July 18, 2014

 

How many emails did you send yesterday? I counted mine. A respectable 50. And from what Google tells me, that’s about average for an industrious worker like myself.

 

The problem is that apart from the little reminder notes you send yourself, they’re all going to other human beings. And human beings are judgmental.

 

We’re taught never to judge a book by its cover. But many of us do judge an email by its signature. Here’s what your 50 sign-offs a day are saying about you:

 

Sincerely,

Nice and polite, but a hangover from last decade, when we were all getting used to this email thing.

 

Cheers,

You spent a semester at college in London. In fact you might be sending this from the pub.

 

Kind regards,

Overly formal for most circumstances. And really—as opposed to “mean regards”?

 

Regards,

Perhaps a little aloof, but exuding power and confidence. Channeling your inner Winston Churchill.

 

Thanks,

When used appropriately (i.e. in conjunction with something to be thankful for), a very harmless, often appreciated end to your note. Otherwise, just a little awkward.

 

Best wishes,

This is the last time we’ll speak for quite a while—have a nice life till then. A long goodbye, or a holiday card.

 

Best,

You’re talking business. This is the classy brother of “thanks”. And it’s beautifully meaningless.

 

Have a great day,

How sincere is this, really? It often feels a little throw-a-way and inauthentic. Just a little too much sugar.

 

Let me know if you have questions,

It’s a great way to leave the conversation open. But your overly-analytical work colleague is left wondering why on earth they need your permission.

 

Happy Monday/Friday,

Says you’re in a good mood and I should be too. But in the words of a colleague, if I’m not in a good mood, this just makes it worse. Especially if it’s a Monday.

 

*Just a name*

It says we’re office-amigos. But it better not be an auto-signature. Friendship over.

 

*None at all*

Start of the email thread? You’re pretty casual. Maybe a little too casual.

 

*The quirky one*

For those of us who want to signal with every missive that our personalities are beautiful, unique little snowflakes (see below).

 

Love and bubbles,

David (the snowflake)

more insights