9 Mistakes to Avoid When Signing Off in an Email

When you're constantly sending business emails, it's tempting to overlook the details when signing off. But an email with a poor conclusion can actually hurt your professional image. So before you hit the send button, make sure you're avoiding these common mistakes.

A. You Don't Sign Off


Those short phrases at the beginning and end of emails make the email feel more personal and less abrasive. Sending an email to a customer is nothing like sending a text to one of your friends. I like to use less formal phrases like "Cheers," but even formal phrases can make the email more personal. The only sign off worse than not signing off would be "Love," or "Forever Yours," but you can be the judge of that. - Bill Cooke, 3forge

A. You Misspell Your Name


I see this all the time. People type so fast, they end up misspelling their name at the end of the email. Even if up until then the whole email was great, that misspelling will make you look unprofessional. - Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli

A. You Include Your Phone Number


I used to include my phone number in my signature line, and I would always get calls while out for lunch or on a mid-day errand. But I couldn't blame them. When you list your number, it's an invitation to use it. Now, I include a link to book a call on my YouCanBook.me calendar in my signature, so people can still reach me, but I'm prepared. It's on my terms and in my timeframe. - Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media

A. You Don't Have a Professional Signature


Whether you are answering a regular email or signing off on a new project, your email should have a complete signature with your photo, name, title and social profiles. This not only brings a professional look to your emails, but it also builds branding and authority in the process. Over the course of a year, this can also result in thousands of new visitors clicking over to your site and social profiles. - Zac Johnson, How To Start A Blog‎

A. You Don't Proofread Your Message


We're already forgetting how to use a pen and paper, and with current smartphone autocorrect technology, many have forgotten how to type. Unless you're being autocorrected as you go, chances are you'll end up with some simple, unintentional typos, grammatical errors or misspellings. A quick pause and re-read before clicking that send button always helps. - Jason Keyz, Epic Alarm

A. You Don't Ask for a Response


The human brain processes vast amounts of immediate information, and its best way of doing this is absorbing a small amount of the words in front of it and auto-filling the gaps. This is why long emails are a disaster, and often only the last line will receive proper focus. Therefore, to trigger an automatic reaction to respond, always finish with a question mark when you want an answer. - Tom Chalmers, IPR License

A. You're Not Specific


Before sending out any email, I re-read it to make sure it's clear, concise and to the point. If I'm making a request, I make sure it's clear I want a response. I also avoid being too broad. It's much easier for someone to respond to a very specific question than a general one. - Nailah Blades-Wylie,Wylie & Co.

A. You Don't Include a Disclaimer


Many professionals don't realize that an email might be used against them as a written contract, or made public if there's no anti-disclosure notice. This is more important in some industries than others, but most professionals don't even consider it. - Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates

A. You Don't Express Gratitude


It makes a world of difference to say hello, please and thank you in your message. If you are one of those fast, informal writers, make sure you've already included this as part of your signature. Without it, the reader can very often misread your tone as abrupt or tense. - Arry Yu, Emotiv Labs, Inc dba GiftStarter

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.