Worst Email Sign Offs That Made Our Eyes Roll

A while ago, my colleague Jane and I made a list of the most loathsome email sign offs we’ve ever laid our unfortunate eyes upon. I may have signed a few emails in the past with ‘cheers’ but I refuse to believe that anyone in the professional space deserves ‘the icy cold ‘regards’ or ‘thanks’. What goes around comes back around, I guess. If the ‘Worst Email Sign Offs’ was a category at the Olympics, Jane’s senders would win by a fairly large margin. She has more than once received ‘warmly’ and ‘love.’ How are you supposed to regress to your former state after sending ‘love’ in an email closing? We dug through our inbox to create a fairly short list of what’s acceptable when it comes to creating your professional email signature.

What Is an Email Sign Off?

An email sign off is simply the ending part of your message. It is sometimes the most important part of your email because it describes your message and it gives the tone to your correspondence.

When it comes to email closings, there is no right choice. What’s acceptable today will be risqué tomorrow. I’ve always believed that email closings are a matter of personal choice, but that doesn’t mean you sign off with ‘yo’ or ‘oops’ while emailing the quarterly report to your regional manager.

business email sign offs

There’s a special place in hell for people who use the shudder-inducing ‘Sent from my iPhone’.

An email closing should be refined and thoughtful. It’s the last thing your recipient reads after finishing your message and can be a motivating factor in how swiftly they respond – or whether they respond at all if you’ve signed off with ‘please do the needful!’

Takeaway: A polite and professional email closing will give you better chances of earning a swift and positive response.

For all these reasons, email sign off best practices is equally important as the message itself. Without further ago, let’s explore the worst email sign offs that you should avoid. 

Worst Email Closings (EVER!)

1. Love 

Even if you are very friendly with the person, you should avoid these kinds of business email sign offs. It may seem inappropriate and obscene unless you’re sending one-sided love letters to your boss.

2. Later 

This may seem too informal and unprofessional. It’s also LAZY writing!  


Talk to you later (TTYL) is the abbreviation that you should avoid in professional emails. I find it hard to believe that anyone over the age of 16 would use TTYL in the professional space.

4. TAFN 

That’s all for now (TAFN) is another abbreviation to dismiss. It’s not exactly a career-ender but then it also wouldn’t help you get accolades from the HR.

5. xoxo

This is another kind of worst email closings that you should not use in the professional world, unless it’s Lindsay Lohan hiring Paris Hilton as a DJ for her wedding.

As you can see, the mentioned worst email sign offs are simply risqué and seem unprofessional. They can lead you to the Sophie Kinsella-esque territory that you want to avoid. The correspondent might stop taking your seriously.

Best Email Sign Off Examples

There are also good email sign off examples that positively speak about you. You can always use some of them to leave a positive impression and convey the right message. These are:

1. Looking forward to hearing from you
Who isn’t? Emails make up for 70% of our daily agenda.

2. Thank you

It makes you look appreciative whether you have anything to be thankful for or NOT.

3. Best 

Seriously, this is so strong it is the most liberating email sign off I’ve used.

With these email sign off examples, you will certainly leave a much better impression than with the mentioned list of the worst email closings. In your business email sign offs, you can also write something like “Best regards” or “Warm regards” and you won’t go wrong with these kinds of email closings. 

Why the Email Sign Offs Are Important 

Email sign offs are important because when you do not end a message in the right way, the whole message is wrong. This applies to all kinds of professional correspondence. 

People usually think that they should be friendly in writing a business letter, but over-friendliness in the email sign offs can be very damaging. It can leave a very bad impression and you can be perceived as a lazy and unprofessional person.

For all these reasons, always make sure that you write a good email closing at the end of your message. Your emails are your mirror and they reflect your ability to speak well and convey your message in the right manner. 

People always judge you by the way you write your emails, and they pay detailed attention to the email sign offs. Keep your email professional and try to avoid some of the mentioned worst email sign offs. In this way, you will be perceived in a good manner and your message will get a response that you want to receive. 

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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