Editor’s Note: Weekly Wrap is taking a well-needed summer vacation. It will return after Labor Day.
How much do you ponder over your closing salutation in an email message?
If you’re like me, not much.
When I close a note to someone, I generally use something like “Best,” or “All the Best.” That’s because in most situations I prefer to close my correspondence, email or otherwise, with something informal, chatty, and upbeat. People seem to react better to that informality, I’ve found.
All of this comes to mind because I bumped into a website (and thanks to Good Morning Silicon Valley in the San Jose Mercury News for helping facilitate the bump) called Bobulate by Liz Danzico. A post by Liz from way back in the glorious pre-recession days of 2007 — Second Chance for a Last Impression — gave me pause because as Liz put it, “If a closing line can be so meaningful, so important, why are emailers squandering the opportunity, putting no thought in the closing?”
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Good question. And it might be one to think about for a moment over Labor Day, because email is one of those things we spend a lot of time laboring over without thinking much about. And if you are in HR or management, what you write and how you write it can be critically important — even if it is just the closing salutation on your email.
Here’s more of what Liz had to say about this:
Forget what you’ve heard about first impressions; it’s the last impressions that count. Last impressions — whether they’re with customer service, an online shopping experience, or a blind date — are the ones we remember. They’re the ones that keep us coming back. But there’s one kind of final impression that people seem to forget.
The closing line of email — that line that you write before you type your name — has been all but forgotten. Go take a look at your inbox: you might be astonished at how little attention people pay to the closing lines when writing email. This underrated rhetorical device is so frequently disregarded that many people have the gall to use an automatic closing line attached to their email signature file. “