Let’s be honest. Writing an email can be one of the taunting things we’ve got to do. And it mostly hits us in the subject line and the content. We always aren’t quite sure how good we can be in writing an email. But there is something else which we care less about but which can have a significant impact on the reader and get a reply. It’s the ending.
We spend hours and writing and rewriting the content of the email, and once we feel okay with it, we hit the send button. We know that the subject of the email is crucial as the receiver should open the mail to see what’s in it. And a good starting is necessary to grab the attention of the reader. But then, it is essential to leave a good impression at the end of the mail, i.e. if the reader finds the ending bland, then that person won’t reply.
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist along with Barbara Fredrickson, has done a study on something they coined as ‘the peak-end rule’. This is how Wikipedia defines it: “The peak-end rule is a psychological heuristic in which people judge an experience based mainly on how they felt at its peak and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.”
A classic example of this is childbirth. The whole hard going and sufferings of the 9 months are outweighed by the cherished memory of delivery. Some other example we can relate to is a party or a journey. IF we happen to have a bad experience at the end of a party, like picking up a fight or having drinks spilt, we remember it as “a bad night” even though everything till then was perfect.
This, however, doesn’t mean that we are spoiling the whole email with a lousy sing-off. But the end goal of sending an email is to create a positive impact and get a reply back. So, you need to know well about email sign-offs.
Proper email sign-offs
The company behind Boomerang Gmail plugin conducted a survey in 2017, by analyzing 350,000 email closings. And here are the three endings which increased the likelihood of getting a response back:
- “Thanks in advance” (65.7% absolute response rate)
- “Thanks” (63% absolute response rate)
- “Thank you” (57.9% absolute response rate)
It’s clear from this that the best way to end an email is by showing gratitude. The phrases that didn’t fare well are “Cheers,” “Kind regards,” “Regards,” “Best regards,” and the worst of all – “Best.” Maybe saying “Thanks in advance” seem a bit too much. In that case, a simple “Thanks” will get the job done.
So next time you write an important email, make sure you don’t skip the ending. Make sure to give it some thoughts. Also, a simple thanks will be enough. As the saying goes,
A little thanks goes a long way.