How to End an Email: Sales Email Tips to Boost Response Rate

2 minute read

After all that effort that went into researching your prospects and personalizing your emails—didn't get a response? And your email tool says that your email was opened? Let's see how you ended the email. 

Strategic closing lines and email sign-offs can make a world of difference. 

Was there a build-up of intrigue and credibility by the end of your message? Was the email compelling enough? Was there a clear ask or reason to respond?

Perhaps the learnings we derived from our customers running 25K+ email campaigns in Q1 of 2024 can help you. But first, let's start with understanding what email sign-offs are.

What are email sign-offs?

Email sign-offs are more than just a courteous farewell; they are a strategic tool that can impact the perception of your email. It's not about the "Regards," "Cheers," "Yours truly," and such, but about the impact you leave on your recipient.

A well-chosen sign-off can convey professionalism, warmth, or sometimes a call to action, depending on the context and your relationship with the recipient. 

However, in the journey to mastering the art of email communication, it's pivotal to understand how to end an email effectively without resorting to overused, excessively formal, or even inappropriate sign-offs that may hinder further engagement from the recipient.

To know if you are ending your emails well, ask yourself—are my emails achieving the desired response rates?

Factors that matter when you end an email

The relevance of your call to action, the personalization of your message, and the appropriateness of your sign-off in relation to your reader’s expectations all play a vital role in determining the efficacy of your email endings. 

Our analysis of email campaigns (both our customer's campaigns and our own campaigns), we see that it boils down to four hallmarks:

  • Context — Context is everything when it comes to choosing the right email sign-off. Make sure it's appropriate for the tone of the email and the relationship you have with your recipient. 
  • Contact details — Especially if it's your first email to someone, you should include relevant contact information such as full name, job title, phone number, and social media. 
  • Clarity over cleverness — While it's essential to get creative, remember that it needs to appeal to your recipient. Therefore, you need to be aware of your recipient's industry background, geography, culture, and more so that your creativity is not lost in translation (or worse, perceived as offensive).
  • Being on-brand — For example, you are better off using a formal email sign-off if you represent a law firm compared to how you would sign off at a tech start-up. One way to ensure consistency is by defining a brand voice across the organization.

A lot of advice on LinkedIn and Reddit falls in the theme of not pitching your product in your first email—that's right, because no one wants to hear a pitch. But that doesn't mean your prospects are not searching for a solution to their problem.

Until a few years ago, per the industry average, it used to take 14-18 touches to book a meeting. Not anymore. At Plena, our average is 3-4 touches.

Remember that everyone on your email list is busy, and you want to get to the point across as quickly as possible. So, as long as you're genuine and relevant, you can both build a relationship and have a clear Call to Conversation in your very first email.

You need to end an email with an ask that sounds like a natural next step instead of a high-friction ask.

For example, the framework used for the below email by Dave got an 84% open rate and a 27% reply rate 👇

how to end an email

What makes this closing line successful? 

The email hits 3 targets—observation, problem, and potential solution from someone who understands the situation.

While Dave is requesting a meeting, his email shows that he understands Steve’s current situation—i.e., Steve already has a successful model and, while having proven his success, is looking to build a process that scales it. And instead of pretentiously calling it “virtual coffee,” Dave gets to the point quickly that he can show Plena can help in scaling the process.

Here’s another example—in this case, Hudson ran a campaign with a focus to build conversations with our target accounts based on their LinkedIn engagement.

how to end an email

The above email leverages observation and insight of the target account as an opportunity to build a relationship by offering value (publication and distribution, in this case)—in fact this approach gets us a 51% response rate.

With that, let’s look at some of the best ways to end your email.

10 Best ways to end an email

When writing emails, it's fair to say we've all made mistakes. How we learn from them is what makes the difference. That's why we have listed 10 ways (from our experience) to end your emails in a manner that aligns with your message's intent, enhancing communication and ensuring your emails stand out.

1. Choose a professional sign-off

Opting for a professional sign-off is crucial in maintaining the tone of your email. Phrases like "Best regards" or "Sincerely" are versatile, fitting a range of contexts from formal job applications to casual business correspondences. This approach ensures your email ends on a note of professionalism, reflecting well on you and your intent.

2. Express appreciation

Adding a note of thanks can significantly impact the recipient's perception of your email. A simple "Thank you for your time" or "I appreciate your help" can personalize the message, making the recipient feel valued. This strategy is effective in building and maintaining relationships, both professionally and personally.

3. Keep it brief and friendly

A friendly sign-off can add a touch of warmth to your emails without compromising professionalism. Phrases like "Warm regards" or "Best wishes" convey your positive intentions and keep the tone light. This is particularly useful in emails to colleagues or acquaintances, where a balance between friendliness and professionalism is key.

4. Avoid overly personal sign-offs

While personalization has its place, overly intimate or casual sign-offs, like "XOXO" or "Cheers", can be inappropriate in many professional contexts. Such endings may convey a lack of seriousness or professionalism, potentially undermining your message's credibility. It's essential to match your sign-off's tone with the email's intended audience and purpose.

5. Include your complete contact information

Ending your email with your full contact information such as full name, job title, cell number, and more can be especially important in first-time or formal communications. This not only clarifies who you are to the recipient but also adds a level of professionalism. It's a best practice in job applications, official requests, and when introducing yourself to new contacts.

6. Use a clear Call to Action

If your email seeks a response or specific action, concluding with a clear call to action can be highly effective. Phrases like "I would love to hear your feedback"  or “Do you have any questions?” encourages a timely response, making your emails more productive and goal-oriented.

7. Mistakes to avoid in email closures

Common mistakes in email closures, such as typos, overly casual language, or forgetting the attachment, can detract from your email's professionalism. Always double-check your email for errors and ensure your sign-off is appropriate for the context. This attention to detail can significantly impact how your message is received.

8. Highlight next steps or expectations

Concluding your email by summarizing next steps or setting expectations can greatly enhance clarity and effectiveness. This strategy ensures both parties are on the same page regarding future actions, deadlines, or meetings, making your communication more efficient and leaving less room for misunderstandings.

9. Use a professional email signature

Incorporating a professional email signature that includes your contact information, position, and company logo can lend credibility and polish to your correspondence. This not only makes your emails appear more professional but also provides the recipient with all the necessary details to contact you easily.

10. Be mindful of your tone

The tone of your email's closing should align with the overall message and intent. Whether it's a formal request, a casual update, or a heartfelt thank you, ensuring your sign-off matches the body's tone strengthens your message, leaving a positive and lasting impression on your recipient.

While these 10 points can be a guard rail, the next key question is—are we getting replies? And are we optimizing for a response?

How to end an email optimizing for a response

Sometimes, your emails might not be getting a response because they introduce friction by being too lengthy, overly complicated, or lacking a clear purpose. Additionally, prematurely asking for a commitment without first gauging the recipient's interest or appropriately personalizing the CTA can significantly reduce your chances of receiving a reply.

Understanding the subtle differences in your recipients' roles, seniority levels, and their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential for crafting relevant and compelling email sign-offs that encourage engagement and responses.

For instance, when writing to sales leaders, Gong’s data shows that your response rates are higher when you optimize for their interest than asking for a meeting.

How to end an email professionally
Source: Gong

When we analyzed 25k+ email campaigns in Plena, we had 3 key learnings on why emails may or may not get a response:

1. Short emails get a higher number of responses.

We’ve seen that the shorter the email, the better it is optimized for mobile and the higher the reply rate. When we say optimized for mobile, we mean reading an email on your phone without having to scroll. The reply rate for such emails with clear purpose averages more than 75%.

2. You might be asking for a meeting before understanding their pain.

The purpose of your email is to get a response first. This approach is heavily reliant on research. You need to know the problems/pains discussed by your prospect on channels. Using a tool like Plena helps because it builds your high-intent buyer list based on their intent-based engagement and activities across various channels—so you already know what matters most to them.

How to end an email

So when you reach out, you do 3 things:

i) Give them the context (observation) that prompted you to reach out

ii) Tie that observation/challenge back to insight based on what you’ve learned from your customers or from your own experiments/experience.

iii) Ask a question that either ties back to their original context.

Here’s how Jason uses this approach 👇

how to end an email

It has always got us a response. If you can build a conversation, booking a meeting becomes a natural progression.

Here are a couple more ways to tie an observation into a question:

What difficulties have you faced with [pain point]? 
I see X happened at [Company name]. We went through this phase a couple of quarters ago. I might have some suggestions. Open to talk?

3. You might be unknowingly adding friction.

We have observed that 77% of cold emails are written to sound smart instead of being understood. And that impacts your response rate directly.

Your prospects skim your email. So, it needs to be understood immediately without a lot of cognitive load.

Our campaign data tells us that writing at an average of 3rd-grade reading level gets 69% more replies. 

And interestingly, this data holds true across different industries.

Use frameworks and not templates

At Plena, we always recommend frameworks over templates. While templates might provide a quick solution, they often lead to generic and impersonal communications, especially in the context of emails. 

Even in the examples above, we talk about the approach that worked, followed by an example rather than offering a template to fill in.

Having an email framework encourages you to have a more thoughtful approach to crafting emails, starting from the intent behind the email to the construction of each sentence. 

It makes you ask:

  • Why are you sending that email?
  • What's the hook? (does it align with the reason you're sending the email)
  • What's the point of each sentence? (Observation? Insight sharing?)
  • Does it build credibility? 
  • Does each sentence logically lead into the next? (You'll be surprised when you read your email from this lens and more so as a recipient)
  • Would you reply to that email?

By critically assessing the purpose of the email, the relevance of each sentence, and how they logically connect to each other, you ensure that your message is coherent, persuasive, and tailored to your audience.

How to end an email using P.S effectively

A P.S. in your email can be like a friendly afterthought to grab extra attention. Since the P.S. section stands out, it's an excellent place to reiterate your CTA or highlight a critical piece of information you don't want the reader to miss.

Here's how to use it effectively: 

  • People skim P.S., so keep it to one sentence.
  • Briefly remind them what action you want them to take
  • Add a sense of urgency (optional). You can mention a limited-time offer or mention spots are filling up to encourage a quicker response.
  • Personalize it (optional). If appropriate, add a friendly touch or reference something specific to the email.

Here are a few examples: 

P.S. Did you see the free download I mentioned? Get it here: [link]
P.S. Looping you as some of your team members are currently exploring Plena

Remember, a P.S. is a bonus, not a replacement for a clear CTA in your primary email body. But used well, it can give your call to action a little extra nudge!

Summing up…

The way you end your email can significantly influence the recipient's perception and action. Remember, the best email sign-off is one that reflects the tone of your message, respects the professional context, and clearly communicates your desired outcome. 

Take the time to review your email closures, experiment with different sign-offs, and monitor the impact on your reply rates. Effective email endings are not one-size-fits-all, but with a bit of thought and customization, you can significantly increase the likelihood of engaging your recipients and achieving your communication goals. 

Remember, every email is an opportunity to strengthen a connection, so end every message with intent and professionalism.

Each day without Plena = Lost Sales

With Plena — list building, contact enrichment and scalable multi-channel outreach is a breeze.