Image courtesy of Flickr, Luc Legay, (CC BY-SA 2.0),

The treacherous world of email communication

How do you sign off work correspondence?  I mainly use best, followed by cheers in less formal emails but after reading this post from Mashable (worth the read) yesterday, I’m rethinking my digital closings.

Does the Thanks email also deserve a rethink?  I used to deal with the General Manager of two radio stations on the Sunshine Coast, lovely man, very busy but also very generous with his time. So I was quite surprised when he said that he hated receiving emails that thanked him, whether it was to say thanks for doing something, meeting someone or giving advice.  His reasoning was entirely practical though.  In his role as a GM in a large radio network, he received a huge amount of emails each day and he lost time reading and deleting thank you emails (that time all added up).  It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate people thanking him, he knew that people were grateful for his time and input but didn’t need it in writing.  Sometimes we like a thanks or some kind of acknowledgement that the recipient has read your communication.   It’s also an ingrained social politeness which removing, along with the email sign off, can be a hard habit to kick.

4 thoughts on “The treacherous world of email communication”

  1. Well, I still mostly use “cheers” – mainly because it was an expression my father used and it reminds me of him! But also because it’s friendly, informal and… well, it doesn’t really matter anyway, does it? I use “Regards” for more formal emails (e.g. if I’m writing to the Vice-Chancellor or lodging a dispute).

    I’ve been thinking of taking up Kristina Olsen’s idea though. How do you think that would go down in work emails?

  2. Thanks for the article Rebecca. I’ve never come across ‘best’ in emails but then I’m not sure I even notice sign offs, it’s just white noise to me.

    Talking email etiquette: The one thing that ‘gets my goat’ is people who think they can ignore an email and pretend it doesn’t exist.

    Kind regards, best, yours, cheers,


    1. I have to admit Andrew, I haven’t changed my ways. I’m still signing off best and cheers because it’s so darn ingrained. Although I am cringing every time I sign off that way. I have been trialling a brief RR or just R at the end of an email. No complaints so far!

      My 10 year old nephew laughed when I offered to give him my email address, telling me that no one uses email anymore. The shame I felt at being mocked by a 10 year old, still haunts me. Maybe there will be no email by the time he hits the workforce?

      All the very best, sincerely yours, yours sincerely, TTFN, hooray (this is a quintessential Novocastrian farewell).


Comments are closed.