You write a masterful email. The subject line is uber-clickable. Your greeting is friendly without being overly familiar. And then you get to your sign-off. "Thanks" is too generic, "Sincerely" is too formal, and "Cheers" seems tired.
"Best regards" and "kind regards" are two of your best options for business email signatures, but it can be difficult to know how to use each correctly.
To avoid bad first impressions or email faux pas, I've created a quick-and-easy guide for when and how to use each one, so your emails are always appropriate and grammatically correct.
When to Use "Best Regards"
"Best regards" is the less formal version of the two. It's a safe, friendly, and respectful sign-off to clients you're familiar with but not yet well-acquainted.
It's a neutral sentiment that communicates respect and appreciation without claiming to have a relationship beyond what you've built with your prospect, client, or colleague. Here's a list of scenarios in which you'd use "Best regards":
When emailing existing clients
When speaking with vendors you've worked with for 3+ months
When communicating with prospects you've engaged in regular, two-sided conversation with
When reaching out to colleagues within your organization
Any time the other party sets a more casual tone over email
And here's an example of how to use "Best regards" in an email:
Here's that case study we were discussing yesterday. It should answer your question about how BG Solutions can streamline your accounting process by integrating with your existing software.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
If you're looking for a formal or semi-formal alternative to "Best regards", use one of the sign-offs above instead.
"Best Regards" Alternatives
All the best
Thanks in advance
Thank you for your time
Looking forward to our next conversation
Looking forward to hearing from you
Have a wonderful [day, weekend]
Reach out with questions
Let me know if you need anything
"Kind regards" is a more formal variation of "Best regards." You might reserve it for introductory, outreach, or exploratory emails. It still communicates respect but intuits less of an established relationship. In business correspondence, "Kind regards" is a professional and appropriate way to end an email.
Here are a few scenarios in which you would use "Kind regards":
When conducting warm outreach
When in the early stages of communicating with prospects (especially if they haven't responded to your emails)
When emailing an executive at any company, any time
When introducing yourself to a mutual acquaintance of a friend or colleague
When you're uncertain which sign-off to choose
And here is an example of how to use "Kind regards" in an email:
I noticed you downloaded our most recent case study about how BG Solutions helped streamline the accounting operations of enterprise company Stillwater Inc. If you have any questions about that study, I'd be happy to answer them.
When you've built rapport and a closer working relationship with a business associate, it might be appropriate to drop the "Kind "and "Best "entirely and just send "Regards," though some experts feel this is colder rather than more familiar. Below is an example of "Regards" in an email:
It was great to speak with you on the phone earlier. I sent you a calendar invite for the demo call we agreed upon for Thursday, September 20th at 3:00 PM EST. You'll also find an agenda for the call attached below.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Regardless, it is the most informal version of the sign-off and denotes the closest kind of working relationship. Reserve this for clients or colleagues with whom you work regularly and whose email tone and style you understand, and vice versa.
"Kind Regards" Alternatives
Sending you the best
Thank you for reading
"Kind Regards" vs. "Warm Regards"
"Kind regards" is a more formal sign-off than "Best regards," -- and "Warm regards" takes the familiarity a step forward.
"Warm regards" is generally reserved for close friends and family and should not be used in professional correspondence.
When considering whether to use "Warm regards" in an email, choose one of the "Kind regards" alternatives listed above to be safe and appropriate at all times.
When in Doubt, Match the Customer's Tone
Still not sure which one to use? As a rule of thumb, match the formality in your business associate's tone. If they've signed their last email "Best wishes," reply with the same signature or substitute "Best regards." If they've used a more formal signature like, "Sincerely," err toward "Kind regards," as it matches the tone and sentiment your associate has used.