How to End an E-mail to a Prospective Client


Dear Jodee,

An e-mail to potential business contacts looks best when written in business style. What about the closing? Sincerely seems “too” traditional to me. What’s an appropriate way to end an email gig inquiry?

Nan

Dear Nan,

If I’m sending an e-mail to someone I’ve never corresponded with before, I like to use “Sincerely” to close the message. I’ve seen people use “Regards” or “Warmest regards” as well.

When I used to work for lawyers (and that was several years ago), “Yours very truly” was used to end a letter. This seems a bit too “Old School” for e-mail, which tends to be a bit more casual way to communicate than sending a letter on paper.

Unfortunately, you don’t always know who is going to end up reading your e-mail when you press “Send.” Many of my clients happen to be younger than me and they seem to be a bit more casual in their e-mail writing style. I think you can start off a bit more formally, just as you would when choosing a salutation for your e-mail to a client, and then change to a bit more casual closing once you have established a relationship with that person.

I like to use “Warmly” to sign off on my e-mails to people I have been in contact with before. I even use it with friends – I sometimes get a little distracted when I’m online and I can picture myself signing off an e-mail by typing, “Love” and then realizing after I pressed Send that it’s going to a client. (While I do hold everyone I work with in high regard, it’s probably not appropriate to express it in that way.)

Which closing phrases have you seen, and do you have a personal preference?

Comments

  1. I work with a lot of publicists and marketing professionals, and I’d have to say the most common closing I see is the simple “Best, __”

    I adopted it almost accidentally and it seems to work well for business communications.
    adrienne´s last blog post ..Fail Alert- Magazine Editor Routinely Plagiarizes Writers- Defends Himself to Gawker

  2. I think I mentioned this in a comment in one of your previous posts. Best regards is my ending of choice. Very neutral and very positive.

    I feel it works pretty well. You dont want to come across as too serious or like you know the person like a friend.
    James Tennant´s last blog post ..Inside Hockey

  3. I have used “All the best…” most often for the past few years. I just find it’s friendly and professional, but is also almost a slogan, commitment, or promise of things to come. I agree with Adrienne that “Best,” works well, but I just like the extra “All” in there too!

    I have also used “Here to help…” and even just “Thanks…” at times, depending upon the nature of the letter and the recipient. My philosophy is always to keep things friendly and informal, even for relatively formal settings. I find it keeps everything to follow on a happier note. I hope that that helps!

    All the best… :)
    Lorne
    Lorne Pike´s last blog post ..How to remove a nasty Facebook app

  4. I generally use “Thanks” or a dry “Thank you”, because I feel it’s more polite, since that person has taken time to get that far down the email, so obviously has read it. When it’s more of a personal or casual email, I’ll add an exclamation mark (as in “Thanks!”). However, I don’t believe an exclamation mark belongs anywhere in an email or letter to potential client or employee.
    Kara Kelso´s last blog post ..Easy Lasagna Recipe

  5. I take a somewhat unusual approach to signoffs, which has worked great for me.

    I close with “Thanks for taking the time to consider my proposal/resume/whatever.”

    Then, since my mission in life is to experience joy in everything I do, I close with:

    “Enjoy!”

    And then my signature block.

    I get a very high response rate. I think finding something unique to do with your closing can be a great way to stand out and say you’re really an exceptional writer.
    Carol´s last blog post ..Top 10 Articles for Writers — January 2011

  6. I like “thanks,” quite frequently, but sometimes I just use my name and standard sig.
    I HAVE accidentally signed business emails “love.” Fortunately, they were clients I worked with for years and I’m sure they got a laugh.
    Dawn´s last blog post ..Writing- Editing &amp Coaching Services

  7. I simply say “Thanks.”

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