The best salesman I’ve ever met once told me that the way you say hello or goodbye can make all the difference. As it happens, the same applies in emails.
Email enhancement software developer Boomerang has been doing some research into closing wording, and it seems that whether you sign off with “Thanks”, “Best Regards” or whatever does make a difference to response rates.
Now, of course this sort of data needs to be analysed with care. Nobody’s going to finish an email with “Thanks in advance” unless they’re expecting a reply, so it’s hardly surprising that emails ending that way also happen to have a high response rate. However, I think there are two things to think about here:
- For everyday emails, it’s worth considering your sign-off on a case-by-case basis. If you are asking for a reply, why not use something which nudges people in that direction, such as “Thanks in advance”?
- On a mass marketing email, the sign-off definitely matters, and should be integrated with the tone and requirement of the message. Again, it can be used to nudge people to do what you want.
At our company, we long ago moved to having a ‘business card’ style footer as standard for each email, with our full name. This then allowed us to add appropriate sign-off wording (such as “Regards – Chris”) above this on an individual basis. It seems to work for us. I frequently receive emails with rather inappropriate sign-offs, which does suggest to me that the sender either works for a company which lives in a straitjacket of regulation, or they just can’t be bothered.
Read Forget “Best” or “Sincerely,” This Email Closing Gets the Most Replies on the Boomerang blog.