If You Want To Hear Back About A Job, Add This To Your Email

"Best" and "Regards" are to emails what pink carnations are to flower bouquets. They're just — fine. They serve the role they're meant to serve, in the email's case, closing it out, and, in the flowers' case, showing that you thought enough to buy some blooms.

But with emails, especially important ones pertaining to a job application or project at work, you don't just want fine. You want to close your message with something that improves your chances of getting a response. In a recent study, email productivity company Boomerang looked at sign-offs from over 350,000 email threads — often those sent between strangers — to figure out which were most effective.

There were eight popular closings that showed up the most, all ones you've probably used at some point in time: thanks, regards, cheers, best regards, thanks in advance, thank you, best, and kind regards. Out of those eight, those that expressed gratitude, specifically thanks in advance, thanks, and thank you, were far more likely to receive a response than others. "Thanks in advance" was the most effective closing, receiving a response rate that was almost 14% higher than the least effective closing, "best."

"I think the correlation we found between thankful closings and higher response rates reflects a broader, more well-documented relationship where showing gratitude increases the likelihood that others will help you or otherwise perform a behavior that you want them to," says Brendan Greenley, a data scientist at Boomerang. Even the smallest, well-placed "thank you" can have a big impact.

At the same time, you should still pay attention to context. "If someone is writing an email where expressing gratitude doesn't make sense, I certainly wouldn't advocate that they force a 'thanks' at the end of their email," Greenley adds.

He also points to the importance of being authentic. Coming across as overly thankful can seem insincere and work against you, rather than in your favor. While this particular study didn't look at the amount of gratitude shown in emails, Boomerang has previously found that moderately positive emails result in more responses than those that are effusively positive.

Kill 'em with kindness — just not too much kindness.

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