The Best Email Greetings and Closing Salutations

email greetings and salutations

The Beau and I often debate jokingly over email greetings and salutations. When we were first dating he would email me using “Regards” as his closing. Over the phone he would often say, “I appreciate you calling,” or “Good luck in all your endeavors.” Though strict on etiquette, I tend to be a very casual, warm person, so I quickly addressed this “formal” behavior early on in our relationship. Something that has since become a joke to us over the years.

Personally, I tend to stay away from “Regards” or any variation using regards. It just feels too cold and impersonal. My only exception is when dealing with a difficult business vendor or associate. I say difficult, because my general tone of voice is much lighter, even when contacting business prospects and colleagues.

It seems no one is ever quite sure how to say hello or goodbye. What is the proper etiquette? Is your closing too formal or not formal enough? Do you really need to say “Hello” or can you simply go straight into your message?

Obviously, it depends on to whom you are emailing. For instance, I email my mother and sister several times each day–often sending ridiculous, albeit adorable, puppy and panda cub videos. Therefore I bypass any closing or opening. If I use a closing it’s usually an extremely casual one such as, “Lots of hugs and kisses, bubye now!” Clearly, not something I would write to just anyone.

When emailing colleagues or fellow members from Junior League, I often use “Thanks!” or I will just write, “Sarah Jane.” I tend to prefer short and sweet, though I will use traditional greetings for client-correspondence, business prospects or friends and family members I email less often.

Below are some of my recommended email greetings and salutations. You’ll note that some of them include commas and some include exclamation points. If you’ve read my blog for a while, or have ever received an email from me, you know I tend to use a lot of exclamation points. Though my use of this punctuation is not always correct, I find it’s more cheerful and welcoming in a message sent over the internet, where tone of voice is often misconstrued. With an exclamation point, the message is never misconstrued!

Formal Email Greetings: 

For those you do not know, or do not know very well.

  • Greetings,
  • Dear,
  • Good morning,
  • Good afternoon,

Casual Email Greetings: 

For those you contact often.

  • Hi! or Hi,
  • Hello! or Hello,
  • Hey there,
  • Dear,

Formal Email Closings: 

For those you do not know, or know very well.

  • Thank you,
  • Thank you for your consideration,
  • Sincerely,
  • Sincerely yours,
  • Very sincerely,
  • Yours truly,
  • Regards,
  • Best,
  • Best wishes,
  • With deepest sympathy,
  • With gratitude,
  • With sincere thanks,

Casual Email Closings:

For those you often contact.

  • Cheers, or Cheers!
  • Faithfully,
  • Kind wishes,
  • Thanks!
  • Many thanks,
  • Yours,
  • Be well,
  • Safe travels!
  • Talk to you soon! or Talk soon,
  • Take care,
  • With love,
  • Much love,
  • Yours truly,

What are some of your favorite email greetings and salutations?

6 Comments

  • The Beau
    Posted August 15, 2014 16:51 0Likes

    I like using “respectfully.” It’s disarming especially when you have to email a nasty gram.

  • Traci
    Posted August 16, 2014 02:18 0Likes

    That’s so funny, the “regards” thing. I always sign professional emails (though my professional emails may be more casual than most) with “thanks!” It’s short and sweet, not too formal, but not INformal. I think about these things often, and appreciate your lists and take on it!

  • Dan
    Posted April 21, 2015 12:24 0Likes

    Thanks for this post! I am writing replies all day and realized I needed a list of fresh sign-offs. This was it.

    If I can offer a note, the flashing eiffel tower on the side if very distracting. Having found your site by searching for greetings and salutations, I decided to stick around and read other posts, but I found myself struggling to focus or just skipping through content that shared a screen with the flashing tower. Just one man’s observation on his user experience. 🙂

    • Sarah Jane
      Posted April 21, 2015 13:16 0Likes

      Always great to hear the feedback since as the writer I certainly view my website differently. But I can see what you mean since I generally hate any sort of flashing add as well! I appreciate the comment and will definitely change it up. I did delete your other comment that was waiting approval as well 🙂

  • shawkins@lifeaction.org
    Posted February 7, 2017 11:10 0Likes

    Hi, Sarah Jane, thank you for your encouragement regarding email etiquette. just wondering if anyone brought to your attention that “greetings” and “salutations” are basically the same thing or are the same. I think, perhaps, you means to say, “Greetings & Complimentary Closings,” as that is what the sign-off verbiage (i.e. complimentary closing) is called, at least back in the day. Just fyi.

  • Robert
    Posted August 3, 2017 08:58 0Likes

    nice post

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