In email etiquette hell? Here’s the best way to sign off that pesky work email…

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  • Loadsa luv, MC xoxo

    We have a confession: For every email we send, at least a third of the time we spend on it is used pondering over how to sign off.

    Unless you’re emailing your nearest and dearest and can round it off with a series of kisses and ‘love yoooouuus’, trying to give your email a tone-appropriate ending is a diplomatic nightmare.
    You don’t want to sound too cold, blunt or annoyed, with a ‘sincerely’. ‘Thanks’ seems a passive aggressive, especially in the midst of negotiations, and is a ‘best wishes’ a bit like you’re signing your autographed picture?

    Perhaps it’s best not to sign off at all? Business etiquette Barbara Pachter diagrees, telling Business Insider, ‘Not closing is way too abrupt. If you have a salutation, you should have a closing to balance it out.’ Will Schwalbe one of the writers of SEND: Why People Email So Badly And How To Do It Better, adds: ‘We don’t go around in life barking orders at one another and we shouldn’t on email either.’
    So what is the best way? Patcher, Shwalbe, and author of career guide, Leave Your Mark, Aliza Licht, have spoken to Business Insider, and are all in agreement as to which is the best way to sign-off, with the winner being…
    All three agree that a simple ‘best’, is the safest possible choice, as it’s inoffensive and almost universally appropriate.
    But what about the hundreds of other options out there? The experts have also given their thoughts on those…
    According to those in the know, this is rarely the best way to end an email. Schwalbe says it’s, ‘Fine if it’s for the favour a person has done, but obnoxious if it’s a command disguised as a premature gratitude.’
    This isn’t popular with the experts. ‘Is this a cover letter? Because otherwise, no,’ says Licht. While Schwalbe adds that it’s ‘very formal and cold if it follows more intimate sign-offs.’ If you’re hell bent on being sincere though, Patcher says it’s appropriate if you start the email with ‘dear.’
    ‘Looking forward’
    This gets a thumbs-up from all three – but only if you are seeing the recipient soon.
    Now the email kiss is a bit of a minefield. Pachter says, ‘Absolutely not,’ but Licht says she uses ‘Aliza x’ in her own emails to be ‘friendly yet professional’, but states you must have a ‘pre-existing friendship.’
    Apparently this is a no-go, unless you’re British. So hurrah and cheers for that, chaps. 
    ‘- [your name]’
    This is ‘cold and abrupt.’
    First initial [‘A’]
    Pachter is confused and says: ‘I personally don’t like it. What does it stand for?’ 
    ‘Take care’
    Schwalbe says this can provoke anxiety, making him a bit paranoid. ‘Like you know I’m in danger and I don’t.’
    Well we hope that’s cleared a few issues for you. Happy emailing.
    Take care.

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