It’s such a common practice at this point that most people don’t think about it. Even professional advice about the topic is misguided. As a result, well over 90% of the people who send me email make this mistake. Though it would only take a few seconds to correct it. they repeat the error over and over every day, missing an opportunity each time.
What is this egregious mistake? They don’t personalize the closing of their message.
Some people are the victims of technology. They use an automated email signature, and so the same bland phrase (and lengthy contact information) is appended to each and every email. Whether their note is an urgent complaint or a beautiful compliment, their message will end with “Yours faithfully” or some other banal phrase that sounds “business-like,” one they entered long ago and forgot about. (For my German friends, the favored choice seems to be “Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Kind regards.”)
Some do it out of habit. Perhaps they once read somewhere that it’s the professional thing to do, and they’ve been typing it ever since without questioning it. Others may be slightly lazy. Faced with an ever-increasing email burden, the thought of having to customize each closing is too much for them to bear.
Well, as my mother used to say, just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean you should do it too.
The final closing of your message is a signal. If it’s an automated or otherwise impersonal closing, it tells the recipient that they’re nothing special, not worth the trouble of a few seconds to sign off with something just for them.
Choosing to avoid the scripted “Kind regards,” on the other hand, offers an additional opportunity for a sense of connection and relatedness. Think of it as a small exercise in empathy. How would I feel if I received this? Your closing needn’t be long or intimate, and certainly shouldn’t be inauthentic. You’re just adding a few personal words relevant to the context of the message.
“Thank you again for your kind note. I appreciate it.”
“Have a wonderful weekend. Cheers from NYC!”
“I’m looking forward to our call on Thursday. I always enjoy our conversations.”
Be different. The world is already full of impersonal communications. When you humanize yours, you will distinguish yourself in a wonderful way.