Tips for Using Thank You vs. Regards in Emails and Letters

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 October 2022 | Published 13 December 2021

Updated 16 October 2022

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you write an email or letter, you often include a closing phrase that depends on your relationship with the recipient. Depending on the email or letter and who you send it to, you may choose to use thank you or regards as your closings. If you're writing a professional or personal message, learning more about the differences between these two closings can be helpful for you in choosing the right one. In this article, we explore the differences between thank you vs. regards, describe the steps you can take to format your closing message, review examples and provide alternative sign-offs.

Related: 101 Examples of How to Say "Thank You for Your Time" at Work

Key differences between thank you vs. regards

The debate between using thank you vs. regards when signing off has been going on for a long time. Along with their variations, they are some of the most common ways to finish an email or letter. Each one is applicable in unique situations, and using the right one can allow you to convey the right sentiment as you close your message.

These are the differences between the situations when it may be best to use thank you and when it may be best to use regards:

Using thank you in email messages and letters

If you're asking another person for something, you can end your letter or email with some form of thank you. Depending on the request and your familiarity with the recipient, you can vary how you thank them. For example, if you're asking someone to send you an email attachment, a simple thanks is sufficient. Conversely, if you're asking someone to cover your work shifts for a weekend while you go on vacation, sincerest thanks is more fitting. If the person you're talking to requires more formality, such as a manager, you can opt for a thank you.

Some other forms of thank you include:

  • many thanks

  • much appreciated

  • thanks again

Using regards in email messages and letters

Regards is a standard closing that you can use in your messages when you aren't asking for something. You can use regards, or some form of the word, in practically any type of message. It works best in more formal situations, but you can change it a little to fit it in more informal ones. Variations of regards include:

  • best regards

  • kind regards

  • best

Related: How to Say Thank You in Your Email

How to format the end of your email or letter

After you've chosen your closing message, make sure to use the correct format. The end of your letter or email is important because it often contains the information that the reader remembers most. The end of the message can be a good place to reiterate important information or include a call to action. Here are some steps you can follow to format the end of the message and potentially make it more effective:

1. Consider what you want the reader to do

When formatting and writing the end of your email or letter, it's essential to consider what you want the reader to do after reading it. If you want them to contact you, consider including that as a call to action in the final line of the message. Including the methods by which they can reach you and when you want to hear from them can be a great way to encourage them to act upon it. If you want the reader to visit a website, submit a project or attend a meeting, you can include that information too in the end.

Related: What Is a Formal Email Format (With Steps and Example)

2. Include important contact information

At the bottom of formal emails and letters, you can include your important professional contact information. Even if you think the reader may already have your contact information, this ensures that they have the latest details. Including your contact information can also be a great way to encourage the recipient to respond to your message promptly.

Related: How To Introduce Yourself in an Email

3. Assess your relationship with the recipient

Before choosing a closing phrase, consider your relationship with the reader. Assess the situations where you've communicated with them, and determine if they were professional or personal. If you're having difficulty choosing a closing phrase, consider reviewing previous correspondence to see what the recipients used as their closing phrase for you.

Related: How to Write a Personal Thank-You Letter

4. Sign your name at the end of the letter

After writing the last part of your letter, choosing a closing phrase and including your professional information, you can sign your name at the end. If you're sending a digital message through email or document upload, consider using a device to record a digital signature you can include. Many handheld devices have applications that allow you to save a digital signature and import it to a document or email.

Related: How to End an Email (With Closing Examples and Tips)

Examples of thank you vs regards

Including the correct sign-off text in your correspondence is crucial for maintaining a good relationship with the recipient and making a favourable first impression. Consider who you're sending the letter to and what you want the reader to feel when they read it. For example, if you're contacting a hiring manager about an open position, you may want them to feel respected and interested in your application. These are some examples of letters and emails you can use as inspiration when writing your own:

Thank you example 1

Here's an example showing a more casual form of thank you:

Hi Mr Yong,

I have a doctor's appointment this Friday at 4 p.m., so I won't be able to make it to today's meeting with the team. Would you be able to email me a copy of any notes afterwards so that I can review what I missed?

Kuruvilla Fernandez

Thank you example 2

Here's an example showing a professional using a more formal thank you:

Dear Mr Kang,

I was hoping to get a leave sanctioned for the next Monday and Tuesday, as I have a minor family issue I want to attend to. I can make up the hours over the rest of the week or during the weekend if that would help. Please let me know at your earliest convenience.

Thank you,
Hanifah Ismail

Regards example 1

This example shows a professional using a form of regards:

Dear Ms Cheng,

I just wanted to reach out and thank you for taking the time to interview me. Our conversation made me even more excited about potentially joining your company. If you have any additional questions for me, I would be happy to answer them.

Best regards,
Yeo Kian Hong

Related: How to Use Best Regards in Emails (With Tips)

Regards example 2

Here's another example showing how you can use the term regards in an email:

To whom it may concern,

I recently noticed your job posting for a project manager role. Attached you can find my resume and cover letter. Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for taking the time to consider my application.

Yong Weng Wah

Related: How and When to Use the Phrase “To Whom It May Concern”

Other ways to close letters and emails

There are other ways to close a message besides thank you and regards. To choose the proper closing, consider your relationship with the recipient and the content of the message. You can use closings like take care and talk soon when you have a close relationship with the recipient, such as when you're writing to a friend or family member. Sincerely and with appreciation sound more formal in a professional setting. If you're unsure of the best closing to use, either regards or thank you may be the safest option. Here are some other options you can use:

  • yours sincerely

  • yours cordially

  • best wishes

Related: 63 Email Sign-Offs to Use for Professional Emails

Tips for writing emails and letters

Learning more about how to write effective letters and emails can improve your written communication skills. These are some helpful tips you can use when writing professional and personal emails and letters:

  • Focus on giving each word importance: When writing a letter or an email, you can avoid being too wordy or lengthy by ensuring that each word you include has a specific purpose. Shorter messages may be more likely to capture and retain the reader's attention while communicating important information.

  • Consider using organisational tools: You can use administrative tools in an email to simplify understanding of the messages. This may include capitalisation, highlighting, bolding, underlining or using bullet points to organise essential elements.

  • Begin with a kind message to the reader: Each letter or email you write can begin with a kind message that communicates your well-wishes to the reader. For example, you can start by saying you hope they had a great weekend or that you hope they're having a good day.

  • Instal a grammar-checking programme: For emails, there are grammar-checking programmes that check your wording, language, spelling and grammatical errors. Consider installing one that can help you review your writing and ensure each email is professional or mistake-free.

Related: How To Reply To an Email With Template and Examples

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

Explore more articles