Need closing/'sign-off' for messages

leaveswave(.)April 9, 2008

This is just vanity but I've been trying to come up with a unique, but not too creative way to sign off emails/letters, and in addition, a closing for my company's voice mail greeting. Here are some I've seen that aren't quite right:

Thanks for calling (of course, wouldn't work for email/ltr, but I don't like it for the phone either)



Kind regards (sometimes okay for email/ltrs, but won't work for phone)

Best wishes (ditto above)

Have a (insert your adjective of choice here) day

I know, I also dislike it when people try to define what they want by what won't work, but that's so much more work, doncha know! Okay, how 'bout this...friendly, ever-so-slightly formal, secular...hmm, I'm tapped out for now. Will think on it more and hope for inspiration from the GPers.

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

How about simply "best"..

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 6:34PM
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Everybody does cheers these days - used to be you only said that when you raised your glass to someone.

I sign off letters often with "be well" to people I wouldn't sign of "love" to.

Arrivederci! (sp)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 12:47AM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

People signing "cheers" to their emails really gets on my nerves & I'm not sure why. However, I find it really irritating.

If I'm emailing about a request for one of the volunteer organizations I work with, I usually sign off with "Thanks!"

If it's a good friend it's "Love" or XOXO

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 7:25AM
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As always, your thoughtful responses have helped me clarify my thinking on this topic.

I'm not sure I was clear about the purpose. It is only for business use that I'm struggling. And primarily for phone messages (because that's the point of first contact - but emails/letters are close behind). My company is just starting and it isn't a "businessy" business. For one thing, it's just me, and it's also in a field where ethics and boundaries play a high profile.

I don't want to be stiff and formal, nor overly familiar. I'm not an effusive person at first contact, though people who know me describe me as 'perky' (ugh) and animated. I consider myself practical and straight-forward.

Imperatives (take care, be well) get to me as much as 'cheers' bug andie. I understand the well-meaning intent, but they also scan as a little bossy and disrespectful. That's a button of mine, I guess, but I can live with it--except it's causing me difficulty in coming up with a closing!

I do think these transitional pieces of communication are nicer than just abruptly saying 'bye' though, so the hunt continues. What else have you seen or done in this type of situation?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 8:04AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

"Thank you for calling."

"It's been a pleasure to talk with you."

"I'll call you [tomorrow, in a couple days, soon]; good-bye."

"Good-bye" or "Good-bye for now" both indicate end-of-message; appropriate, not effusive, and to the point without being abrupt.

(I'm not into casual for business; "bye" "cheers" "be seein' ya" etc. don't reflect the maturity people want in their business dealings-- unless you are dealing in something very frivolous such as children's parties.)

IMHO, business e-mail, like business letters, should end with 'thank you' or the ever-simple 'yours'.

A one-person business is one person wearing many hats; you want to be taken seriously so let your writing be that of the most serious hat or else they might laugh at your billing... and I wouldn't care for my banker or stock broker to sign off with "best." Best what? or is he indicating that he thinks that he's the best?

Remember that in both e-mail and voice mail, your tone is far more influential than your actual words.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 8:49AM
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I have to agree with Meldy. I say "thank you for calling" in a sincere way. I realize people don't like machines and if they've waded thorough calling me, it ringing a thousand times, their call didn't get answered, and then the dreaded message, I am so glad they waited long enough to hear the entire message I can truly thank them.

Written I use "cordially". I realize "yours" is a traditional business closing, but I just can't tell men I've never met that am "theirs". Undoubtedly, the closing means more than I know, but it just makes me cringe!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:02AM
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Actually, I find 'good-bye' and its various versions to be rather cold. 'Thank you' (and variations) seems sterile and unimaginative to me. It's perfectly fine for many people in many situations, it's just not working for me in this situation. And 'yours' is too close to romantic for me.

RE: tone of voice vs. words... I don't think it's that clear-cut. When I'm the message receiver I sometimes notice the words more, and sometimes notice the tone of voice more. Communication (not to mention human nature in all its complexity) has too many variables to predict for any individual. (And that old saw about communication being 90% nonverbal? Myth, IMO.) Anyway, I know the tone of voice I want to be using. It's important to me to have the right words, too. I believe that words do count and I am being very intentional about the kind of client I want and attract.

You know that feeling you get when you're experiencing some personal development but not quite there and it's like you're stuck in the cocoon about to break out and the anticipation is so intense? Well, I would try to wait and let it come on its own, but I've made the decision/choice that I need to be out there now even though it might be a little premature. (Oh, please, don't extend the metaphor to a crippled butterfly! :-)

BTW, I know I'm being straight-shooting here; and I hope not too intense or offending anyone.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:14AM
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My personal message is quite short and goes something like this.

"I'm sorry I can't get to the phone right now but if you'll leave your name and telephone number and a brief message I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for calling, bye bye."

Since I'm English there's an accent involved but if I say so myself it's a very pleasant message. I've thought of hiring my voice out :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 12:05PM
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May the Force be with you.

Live long and prosper.

May your blood wine always be fresh.

I'll be back.

Hasta la vista, baby!

Catch ya on the flip side.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Keep on trucking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Very long list

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 12:59PM
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I really hadn't given much thought to our recorded phone message, other than having it say we weren't available at that moment. Since it has no business reference, it seemed sufficient. However, I, too, have sometimes struggled as to how to end an email message. Family and friends don't present a problem, but sometimes it's hard to find a suitable ending for others.

More than finding an appropriate ending, though, for me, is making sure what I have typed comes across in the manner I meant it. Often, what I may think is clever or funny may be perceived as sarcasm or misunderstood by the receiver! That's why I use smiley faces -- hoping the reader will realize my "tone of voice". :>)

(I realize none of this is helpful to your question, but had to insert my two cents!)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 1:57PM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

Cutsey voice mail greetings also irritate the h*ll out of me. I try to stick with the K.I.S.S. principle. "We're not available now, but if you'll leave your name & number we'll get back with you as soon as possible." Alternatively you could also leave your cell phone number. I don't. I don't like too many people having that number.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 10:11PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

I am also a strong proponent of the Keep it simple phone message just sayd "Please leave a message at the beep"
I HATE to have to listen to someone's "Thank you very much for calling, we can't come to the phone right now, but if you would leave your name and a brief message we will get back to you as soon as we can. and thank you for calling, your message is important to us"...
Puh-leeze! I know you are not home or screening your calls....that's why the machine answers....and I KNOW to leave a message at the beep....and I am sure that if I am a telemarketer my message is of no importance to you at all....
Someone I had reason to call a lot just had a message that said "wait for the beep"...I liked that a lot!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 11:27PM
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Don..., very funny although I'm not even hip enough to use it personally.

mwheel, the 2 centses are adding up; perhaps getting me closer to what I'm groping about for and definitely amusing me along the way!

Andie, some time ago we ditched the home landline. After considering all the angles, I've decided to use my cell for personal and business. It's a little tricky, but that's why we humans invented Systems. Satisfies the urge to tinker with something. lol

Linda, I agree. These days pretty much everyone (who would be calling me) knows what voice mail is, and to leave enough identifying information to move the relationship or interaction along. I have seen several comments of people with really, really short messages getting a lot of hangups, presumably because callers (even though possibly prepared for it) still needed a moment or two to compose their message.

In my case, I need to give out certain information. After introducing myself to confirm the caller has the right number, I say how to bypass the rest of the message and go straight to the beep.

Maybe I could come up with a phrase that ties back into the company's mission. Hmm...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 8:17AM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

I'd love to ditch my landline. Unfortunately we live out in the sticks & our cell service can be spotty at best. A lot of the time we have to stand out in the yard in order to get a clear signal, as do our neighbors.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 8:25AM
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I really like your idea, that sounds good!:

"Maybe I could come up with a phrase that ties back into the company's mission. Hmm..."

Sorry we're not being helpful! (((wry smile)))

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 8:53AM
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Not at all, Rob! I'm quite sure that idea is the direct result of the controlled anarchy of perspectives shared on this thread. "grin> After all, I can't expect y'all to do all the hard work, now can I? (Well, being a lazy person, I can hope...but then my need for resolution drives me into action! Very hard, balancing those two traits.)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 9:01AM
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instar8(Z 5 N.IN)

You've reached xxx-xxxx, please leave a message-thanks! Why on earth do you need anything more? Actually, my cell voicemail says 'you've reached Lynn's voicemail...hard to believe, huh? BEEP' just because i've so publicly hated cellphones so much, and haven't had one for so long. Cell payments are a lot cheaper than car payments, though, and my truck's getting close to 100k mi.

My usual sign-offs are...thanks, for someone i'm asking for something, see ya, for friends, or maybe 'take care' for friends with issues. Really, what more doya need?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 4:06PM
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And spare me the religious message, music and prayer that lasts forever when I am just calling to leave a simple message, like we found your dog, or your documents are ready.
for business we leave a simple short message. When they hear the beep or the tone, they know the message is over. I don't mind cellphones, but the boob on one who is driving their SUV while on the phone is annoying.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 3:09AM
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