Your sign-off gives you the opportunity to wrap-up the tone and intent of your e-mail so that your message is clear and to make sure you leave a positive impression. When you don’t sign your name you risk being perceived as abrupt or impersonal.
Some have actually stated to me “What’s the big deal? You know who sent the e-mail by looking at the From: field. Why sign your name?”
The statement above is true. We all look at the From: field to see who has sent us an e-mail. And with close family and friends, you could probably leave your name off — they know you best and will have the best chance of assuming your intent and tone.
The difference here is how your message is perceived — more so by those who don’t know you that well. Remember the no eye-contact, lack of body language or tone of voice issue I mention all the time?
Without these cues, intent and tone can be misunderstood — and it happens all day, every day, thousands of times across the Internet. Why risk misunderstandings when all it takes is a couple extra keystrokes? By adding a closing and your name, you “wrap things up” into a nice little package that accomplishes getting your message across with less room for misunderstandings or incorrect perceptions.
For example, when asking for assistance, always close with a TIA, Thanks!, Appreciate your support! — something that reflects your sincere gratitude for the time that is spent helping you. Included with your closing should also be your name. (I hope this resistance isn’t about typing the extra 5-10 characters you have to keystroke to type your name?)
Especially when you need folks to help you out, not having a courtesy closing can determine when or if they’ll get to your request. No name or sign-off many times end an e-mail in a terse or demanding tone.
How you choose to sign-off, as well as how you type your name, sets the level formality and courtesy for your e-mail. Whether you use, Charlie or Charles, Susan or Sue, Harold or Harry, Judith or Judi — will allow the other side to determine your intended tone.
Little things make a big difference when in comes to e-mail. Including a closing and sign-off is part and parcel of good communications. And, yes, there’s an article for that: E-mail Sign-off Considerations.