How to End an Email

With Examples for Formal and Informal Business Emails

woman at laptop thinking
Tim Robberts / Stone / Getty Images

What to Know

  • Universal: Use "thanks" or "thank you."
  • Business formal: Use "sincerely," "sincerely yours," or "regards."
  • Business informal: Use "yours," "kind/warm regards," "best," ":)" (a.k.a smiley emoji), or enter your own name.

The article explains various ways in which to sign off at the end of an email.

When in Doubt, End an Email With "Thanks"

When you cannot decide what to write and have no idea what would be most appropriate,​ end your email with a simple "thanks." The sentiment is never out of place. After all, the recipient has taken the time to read your message, and time — particularly in the business world — is precious. Using "thanks" as an email closing can even increase your chances of getting a reply.)

Other Acceptable Closings

If the universal "thanks," is not for you, you have other options for both professional and personal emails.

Business: Formal

  • Sincerely: This is a traditional, formal ending for business emails, especially those to new contacts. You might use it with newly acquired clients, for example, if you want to convey formality and sincerity. It can come across as too formal, however, especially when you have already established a more casual relationship with somebody.
  • Sincerely yours: Similar to "Sincerely" and essentially used in the same way, "sincerely yours" runs the risk of coming across as stilted.
  • Regards: This is a bit less formal than "sincerely" and can be used almost universally. It's a tad bland and unimaginative, though, conveying little about yourself or the kind of relationship you mean to establish.

Business: Informal

  • Yours: Even without the weight of "sincerely," this can still can come across as a little out of place and time in an email. It lacks the charm of the formal closings and does not make up for it in personality or intimacy.
  • Kind regards or warm regards: Considerably less formal, these closings work well in an informal business setting. They convey a personal touch while still striking a balance between formality and familiarity.
  • Best: While there's nothing inherently wrong with this generic signoff, it's half a sentiment. Best what?
  • :): For an informal email signoff, a simple smiley can be surprisingly effective. If you're the type to use emojis and talk with your hands and arms, this might be the appropriate way to end emails for you — but only in informal situations and lighthearted communications. If you need to convey gravity, importance, or negative news, this is not the closing you should use.
  •  [Your name]: Just signing off with your name is often appropriate, especially in an ongoing conversation. Do strive to mix in the occasional closing phrase in the thread, though.

What you pick and what is appropriate can — and should — depend largely on who you are and who the recipient is. Always take into account the circumstances of the recipient, your relationship with that person, and the tone of your message.

Was this page helpful?