WHAT YOUR EMAIL SIGN-OFF SAYS ABOUT YOU? (ASCEND by HBR ARTICLE June 2022)
The fundamentals of email writing have been around for a really really long time. Many of the norms we followed in handwritten letters transferred easily to the digital medium. You’d think we’d have all become pros at email writing by now. But some aspects, particularly the way we say goodbye, remains fraught.
While the medium is not intensely formal, your words and tones may be interpreted differently by the receiver depending on a variety of factors, including your relationship, cultural backgrounds, and the climate of your industry.
In some cases, what has historically passed as a polite closing (formally yours or most sincerely) may come across as stiff, and frankly, kind of cold.
Because of the recency effect, the recipients may more clearly recall the items, ideas, or arguments we mention last. Your goodbye may count more than your hello.
Since people are noticing our signoffs, they represent an opportunity. They can be used to signify your status or reinforce your personal brand. They can also be used to convey care, concern, and collegiality.