How Do You End Your Email?

How do you sign your email?

Do you say ‘Thanks’ or ‘ Best regards’ ? Or, ‘Thanks and best regards’ ?

I just found out that by saying thanks, you express gratitude and by saying best regards you express general sentiment. I guess you are expressing general sentiment of gratitude when you say ‘Thanks and best regards’.

I am not making this stuff up. Apparently what you use as the last line before your name in an email, makes a big difference on how the email is perceived. Since it is the very last line, the effect of the sign-off word or words tend to linger on the reader’s mind longer and there by having an impact in the way they reader unconsciously absorbs the subject.

We always knew that ALL CAPS meant screaming or excitement and that use of symbols added more flavor. May be I am bit neurotic about this, but I perceive the same words written in bold and italics differently. I am not sure if varying colors of the text will make any difference, though, in the way the email is read and understood.

Over at Bobulate I found this interesting graph that postulates the sign-off phrases against the various levels of perceived emotion.

Email singatures graph
Sign-off Graph from Bobulate

As you can see from the graph, your sign off phrase can come out as a combination of emotions between – Familiar/Unfamiliar, Natural/Self-Conscious. Looks like anything with the word ‘Love’ is seen as natural and familiar while ‘sincerely’ falls under unfamiliar and self-conscious. That’s interesting. I would not have guessed that.

Two things from that graph stand out for me. The one I use the most – ‘Thanks’ is sitting squarely in the center. I am not sure, what that really means; its not familiar, but not unfamiliar either and while its not natural its definitely not self-conscious. I find this weird.

Also, having no sign-off gets the highest rank as being most natural and friendly way to finish off an email. That kind of makes sense. When do you not sign off on an email? Only when its to someone who is very close to you and there is no need to serve pleasantries.

What do you think? Does this seem like real science or just voodoo science?

What is your top email sign-off phrase? More importantly, can you suggest me some?  I am, honestly, getting bored of using ‘Thanks’ all the time.

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