Business Advice

Cold emailing? Here are the best sign-offs to make sure you get a response

Dominic Powell /

The days of the business “cold call” is coming to an end, with “cold emailing” taking over as a way to make new connections.

This can be a successful tactic, but only if implemented correctly. Mistakes like getting a recipient’s name wrong, or even sending someone a pitch for their own product can reflect poorly on you and your business.

Read more: Virgin Airlines “turns off” email to get staff away from screens – how to digital detox at work

But provided you get the key details in the email right, one report shows that success in getting a response can boil down to how you sign off.

Business Insider reports that analysis from email application Boomerang has revealed the most successful email signoffs from over 350,000 emails analysed. The application picked out the top eight sign offs which appeared over 1000 times, and tracked the percentage of replies the emails received back.

From this it was revealed that the sign off “thanks in advance” had the highest rate of response, coming in at 65.7%.

Next on the list was “thanks” at a response rate of 63%, and “thank you” at 57.9%. The remaining results are below.

  • “Cheers” – response rate of 54.4%
  • “Kind regards” – response rate of 53.9%
  • “Regards” – response rate of 53.5%
  • “Best regards” – response rate of 52.9%
  • “Best” – response rate of 51.2%

The average response rate for all emails analysed was 47.5%. No data on the content was gathered, so the nature of the emails is left unknown. This is worth noting, because it might mean these findings don’t extend to emails you exchange with your boss or important clients.

Think before you send

Despite the desire for fast responses, a piece from Harvard Business Review by Ron Ashkenas warns quick emailers should take a moment to think before responding to messages.

“Today’s email culture encourages instantaneous responses. To keep up, we often reply without thinking. If we did this in personal interactions, most of us probably wouldn’t have any friends,” Ashkenas said.

“When you sense one of these situations building, it’s often best to either not respond at all or wait a few minutes to see if what’s brewing is an argument or a worthwhile conversation.

“Finally, remember that emails often convey emotion and are actually a reflection of your personality. Think about how you want to be perceived, and whether your email personality is consistent with your real personality.”

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Dominic Powell

Dominic is the features and profiles editor at SmartCompany.

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