How do you end your emails? It turns out some closers are more likely to get a response than others.
Boomerang, an email app that allows you to schedule and manage messages, analyzed thousands of messages sent to twenty different online communities. While some people have their own unique closers, certain phrases appear far more often than others: best, sincerely, cheers, regards, thanks, etc.
The average email in the sample got a 47.5% response rate. Those that used the phrase “thanks in advance,” though, got a 65.7% response rate. Other variations on this theme also did well: “thanks” got responses 63.0% of the time, and “thank you” got a response rate of 57.9%. “Best,” by comparison, came in at 51.2%.
One probably doesn’t want to read too much into such things. Maybe emails that end with an expression of thanks are more likely to about things that specifically need a response, whereas a “best” or “regards” email might be more informational (though Boomerang’s use of online communities, where people were often posting to ask for help or advice, meant that a high proportion of messages were probably written in hopes of a reply). But perhaps, a prior expression of gratitude for a requested response — that is, “thanks in advance” — triggers a feeling of obligation in the part of the recipient. I’ve already been thanked, so now I need to do this thing.
Maybe “thanks” turns out to be a magic word after all.
How do you end your emails? I sign my newsletters “All the best,” but those usually aren’t requesting anything. Maybe if I send emails asking people to do something, I’ll switch to “thanks in advance.” It’s worth a try!