How best to close an email?

Obscure signoffs can irk the recipient. They might even doom your future pitches to the spam folder. Here’s how to reply.

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A colleague of mine recently received an email that concluded: V/r

What, she wondered, was V/r? Virtual reality? Violently reactionary? Vocally resentful?

With the help of a team of British codebreakers and a clattering 1940s-era computer, she eventually deduced that the emailer meant, “Very respectfully.”

Once again, let us in the communication business fret overmuch about small matters—the ideal length of a subject line, the proper wordcount of a pitch and, now, the email signoff.

Yet these things matter—at least to people like Jeff Kear, owner of Planning Pod, an event and venue management software company. Kear often gets sales pitches with head-scratching abbreviations, as when a sales rep signed off her email, “YT/SJ.”

Your turn?

“I Googled this and discovered that ‘YT’ or ‘Y/T’ means ‘your turn’ for online gamers, and also during text messaging—that is, your turn to reply,” he says. “So initially I thought it a little presumptuous that they were telling me it was my turn to respond, as I really have no obligation to email them back.”

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