In the old days when we wrote letters, signing off wasn’t that hard. You wrote a lengthy note and then signed it “sincerely” if it was a business matter – or “love” if it was to someone you loved. Nowadays, things aren’t as a cut and dried. Emails vary in length, content and tone – so picking the right note to end on is a bit more difficult. So here are some suggestions from Real Simple Magazine’s etiquette expert, Michelle Slatalla. 

  • She says, never use “ciao.” Unless you really are Italian and can speak it, it sounds pretentious. Saying “later” is too casual, unless you’re 15 and emailing a friend. Only Louis Armstrong, a native of New Orleans, was allowed to sign off saying “Red beans and ricely yours!”
  • For your boss, sign emails “Thanks very much” or “Thank you.” Gratitude is always a good default position with the person who signs your paychecks. 
  • For your future boss? If you’re applying for a job, try something a little more formal: “Sincerely yours” or “Yours truly.” Either one sounds respectful and indicates that you’re willing to be a loyal employee.
  • If you’re emailing the people in your book club – or another group, like your Fantasy Football league – try signing off with “Best.” You want to sound likable and it conveys feelings of warmth. 
  • So what about emailing your ex? Slatalla says never use “love” – no matter how close you’ve remained. It can be misconstrued. If you want to convey platonic affection, try “Warmly.”
  • For anyone who might sue you, try “Respectfully yours.” It may butter up the person on the receiving end.
  • For everybody else, a good default email sign off is, “Kind regards.” It’s short, sweet, a little on the formal side – making it perfect for almost any occasion.