Professional emails should be clear and to the point. You don’t want your reader wondering why you’re writing them or what you want them to do.
Here are five ways to clearly and successfully end a professional email.
1. Request something from the receiver
Sometimes the purpose of your email is to ask for something. Perhaps you need your coworker cover for you in a meeting or maybe you’re requesting more time to make a decision on a job offer. Make it explicitly clear what you’re requesting.
I’ll be out of the office today. Would you mind covering for me in the team meeting at 9 a.m.? I’ll send you my notes.
Please send me your most recent sales numbers by tomorrow afternoon.
2. Give instructions on what to do next
If you need someone to take a specific action, make that clear.
I’ve attached a PDF file that contains the new online safety training course link. You can sign up using the link, and it should take you about 30 minutes to complete.
3. Ask a question
Sometimes you just need answers. Don’t ramble. Be straightforward and end your email with a clear question.
When is the deadline for the account project?
Are you free Wednesday around 10 a.m. for a quick coffee meeting?
4. Indicate that they don’t need to respond
Sometimes, you might not need a response at all—make that clear.
I’ve taken care of the company’s trip arrangements, so you don’t need to do anything else. Thank you for all of your help!
5. Thank them
Perhaps the purpose of your email is to thank the reader for something. Simply reiterating your gratitude in your email ending.
Again, thank you so much for making the introduction.
Here’s what you shouldn’t do when ending an email
Lay on the sarcasm
Although sarcasm is often a welcomed form of comic relief in person, sarcastic humor is near impossible to detect over email or text, and it’s unprofessional. If you don’t want your reader to be sweating bullets trying to decipher the real meaning behind your words, nix the sarcasm.
End on a vague note
Never, ever end vaguely—saying something like “I don’t know, you can respond if you want to” is a huge no-no. Don’t leave it up to the reader to decide what to do when you can plainly tell them what you need.
Read more: The Best Email Sign-Offs for Every Tone