‘Eat less yoghurt’: how to write a more human email sign-off
December 16, 2015
I had an email the other day from the solicitor who’s drawing up my will, the very un-funereal-sounding Banjo. And this was his sign-off:
‘Thanks for the info below. Have fun and eat less yoghurt.’
It made me laugh, partly because I can’t think of any point during our meeting when telling him about my yoghurt obsession would have been useful or relevant. But also because it was the last thing I expected a ‘professional’ person, dealing with a serious topic, to say.
That’s the beauty of writing a more human email sign-off. It ends the conversation in a way that says something about you, as well as the relationship you have with the person you’re writing to. And if you’re lucky, it can catch the reader unawares – even make them laugh. Can you imagine ‘Best wishes’ or ‘Kind regards’ ever having that effect?
I’m not saying that your emails need to end with a witticism worthy of Oscar Wilde. Or that commenting on someone's dietary habits is a sure-fire way to win friends and influence people.
I'm just saying that your email sign-off is an opportunity to remind your reader that you’re a real person, not a robot.
So if it’s feedback you’re after, try a simple: ‘What do you think?’
If you want something, say so: ‘It’d be great if you could do X by Friday.’
And if you’re grateful to someone, tell them. A simple ‘Thanks’ will do.
What’s the best email sign-off you’ve ever seen? (And yes, you can pick one of your own.) Tweet me @copybyclaire
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