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Best Regards vs Kind Regards: Choosing the Right Email Sign-off

Learn to use 'best regards' vs 'kind regards' effectively in emails. Gain tips and examples for clear, impactful email communication.
Written by
Harsh P
Published on
December 21, 2023

What is an Email Sign-off ?

A sign-off is a reflection of the tone, formality, and nature of your relationship with the recipient. They're not just a tradition but a crucial part of your message

An email sign-off is your final opportunity to impact the reader. It's particularly important in formal emails and business letters.

The right sign-off can convey professionalism, respect, and even warmth. Whether it's a formal communication to a new job contact or a personal email, the sign-off can set the tone for the entire message.

The Role of Closing in Informal and Formal Communication

In formal communications, such as a business letter or a professional email, sign-offs like 'Best regards' show professional courtesy. They are suitable for new or established business contexts.

For informal or personal emails, options like 'Warm regards' or 'Best wishes' imply a personal relationship or a less formal tone. Understanding these differences is key to effective email communication.

Overview of Email Sign-offs: 'Best Regards' vs 'Kind Regards'

The context is everything when comparing 'Best regards' and 'Kind regards'.

'Best regards' is versatile and widely acceptable in various professional scenarios, from formal communications to semi-formal contexts.

'Kind regards', while still professional, adds a touch of warmth and is often used when there's a degree of familiarity with the recipient.

The choice between these two sign-offs should be guided by your relationship with the recipient and the context of your email.

When to Use of 'Best Regards'

When to use Best Regards
When to use Best Regards

"Best regards" is a widely accepted and versatile choice, especially suitable for formal communications and business contexts.

Utilizing 'Best Regards' in Formal Communications and Business Context

'Best regards' serves as a professional yet friendly sign-off in business correspondence. It's suitable for interacting with colleagues, clients, or superiors where you need to maintain a professional tone.

In a formal business letter or a professional email, 'Best regards' helps conclude your message on a courteous note without being overly familiar.

Alternatives to 'Best Regards'

  • Kind regards or Kindest regards: A slightly warmer alternative to 'Best regards', suitable for emails where you have a cordial relationship with the recipient.
  • Warm regards: Conveys a friendly and approachable tone, ideal for less formal business emails or when you have an established personal relationship with the recipient.
  • Sincerely or Sincere appreciation: A traditional and formal closing, perfect for first-time communications or a very formal version.
  • Best wishes: This sign-off adds a personal touch and is suitable for occasions like congratulatory messages or informal communications.
  • Yours truly: More formal and slightly old-fashioned, it's suitable for very formal or traditional correspondence.
  • Respectfully: Best used in very formal situations, especially when addressing someone in a significantly higher position or when discussing serious topics.

Example of Using 'Best Regards' in Formal Emails and Business Correspondence

  • When concluding an email to a potential client: "Thank you for considering our proposal. Best regards, [Your Name]"
  • In a business email discussing a project: "Looking forward to your feedback. Best regards, [Your Name]"
When to use Best Regards - Example 1
When to use Best Regards - Example 1
When to use Best Regards - Example 2
When to use Best Regards - Example 2

Use of 'Kind Regards' in Email Sign-off

When to use Kind Regards
When to use Kind Regards

Kind Regards is a fitting choice when you want to convey warmth and professionalism simultaneously. It's less formal than 'Best regards' yet more formal than 'Warm regards', making it ideal for semi-formal communications.

Utilizing 'Kind Regards' in Personal Relationships and Semi-Formal Contexts

In personal emails or communications with close colleagues, 'Kind Regards' adds a touch of sincerity. It's less overly casual like 'Cheers' or 'Best wishes', maintaining an air of professionalism.

For semi-formal business emails, especially in a 'business context' where the relationship has progressed beyond the initial formalities, 'Kind Regards' is an excellent choice, such as follow-up emails post a business meeting or correspondence with long-term clients.

Alternatives for 'Kind Regards'

  • Warm Regards: Offers a more personal touch, ideal for close business contacts.
  • Respectfully: Conveys a high degree of respect and formality.
  • All the Best: A friendly, casual alternative, best for people you know well.
  • Cordially: A formal yet warm closing, appropriate for both business and personal emails.
  • With Gratitude: This sign-off is a heartfelt way to show appreciation, suitable for emails where you are expressing thanks.
  • With Appreciation: Similar to 'With Gratitude', this sign-off is used to convey thankfulness and appreciation, perfect for follow-up emails after a meeting or event.

Examples of Using 'Kind Regards' in Personal Email and Business Correspondence:

  • Personal Email: "Thank you for your thoughtful advice on the project. Kind Regards, [Your Name]"
  • Business Correspondence: "We appreciate your prompt response to our inquiry. Kind Regards, [Your Name]"
When to use Kind Regards - Example 1
When to use Kind Regards - Example 1
When to use Kind Regards - Example 2
When to use Kind Regards - Example 2

Best Practices for Email Sign-offs

Always start your closing phrase with a capital letter and follow it with a comma, e.g., "Best regards,"

Ensure consistency between the tone of your email and your sign-off. A mismatch can confuse the recipient and detract from the message’s impact. In a 'professional email', avoid overly casual sign-offs, which might come across as unprofessional or 'overly familiar'.

The Impact of Only the First Word

The first word of your sign-off is impactful. 'Best' in 'Best regards' conveys a wish for good things, subtly enhancing the positive tone of your message.

In formal email, the word 'Best' imparts a positive, respectful vibe, balancing professionalism with a hint of warmth. Unlike 'Warmest regards', which may imply varying degrees of familiarity, 'Best' is universally accepted and less prone to misinterpretation, making it an ideal choice in written correspondence

To Choose the Email Sign-off: Align Email Tone with Recipient Expectations

To Choose the Email Sign-off: Align Email Tone
To Choose the Email Sign-off: Align Email Tone

Matching the tone of your email with recipient expectations is crucial for several reasons:

Professionalism and Respect

Using the right tone shows professionalism and respect. For instance, a formal tone with 'Best regards' in business correspondence demonstrates respect, especially in a 'business context'.

Effective Communication

It ensures your message is clearly understood. For example, in 'formal communications', a direct and professional tone prevents misunderstandings.

Relationship Building

Tailoring your tone helps build and maintain relationships. In 'personal emails', a friendly tone with sign-offs like 'Warm regards' can strengthen personal connections.

Contextual Appropriateness

Different situations call for different tones. In 'business letters', a formal sign-off like 'Sincerely' is appropriate, whereas 'Kind regards' might be better in less formal business emails.

Recipient’s Comfort

Matching tone to expectations makes the recipient more comfortable and receptive to your message, whether it's a 'business letter' or a 'personal email'.

Avoiding Misinterpretation

The wrong tone can lead to misinterpretation or offense. For example, using a casual sign-off in a formal 'business letter' might seem unprofessional or overly familiar.

What to Consider When Matching Email Tone with the Recipient

When matching your email tone with the recipient, consider the following key points:

RelationshWhat to Consider When Matching Email Tone with the Recipientip with the Recipient: Adjust your tone based on how well you know them. Use a formal tone for professional relationships, like 'Sincerely' in business emails, and a more casual tone for personal contacts.

Purpose of the Email: A formal email about a business deal requires a different tone compared to a casual update email. Choose sign-offs like 'Best regards' for formal emails and 'Warm regards' for less formal ones.

Cultural and Organizational Norms: Be mindful of cultural differences and the norms of your organization. What's acceptable in one culture or company might differ in another.

Context of the Communication: Consider the subject matter of your email. Sensitive topics require a more thoughtful and careful tone compared to routine updates.

Recipient's Position: If you're emailing someone in a higher position or with whom you have a formal relationship, use a respectful tone and formal sign-offs like 'Respectfully'.

Adapting Sign-offs in Business Letters and Personal Emails

Adapting sign-offs in business letters and personal emails means choosing the right closing phrase based on the nature of your relationship with the recipient and the context of your communication.

Selecting the right sign-off is crucial.

It should match:

  • The level of formality
  • The type of relationship with the recipient

This method ensures that your emails are perceived as respectful and appropriate. It applies to both business contexts and personal communications.

Why You Need to Understand Cultural Differences in Formal and Informal Email Closings

The global nature of modern communication makes it essential to understand cultural differences in email closings, whether you write 'best regards', 'kind regards', 'regards best', or other sign-offs. This understanding is crucial for effective communication in diverse settings.

What to Consider When Matching Email Tone with the Recipient

Cultural Sensitivity

Recognize that phrases like 'best regards' or 'sincerely' might carry different connotations in various cultures. In some cultures, formal communication might favor 'warm regards' or 'kindest regards', while others might see them as overly casual.

When communicating with international colleagues, close friends, clients, or an Unknown person, it's beneficial to research their local email etiquette or ask for their preferred sign-offs. Being aware of these cultural differences and adapting accordingly demonstrates respect and cultural awareness, which can significantly impact the success of your global communications.

Contextual Appropriateness

In formal business correspondence, traditional sign-offs such as 'best regards' are often expected. However, for more casual or personal emails, 'kind regards' or 'warm wishes' might be more fitting.

Best Practices for Global Email Communication

Research Cultural Norms

Before sending an email, especially in a business context, understand the recipient's cultural background. This might influence whether to use 'best regards' or a more informal sign-off.

Tailor Your Approach

If unsure, it's safer to err on the side of formality. However, as you build a relationship, you might adjust your sign-off to be more personal, such as 'warm regards'.

Consistency in Professional Settings

In professional emails, especially when dealing with senior management or formal communications, maintain a consistent tone. Using 'sincerely' or 'respectfully' can convey a sense of professionalism.

Avoid Overly Casual Sign-offs

In a new job or with unfamiliar colleagues, avoid overly casual sign-offs. Stick to universally accepted phrases like 'best regards' until you understand the company culture better.

Cultural Variations in Mail Sign-offs Around the World

Cultural Variations in Mail Sign-offs Around the World
Cultural Variations in Mail Sign-offs Around the World

Different cultures have varied preferences and considerations of email closings:

United States and Canada: Email communication is generally more casual in these countries. 'Best regards' and 'Kind regards' are commonly used in professional settings, but it's not unusual to see more informal closings like 'Thanks' or 'Cheers' in less formal emails.

United Kingdom and Australia: While similar to North American standards, there's a bit more formality in professional settings. 'Kind regards' is a popular choice, striking a balance between formality and warmth.

Japan and South Korea: These cultures value formality and respect, especially in business contexts. It’s common to end emails with a respectful sign-off, often reflecting the hierarchical relationship. A simple 'Sincerely yours' can be appropriate, but it's best to observe local customs or seek advice from local colleagues.

Germany and Austria: These countries typically prefer formal communication in business. Using 'Mit freundlichen Grüßen' (With kind regards) is a standard formal sign-off. For English emails, ‘Best regards’ is a safe option.

Middle Eastern Countries: Formality and respect are highly valued. Phrases like 'Best regards' are suitable for business communications.

India: Business communications often follow British English norms, so 'Kind regards' and 'Best regards' are common. However, as with many cultures, the level of formality can depend on the existing relationship and context.

Concluding Thoughts on Email Closings

Selecting an appropriate mail closing hinges on the context and the recipient’s expectations. In professional or business scenarios, 'Best regards' is often the go-to choice, balancing formality and warmth.

Conversely, for initial interactions or when expressing gratitude, 'Kind regards' can foster a warmer and more personable connection. It subtly conveys appreciation and acknowledges the recipient’s assistance or impact.

Bonus: Beyond "Best Regards" and "Kind Regards"

Here are 15 more "Best regards" Alternatives:

  1. Respectfully
  2. Best
  3. All the best
  4. Thank you
  5. Thanks again
  6. Thanks in advance
  7. Thank you for your time
  8. Cheers
  9. Talk soon
  10. Looking forward to our next conversation
  11. Looking forward to hearing from you
  12. Have a wonderful [day, weekend]
  13. Happy weekend
  14. Reach out with questions
  15. Let me know if you need anything 

Here are 10 more "Kind regards" Alternatives:

  1. Sincerely
  2. Cordially
  3. Many thanks
  4. Take care
  5. Sending you the best
  6. Respectfully
  7. Thank you for reading
  8. With gratitude
  9. With appreciation
  10. With many thanks

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