When you are composing a professional email, you may spend the bulk of your time making sure every piece of information is included, that it is formatted correctly and that you have run your spell checker, but do not overlook the ending. Creating a professional ending to your email can make a huge difference in how you are perceived by the person receiving it. Leave your email's recipient with a good final impression.
If you are sending a professional email to someone for the first time, it is a wise idea to end with your contact information, not just your name. Though the recipient will automatically have your email address after they receive your email, make sure to offer other ways to contact you. If you work for a specific company, include that contact info, including an address. Give your direct phone number as well, and indicate whether it is a cell number or a land-line number. If your company has a switchboard, make sure to include your extension. The more contact information you leave, the better the odds of the person getting back to you.
The Anticipation Ending
Leslie O'Flahavan of Writing Matters is a fan of ending a professional email with the phrase "Looking forward to . . ." She claims this will reiterate the purpose of the email. Beyond that, it also places whomever you have sent the email to in a position to respond. For example, if you have sent an email about a job position, you should end it with "Looking forward to hearing your decision about my application." The receiver now knows -- for sure -- what is the objective of her email to you.
Questions and Concerns
When ending a professional email, make sure you offer an invitation for the recipient to write back, such as "Let me know if you have any question or concerns about . . ." This will give the receiver of the email a green light to reply without feeling as if he's bothering you or that your email was intended to be the final word. This also keeps the flow of conversation going. When sending a professional email, you want to make sure everyone involved is on the same page. Making sure all questions and concerns have been addressed will do just that.
The ending of a professional email can have a personal touch, depending on the relationship you have with the recipient. Over time, a professional contact may become a friend, allowing you to end an email with an inside joke or even an unrelated story. However, do not do this until a friendly relationship has been created between the two of you. Ending an email with "Best wishes" or "Sincerely" is a good middle ground. This shows that you are more than just a business connection, but a caring person. Don't be afraid to show a little courtesy at the end of an email, especially if it's professional.