is particularly the case if your last line makes your point well and strikes the right tone.
Have a look at these final lines and closes:
• I hope you enjoy the blog, and I wish you a happy and healthy spring.
Dr. Rose Smith
With I hope you enjoy the blog, Dr. Smith tells her readers what she wants them to do, and I wish you a happy and healthy spring conveys warmth, making warmly seem redundant.
• Come in, have a seat at our table, and enjoy food as it should be.
All my best,
That was how the founder, chairman, and CEO of a major restaurant chain ended a letter addressed to America that appeared in major news publications. Come in, have a seat at our table, and enjoy food as it should be is a rousing—and warm—call to action, making all my best feel unnecessary and a tad too personal.
• Share the PowerPoint love! Forward this email to your colleagues so they stop creating snooze-worthy presentation slides.
All the best,
I get regular emails from Jessica, the head of marketing at a software company. All the best does seem vapid and meaningless. Her last line enthusiastically tells me what she wants me to do. Enough!
Jessica was back a few days later, closing her next email, below, with what I’m calling a “customized close.” I think it works—as does the one that follows it.
• Want to learn more about using Twitter for your business? We’ve got a webinar coming up on June 24. Save your seat now to learn 10 best practices for Twitter optimization and much more.
Hope to see you there,
• Here are three quick tips you can use the next time you need to write a performance-improving annual review:
o Focus on just two or three areas
o Use the employees’ own words
o Avoid surprises
To your success,
I recently wrote an email to someone who had just given a presentation. I ended it by saying, “I hope you were a big success in San Diego.” Out of habit, I added “All best,” which rang hollow and diluted the genuine feeling I was trying to convey. Delete!
Sometimes people adopt a one-of-a-kind close, which is what James Lee, one of Wall Street’s most influential investment bankers, did. In his obituary, The New York Times observed that Mr. Lee, who died suddenly last week, signed his emails “your pal.” By all accounts, he was a widely liked man who really meant it.