The Best Way to End an Email: How to Actually Get a Response

Sure, we live in an age where email is a prime form of communication. Of course, when it comes to work, we couldn’t live without it. However, it can be incredibly frustrating when you’re waiting for someone to respond and, well, they just don’t.

As a journalist, I’m always on deadline and often just can’t wait days for someone to get back to me. So, through the years I have found certain ways to make sure that they do. For instance, I keep my emails as short as possible. I enumerate and even bold specifically what I need to make the email easy for others read. And when I don’t hear back within 24 hours, I’ll even resort to begging—subject lines such as “Please respond!” or “Please let me know ASAP!” seem to do the trick.

However, it turns out one of the best ways to get people to reply to your emails has to do with your closing.

Boomberang, an email productivity app, recently examined more than 350,000 emails threads in which a person was asking others for help in some way, looking for a response. As they explained in a blog post, “Certain email closings deliver higher response rates.” Boomerang took a look at the eight most popular email closings and then ranked them in order of response rate. Here’s what they found:

In a nutshell, Boomerang found that emails that showed thanks in some ways correlated with a 36% relative increase in response rate compared to those that had other types of sign offs. They acknowledge, however, that they’re not the first to have such findings. Specifically, they cite a 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology entitled “A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way.” In the study, 69 college student participants received one of two emails asking for help with a cover letter—half the emails ended with “Thank you so much” while the other half didn’t. The study found that recipients were more than twice as likely to offer help when they received the email that expressed a bit of gratitude.

Of course, if you want to stick with “Regards” or “Best” as your email closing, that’s your call. I, for one, know what I’m going to do from now on.

Thanks in advance for reading this blog post!

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