This is certainly a hot topic in our office, with everyone having their preferred sign offs. I tend to favour a 'kind regards', switching to a 'many thanks' if I'm asking someone to help me out with something or if they already have, while one of my colleagues firmly believes that a simple 'best' is simply the best way to close an email. The endings that make me most likely to delete an email are the lazy looking 'BR' and 'KR'. Are you really sending me your best or kind regards if you can't be bothered to type that out in full?
A recent study of over 350,000 email endings to might provide the answer we're looking for. The results showed that emails closing with an expression of gratitude had a very positive effect on email response rates compared to 'normal' closings, which backed up a previous survey detailed below.
With many of us using email as the first point of contact in business engagements, it looks like putting that little thank you at the end is more than worthwhile!
Thank you for reading,
Emails where we detected a thankful closing saw a response rate of 62%. This compared to a response rate of 46% for emails without a thankful closing. Closing with an expression of gratitude thus correlated with a whopping 36% relative increase in average response rate compared to signing off another way. These findings actually reaffirm a 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology titled “A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way”. 69 college student participants got one of two emails asking for help with a cover letter. Half received an email that with a line that included “Thank you so much!” The other half got a similar email, sans an expression of gratitude. The study found that recipients were more than twice as likely to offer assistance when they received the email that included “thank you.”