Email sign-offs aren’t just the last part of your prospecting email, they’re probably the part you give the least amount of consideration. While there are a lot of different ways you could choose to finish yours besides “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” there’s one complimentary close that seems to be a point of contention: whether or not you should say “Thanks.” Is it inconceivable that such a minor aspect could possibly affect your response rate? Let’s talk about giving thanks, and what email sign-offs work best.
Email Sign-Offs Work Better With Thanks?
If you take a look at these stats courtesy of Boomerang, simply adding the word “thanks” in some variation will give you an edge on response rates compared to other common sign-offs like “Cheers,” “Regards,” or “Best.”
Why this could be the case: Most people are keen to respond to a message that’s personalized for them, even if they know it’s automated. This is true even in prospecting, where the email they’ve received is usually brief and asks one or two questions about who the best person is to talk to about new business. Keep in mind that the personalization we’re referring to is more than adding a lead’s first name to the introduction of your email. Using the word “you” throughout your messaging is also important, as it can have a much more positive effect than speaking in generalities. By extension, thanking someone can be part of this personalization by offering them gratitude for answering your questions and directing you to the appropriate contact for new business.
Seems like a reasonable assessment, right? Surprisingly, that’s not the end of the story. Others have since discouraged the practice of adding “Thanks” or “Thanks in advance” to prospecting outreach, even if it boosts initial responses. Here’s why.
Email Sign-Offs Work Better Without Thanks?
Opponents argue that thanking someone for something they haven’t already done — i.e., answer your email’s question — may initially get you more responses, but could quickly become viewed as presumptuous and even passive-aggressive. Instead, they think “thanks” is more applicable to use once the information or service has been provided.
Why this could be the case: It’s difficult to know how others “hear” the words that you write. That’s why we recommend keeping your prospecting emails brief, casual, and direct. Trying to interject humor may be tempting as a way to be memorable or entertaining, but it’s often a risky approach. For one, these leads have likely never heard of you before. Couple that with the fact that humor is different for everyone, and you could end up turning someone completely off of your brand without ever knowing it.
Think of it like a boss asking an employee to come in on their day off, then saying “thanks” before the employee has even agreed. That kind of detached “gratitude” might be the way that your prospects read your sign-off.
So … What Sign-Off Should You Use?
Is the answer that we should be strictly formal and stick to a “Sincerely” kind of sign-off? That’s certainly an option, but there’s another alternative you might consider.
Make your thanks specific, says Business Insider. In other words, tell your leads why you’re thanking them. You can apply this to mass emails or individual exchanges. For example, you can say,
Thank you for your time.
Thanks for reviewing my questions.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Not only does this look genuine, it reinforces that initial relationship-building that is so vital to lead qualification and new business discussion.
Sign-Off Honorable Mentions: Regardless of which email sign-offs work best for you, we would be remiss if we didn’t share other options that are available to test out. HubSpot offers several — along with their list of ones you’re probably better off not considering (who uses “As Ever”?).
Additional Components to Your Prospecting Emails
As we already mentioned, email sign-offs are probably the last thing you think about when drafting a prospecting message. Here are other components you should make sure to review before your next send if you rely on any form of email automation.
1. Your Sender’s Name. Do you have an individual’s name or your company as the sender of your emails? You may wish to go with the individual, as it looks more personalized, and can increase lead engagement.
2. Your Autofill Information. Do you use code in your email automation to autofill first names or companies within your emails? These may be known as personalization tokens or merge tags, depending on the software that you use. It’s always good to send yourself test messages to make sure that this coding does what it’s supposed to do, and that there aren’t any typos within it that may give away the show. Nothing like a good ol’ “Hello <<first name>>” to really make your lead feel like they’re more than just a number.
3. Your Images (or Lack Thereof). We usually discourage any kind of images in your prospecting emails. This is because they run the risk of being flagged by email inboxes as spam, especially the first time you contact someone. That said, if you still choose to include them, we recommend incorporating alt txt. This improves accessibility, meets 508 compliance, and helps inbox filters “read” what’s in those images, potentially improving your chances of getting your emails through.
4. Companion Domains. The process to find current email addresses for your best new leads can be fruitful, while also filtering out a lot of inaccurate data. Normally, such high-volume email verification would risk flagging you as spam or having your sender’s IP blacklisted. That’s why we recommend our prospecting automation software. It relies on companion domains that protect your core domain while it finds and verifies email addresses for you. These domains are similar to your core one in name, and will redirect to your core when clicked — thus ensuring a seamless transition when it’s time to migrate those leads from prospecting status over to your normal sales cycle.
How Are Your Prospecting Emails Performing?
Do you think it’s time to change up a few aspects of your prospecting emails? Whether it’s your sign-off, the other components we mentioned above, or even how to write a good prospecting email, we’re here to help! Click the link below to schedule time for a free lead nurturing discussion.