Our webinars on Email Best Practices and Crafting Emails that Stand Above the Noise lead business writers to new techniques for improving the effectiveness of their emails. Naturally, we cover wording, tone, what to avoid, and crafting subject lines that engage readers. We also address the
all-important close, or sign-off.
Consider these 4 tips:
1. Match Your Sign-off to Overall Tone. If your email message is professional (as it should be!) or even formal, your closing should match the tone. Instead of saying, "See ya' soon," you should sign "Sincerely" or "Best regards." In all business writing, avoid veering toward too casual.
2. Use a Call to Action Just Before Sign-off. Pose a question just before your sign-off to support the purpose of your email and encourage readers to act. Or you might state your expectations ("I appreciate your help in answering these questions.") Keep it direct and thought-provoking, but not too contrived or forceful. Frame the last statement or question in a way that encourages readers to act or reminds them of the message's main purpose.
3. Avoid Abbreviations. Social media and texting shortcuts have spread into email and other business writing. Avoid using these to close email messages. Even if your reader is familiar with common texting shortcuts, they don't expect to see these abbreviations in an email close. Your reader should never have to look up the meaning of your close; it should be clear. And, after all, does it take that much longer to type "Yours truly" than it does to type "YT"?
4. Include a Signature Block. Be sure all email messages include a professional signature line that lists at a minimum your full name, title, company name (and logo if available) and phone number. You can customize the signature in MS Outlook if you write to different audiences. If you typically include a tagline or other company message, be sure to update it regularly (for example, don't keep the message about the holidays past the first week in January!)
I can't stress enough how important email writing has become in the business world. Of course, the sign-off is one of many essential parts of crafting email messages that get results. Make email writing work for, not against, you with our online courses and webinars. Learn more about email writing on the Business Writing That Counts! website or give us a call at (425)-485-3221.