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“Kind Regards” or “Best Regards” – which is the correct choice?

You’re sitting at your desk and have the perfect email composed. The subject line lights up your screen with a vibrant opportunity for clicks. Your greeting is a masterful balance between formal and friendly. And then you get to the worst part: the signature. “Thanks,” “Sincerely,” and “Best” all seem too generic, formal, or overused. How do you end the email?



Your two best options for business signatures are “Best Regards” and “Kind Regards.” The two sign-offs are often mixed up due to their visual similarity, but with the following guide, I’ll show you how to always make sure your emails are accurate and professional. Let’s all avoid those taboo email moments with these tips.

Kind Regards vs. Best Regards

When comparing the two email signatures, you might be surprised to know that “Best Regards” is the less formal of the two sign-offs. It’s appropriate for clients you know but may not be well acquainted with yet. “Best Regards” is a signature that connotates respect to your client and appreciation for the communication, but also acknowledges that the relationship has room to grow. Here’s a list of email situations in which “Best Regards” is most appropriate:

  • When emailing clients you’ve communicated with before

  • When communicating with vendors you’ve worked with for three or more months

  • When speaking with prospective clients that you previously have had conventional, two-sided conversations with

  • When getting in contact with colleagues within your own organization

  • Any time you reply to an email sent in a more casual tone.

Below I’ve included an email sample of how to use “Best Regards”:


Hello Justin,

I’ve attached the case study we went over in the meeting on Monday. It should answer your questions about how TEM Software can streamline your accounting process by integrating with your existing software.

Best Regards,

Carol

Kind Regards” is the formal sister of “Best Regards” and you should use it for outreach and introductory emails to new clients. Like “Best Regards,” “Kind Regards” adds a value of respect to the sign off and indicates a less established relationship. Here’s a list of email situations in which

Kind Regards” is most appropriate:

  • When reaching out to someone for the first time

  • When in the early stages of communication with prospective clients (especially if they haven’t responded to previous emails)

  • When emailing a higher up of any company

  • When taking an opportunity to introduce yourself to a mutual acquaintance of a colleague

  • When the situation is unclear about which signature to use

Below I’ve included an email sample of how to use “Kind Regards


Hello Justin,

It came to my attention that you downloaded our recent case study about how TEM Software played a part in streamlining the accounting operations of Cloudnet Inc. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the study.

Kind Regards,

Carol


You may have noticed in email chains the signature words “Best,” “Kind,” or “Regards,” as a shortened form of the traditional signatures. While these are best for working relationships with business colleagues, some experts argue that the one-word-signature reads as cold rather than familiar.

No matter what the experts think, these are the least formal type of signature and signify a very close working relationship. Feel free to use this sign-off for colleagues with whom you have a close understanding of email tone and style.


When in doubt, match the tone

It’s best to match the formality of your colleague’s tone when unsure of which sign-off to use rather than take a risk in sounding too familiar or formal. If they used a formal signature like “Sincerely,” it’s best to choose a reply that matches that tone. “Kind Regards” is the best choice. If they signed off with “Best Wishes,” reply with the equally less-formal response, “Best Regards.”

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