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The Overlooked Influence of Last Impressions

First impressions are considered important for building effective opportunities during personal as well as professional communications. But do you know the last moments of interaction – aka last impressions – also have a significant and underestimated impact? This is especially true when it comes to email communication, where the signoff can make all the difference in the message's impact and tone.

What Makes Last Impressions Impactful?

The psychological principle – recency effect – is believed to be strongly related to the concept of last impressions. According to this principle, people tend to remember the most recent information as compared to the earlier information. In the context of email communication, the final words you choose can leave a lasting impression on the recipient, affecting how they will remember you and your message long after they have read it.

The Role of Email Signoffs

People focus on the subject line, body content, and everything in between when trying to write perfect emails. But one thing they often forget about is signoffs. As email signoffs are the last words in communication, they encapsulate the tone and intention of the entire message. They serve multiple purposes, such as:


Signoffs help maintain a professional tone and etiquette during formal and business email communications. They indicate that the sender is following proper protocol.

Politeness and Courtesy

Signoffs conveying gratitude, appreciation, and kindness add a polite touch to emails. They help maintain a positive and friendly tone.


Signoffs in emails provide a clear indication that the message has concluded, avoiding any misunderstanding or confusion.

Signature and Contact Information

Email signoffs often consist of the name of a person, job title, and contact information. This makes it easier for receivers to recognize the sender and find out how to get in touch with them for further communication.


Signoffs are an excellent way to showcase the sender’s personality and relationship with the recipient. It can add a personal touch to the email and create a sense of familiarity.


In professional contexts, email sign-offs have a strategic role in promoting a company's or an individual's brand. It turns into a dependable component that represents the business or sender's identity.

Examples of Effective Email Signoffs

Here are some effective email sign off examples that can help things move in your favor:

1. Professional Contexts

  • Best regards: This signoff is versatile and respectful, suitable for most professional emails.
  • Sincerely: It conveys a formal tone, ideal for initial communications or important correspondence.
  • Kind regards: This signoff adds a touch of warmth while maintaining professionalism.

2. Casual or Friendly Professional Contexts

  • Thanks: It is a simple and effective signoff, especially when the sender requests something or expresses gratitude.
  • Best: It is a friendly yet professional email signoff that is less formal than "Best regards."
  • Cheers: It is suitable for casual, friendly exchanges, especially in creative or informal industries.

3. Expressing Gratitude or Appreciation

  • Thank you: It is a direct and sincere signoff, perfect for expressing appreciation.
  • Much appreciated: This emphasizes gratitude and reinforces a positive tone.
  • With gratitude: It is a heartfelt closing that leaves a lasting impression of appreciation.

4. Setting a Positive Tone

  • Take care: It is a warm and caring signoff, suitable for both personal and professional emails.
  • Looking forward: This signoff projects enthusiasm and positivity about future interactions.
  • Warm regards: It combines professionalism with a touch of friendliness.

Impact of Last Impressions in Professional Communication

Last impressions have a significant effect on how colleagues, superiors, and clients see you at the workplace. When you choose to go with a positive and thoughtful signoff, it will show your professionalism, attention to detail, and respect for the email recipient.

For example, using the phrase “Thank you for your time” in an email communication following a job interview might leave a lasting image of your professionalism and gratitude.

Moreover, email signoffs can leave an impact on ongoing relationships and prospects. You may build a professional image and maintain goodwill with your contacts by using a consistent and proper signoff. However, failing to provide an appropriate signoff might lead to misunderstandings or a sense of negligence.

Importance of Context in Choosing Signoffs

The choice of an email signoff should always consider the context and the nature of your relationship with the recipient. While "Cheers," might be appropriate for a close colleague, it might not be the best fit during formal communication with a new client. Similarly, "Best regards," might be too formal for a friendly note to a long-term coworker.

Making sure your signoff fits the tone and context of the email ensures that the receiver will understand your message and form the right conclusion. This consideration shows emotional intelligence and respect, qualities that are highly valued in both personal and professional contexts.

Strategies for Making Positive Last Impressions

To leverage the power of last impressions, several strategies can be employed across various contexts:


Consistency involves making a high standard of interaction from starting to the end of the email. Do not allow complacency or fatigue to affect the final stages of engagement.


Wrap up interactions in a clear and positive way. This might include expressing gratitude, summarizing main ideas, or offering a heartfelt farewell.


In professional contexts, a considerate follow-up message can make a favorable last impression. Make sure your follow-up communication demonstrates dedication and close attention to detail.

Empathy and Understanding

Showing empathy and understanding during final interactions helps build trust, resolve conflicts, improve communication, increase workplace satisfaction, and enhance customer experience.

Memorable Endings

Make sure your conclusions are impactful and remembered. This might be an emotional speech conclusion, a special thank you in customer service, or any other ending that resonates.

Wrapping It Up

While first impressions set the stage, last impressions are the final act that can define the entire performance. In email communication, the signoff is an effective tool that captures the intent and tone of your message. Once you carefully select your email signoffs, they will significantly enhance your professional and personal interactions. Remember, how you end your emails can be just as important as how you begin them.

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