As a freelancer, you likely send tens, if not hundreds of emails every week. That's considerably more than other documents you pay a lot of attention to, such as the agreement templates you sign or the scope of work templates you submit. And you probably put a lot of thought into the content of those emails. But have you thought carefully about the best email sign off?
Many of your emails are likely going to clients or prospective clients. Perhaps you’re sending an email seeking work, providing a proposal or quote, asking for a referral or even asking to get paid.
So the content is important and you spend time getting it right.
But how much have you thought about how to sign off an email professionally?
How you conclude an email is also important and so you need to think carefully about the best email sign off and what your sign off is really saying.
Here’s our comprehensive guide to the 50 best email sign offs and ones to avoid.
Whether you’re making a request, responding to a request, setting a deadline, sending completed work, or asking for payment in an email, gratitude is a key part of the best email sign offs.
Saying thank you is a great way to close any email. After all, the person took the time to read your email, so there’s nothing wrong with thanking them. Be specific and personalize that “thank you” for even more impact.
Here are the best email closing lines using thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.
Thank you for taking time to talk with today/read this email. I hope we have a chance to discuss this opportunity further.
Thank you for taking the time to consider me for your project.
Thank you for asking me to prepare this proposal. I look forward to hearing from you by Dec. 1.
Thank you for sending payment for the first milestone of the project. I will begin work on phase 2 immediately.
Thank you in advance for sending payment for the first milestone of the project.
Thank you for the feedback you provided as we completed the second milestone of our project.
Thank you for the referral you sent, which enabled me to gain a new client.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with on this project. I look forward to working with you again.
Thank you for working with me to tackle this challenge. I know we will continue to do great work in phase 2 of the project.
Here’s the kicker:
A 2010 study on gratitude showed that it inspired pro-social behavior, to the point that using a “thankful” closing get better response rates than those that don’t use “thank you” in the sign off.
As content expert Diana Myers says, “This gratitude not only helps the client feel good about what they’ve done, but it shows that as a freelancer or employer, you’re engaged in your work and mindful of those you work with. This helps build loyalty – effortlessly.
In this way, you’re staying positive and yet assertive and you’ve accomplished the goal of a professional email closing.
Let’s say you wrote an email with the intention of eliciting a response from the recipient. An example is addressing a freelance invoice. But if you never get to the point of asking for a response, don’t be surprised when you don’t get one!
Ask for what you need when you sign off your email, including a time frame if necessary, and you make it easy for the recipient to know their next steps. The time frame or deadline could also be one that you’re committing to meet.
If you’d like me to get started on this work by Dec. 10, I’ll need to hear back from you regarding this proposal by Dec. 1. Please contact me by then with any questions or adjustments to the contract.
I will complete this work by Dec. 10. Please respond to let me know if that time frame works for you.
Now that we have completed the first phase of the project, I would appreciate receiving payment as per our contract.
I look forward to receiving payment at your earliest convenience.
Taking the time to write a closing sentence that includes an action item, deadline, request for response to a freelance proposal, or a similar “next step” is a key part of how to end an email professionally.
When it comes to asking for payment, you can also consider an alternative such as a professional online invoicing product. Using a product like the one offered by Bonsai eliminates the need for you to send payment emails, and their invoice product is integrated with their other freelance resources, like contracts and time tracking.
Sign up today for a free trial.
Beyond expressing thanks or asking for something, there are times when you will want to tailor a sign off to a specific situation, such as looking to work with a prospective client.
Here are the best email sign offs for more creative situations:
I’m looking forward to learning more about the challenges you’re facing and how we can work together to tackle them.
I’m excited that we will be tackling this project together. I will send a proposal by the end of the week.
I’m excited that my proposal meets your expectations. I will send a contract to you by the end of the week.
Please be sure to contact me directly if you have any questions about the proposal/contract/final work.
Once you’ve written the details around next steps, or a tailored sign off, don’t just end with your name.
Here’s what should come next:
A formal conclusion to your email sign off.
If you’re wearing your freelancer hat when you’re sending an email, keep it professional. That’s true whether or not the person is a client or prospective client. And it’s true even if you know the client well enough to be a little less formal.
After all, the recipient of your email is in “work mode,” and more likely to pay attention to all the information contained within, including the sign off.
Here are the best professional sign offs:
Another form of email closing line using thank you.
A standard, top-notch closer.
Generic but professional.
Adds to the simple “regards.”
Similar to “kind regards.”
Somewhat more formal.
Still formal but continuing with the theme of email closing lines using thank you.
Some consider this old-fashioned, but might be your personal preference.
Usually used when deferring to the recipient, but appropriate if you’re delivering a difficult message, such as a final payment request.
Slightly more personalized and tailored to a Friday email.
Just be careful the approaching holiday is one widely celebrated.
Specific to a client that you know will be away from work. Personal yet still a professional email closing.
Once again, be sure the client actually celebrates the long weekend.
When looking at those choices, it may be tempting to avoid any kind of sign off and simply end the email with your name. But the lack of a sign off can also be misinterpreted, and you may come off as uncaring or even disrespectful.
And, that’s not to say you shouldn’t build rapport, consider client needs and get to know them personally. You just shouldn’t be overly personal in writing professional email sign offs.
In the end, it’s a personal preference in choosing “Kind regards” over “Best regards,” but either one is better than “later,” which makes you sound like a teenager.
Which brings us to the rest of the list…
Being informal, trendy, or trying to make a joke, are not good ideas when it comes to writing the best email sign off.
In particular, if you don’t know the person well, being casual or overly personal can be misinterpreted and could even backfire. You may lose a potential client by being flippant and unprofessional.
It’s easy to make the mistake of being overly personal or casual, however. Many people don’t understand how their emails are interpreted by others, so it’s important to practice how to sign off an email professionally.
So avoid using these email sign offs:
Be specific with your gratitude. Also, try to avoid exclamation points unless you actually want to add emphasis.
Not specific enough.
Be specific in next steps, like when you will contact them regarding the proposal or when you expect to hear from them.
Unless you’re British, it sounds fake.
Unless you’re Italian, it should not be used.
Much too informal.
Also too informal.
This is too open-ended. Better to be specific about a follow-up
Unless you’re sending this to your best friend, avoid it!
Avoid all abbreviations.
An absolute no-no.
Also too personal.
Wrong on many accounts.
Sounds like the end of a love letter.
Funny email sign offs aren’t a good idea, especially when your sense of humor may not be shared by the email recipient. So avoid these failed attempts at being humorous:
This is one example of an attempted joke that a client might not appreciate. Don’t try to be funny. Be professional.
Not that funny, and unprofessional to boot.
Might have been good for Oscar Wilde to use, but not as a professional email closing. Avoid what you think are funny or cute quotes.
There are many things to think about in running your freelance business. Communication with clients and potential clients is one of the most important aspects of your work.
When composing emails, it’s important to spend time getting the content right. That includes how you end an email. The best email sign off will encourage a prompt response from the recipient, but more than that, it will also ensure you’re seen as professional, courteous and the right freelancer for the job.
Our guide to the 50 best and worst email sign offs will help ensure all your email communications are of the highest standard, and that you craft professional email closings every time.
To eliminate the need to send individual emails as part of regular administrative tasks, consider the option of the integrated tools available to you as part of Bonsai’s freelance suite by signing up for a free trial now.