What Your Email Sign-Off Says About You

Posted September 29, 2014 - in Mi PA & Tricks of the trade

Email etiquette

If you’d like to depress/judge/confuse yourself this morning, search “email sign-off”, “email etiquette” or “email etiquette kind regards”. There are so. many. rules.

I began to look into this subject after a friend called to apologise for sending an email prematurely, sans official sign off. There was no ‘cheerio’ or ‘speak soon’ at the end. I barely noticed it but her mortification was such that she was compelled to call me to explain, and so I was compelled to look into the email etiquette rule book a little deeper…

This article from 99U suggests a strict email diet for the super-busy made up of one-liners, action-only and numbered lists in emails. It calls for no ‘reply all’ emails and the use of subject line tags.

There’s some great advice, such as “successful busy people welcome a deadline” and “if you want to run something by a superior, share your approach and ask them if they agree”.

But can failing to ‘reply all’ cause scheduling agony? Is using the tag “SCHEDULING REQUEST” in the subject line directive or cold?

Ben Pobije at the Guardian takes us on a witty journey through the mental dilemma of signing off emails.

“Like many people, I most often go for the safe option: the “cheers”…The trouble with “cheers” is, first of all, what does it actually mean? Am I literally cheering the person I’m writing to? Am I saying, “hooray!” at the end of my message? Or is it a toast – am I drinking to their health and electronically clinking e-glasses with them?”

And this sharp list of 57 email sign offs on Forbes (a quick read), usefully albeit subjectively summarises the appropriateness of each ending, as well as the use of emoticons and legal and typo disclaimers.

The minefield continues.

Ultimately, this is about context. Sometimes email etiquette can be relaxed. Corporate organisations tend to have strict rules and regulations but it really depends on your role, style and personality.

At Mi PA we offer a popular email management service, filtering, prioritising and sending and responding to emails as required.

We take great care to communicate appropriately on behalf of our clients and ensure we understand exactly how they’d like us to do this from the off.

Customer service is high on our agenda, so we tend to keep things friendly and formal but from experience, consistency is the most important thing here. We don’t think it gets much better than ‘kind regards’!

How do you sign off your emails? What’s the strangest email sign off you’ve seen?

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