During my time as an EF Englishtown teacher I have helped a lot of people write business emails. Getting the right balance between a friendly and professional tone can be quite tricky, especially when it comes to finishing your email. Here are five ways of signing off a business email in English.
Best regards – This is a common phrase, particularly in the UK. Notice the ‘s’ at the end of ‘regards’ – it can never be ‘regard’.
With regards – Again, another phrase commonly used in the UK. You could also write “With best wishes”.
Sincerely – This is a safe option that applies to most business practices.
Thank you – This is one that I use often, and it is very common in the US. If your email is asking a question or requests that something to be done, this is an appropriate closing phrase. You could even add, “Thank you for your assistance regarding this matter” to sound even more professional.
I hope to hear from you soon – Now, you have to be a little bit careful with this one. This phrase is sometimes used in business emails, but should only be used when you have been communicating with that person for some time. Also, this closing implies that the person you sent the email to needs to respond to your email, so make sure that this is the case.
Email rules evolve and change over time, so it’s important to remember that some phrases that you may have been taught to use are now outdated and no longer considered appropriate. In business emails, this includes anything with “yours…” in it. For example, “Yours sincerely,” “Your faithfully,” or even “Yours.” So try to stay away from these.
One other tip that might help you is to look at emails that have been sent to you. What language have they used? If you are replying to an email, sign off yours with a similar phrase as they did.