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How should you end an email? Use your 'best' judgment

by Randee Dawn /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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We may write dozens of emails over the course of a day, but it turns out that we probably have no idea exactly how to end them.

Early on, emails were like letters that seemed to require a signoff, though experts asserted that would fade over time. Instead, emails now look more formalized and there's a "whole hierarchy of closings," business etiquette coach Barbara Pachter told Bloomberg Business writer Rebecca Greenfield.

Greenfield noted in her article that "yours" and "warmest regards" can be a bit over-friendly for business colleagues while "sincerely" feels "fake" and "cheers" is "elitist" and British.

But what about "best"? Back in 2003, a University of Pennsylvania study found that just 5 percent of respondents used it to sign off from emails. But Greenfield notes that in her admittedly unscientific online survey, 75 percent of her friends and colleagues use "best" or "thanks," though nobody particularly likes it.

So what's the way to go? Maybe nothing at all.


The best and worst ways to send emails
The best and worst ways to send emails.Shutterstock

Texting has made email even more informal than it is," said Pachter.

Putting any signature, especially "best" can come across like a "mom-style voice mail," wrote Greenfield, and added that since email is a conversation, there's no need to interrupt the flow by signing off.

That said, over at Forbes writer Susan Adams went in the opposite direction last year by coming up with "89 ways to sign off on an email". What was No. 1? "Best."

"It's widely accepted," she wrote. "I recommend it highly and so do the experts."

Use your "best" judgment, in other words.

Follow Randee Dawn on Google+ and Twitter.

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