Who gets the last word in an official email exchange? What’s the protocol for rounding off a series of online letters between you and a client/company?
• Dear Wordfairy, it was great to meet you yesterday, I would like to proceed as discussed. I will send you the information you need and be back in touch with a firm idea of our deadline.
• Dear LovelyClient, am delighted to hear it. I will keep an eye out for the documents and look forward to getting started. Best wishes, Wordfairy.
• Bye, Wordfairy.
• Bye now, LovelyClient.
Obviously this is not how it ends: we’re not teenagers playing first-to-go, we’re grown-ups closing a deal and we must end the conversation accordingly. But is there anything else that needs to be said, or would that be a note too far?
I suspect it’s the latter, but I can’t find much online about the closing of a chain of emails. There’s a page from Oxford Dictionaries with tips on writing business emails including points on use of formal language, editing before sending, presentation of messages and referring back to how your company sends out its messages, plus lots more.
And there’s lots on how to formally end an email, such as this useful list from Grammarly.com/blog, which cites (in order of preference):
FORMAL BUSINESS: Regards, Sincerely, Best wishes
FRIENDLY BUSINESS: Cheers, Best, As ever
GRATITUDE & REQUESTS: Thanks in advance, Thanks, I appreciate your…
AVOID: Love, Thx/Rgrds, Take care, Looking forward to hearing from you, Yours truly, Respectfully, [nothing], [name/initial], Have a blessed day, [Sent from my iPhone]
I must admit I’m guilty of a few of the AVOID examples (apologies if that was you). In any case, next time me and my best mate (COUGHDebsCOUGH) close a message by throwing a whole menagerie of huggy GIFs at each other, we should probably remember that, at some point, all the animals need to get back to work.
Best wishes, Wordfairy