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What is the more correct use of a "With regards" line with an e-mail signature?

With regards,
--
[First name] [Last name]

--
With regards,
[First name] [Last name]

Is there another standard to follow? Does it even matter?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The double-dash delimiter followed by a space before the end of the line lets some mail programs separate the body of your message from body your signature.

Although you are using the signature feature of your mail program to add a standard sign-off, “Regards, <name>”, I would consider it part of the body of the mail.

At least from my perspective, whenever I see this machine added in a separate part of the email away from the text that was written, I know that the “regards” are entirely false (even recognising it is only a token gesture anyway).

I would say the signature should be:

With regards,

[first name] [last name]
--
[any additional contact or other information]

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This is normally how we would do it on our mailing lists. –  Jordon Bedwell Oct 7 '11 at 11:58

In common emails, there's really no standardized styles, anything goes.

But if you want to go by some sort of standard, your first version references the usenet email standard, and is a standardized response therein.

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I've read all relevant RFC and other material. The question, however is, does the "With regards," line go with the signature, or is it part of the body? I also think I might be being too anal. –  Michael Pasqualone Oct 6 '11 at 23:34
    
What exactly do you mean by signature and body? Do you mean automated "macros" in regards to your email client? –  rlb.usa Oct 6 '11 at 23:36

Consider the de-facto purpose of the “-- ” line: it is to mark text which is not actually part of the content of your message, so would be clutter in a reply quote or a condensed view of messages. “With regards” and your name are such text; therefore they go below the “-- ”. A generic rule: Would you put it in every message you write? Then put it below the line.

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There is no formal standard.

Text below the dash is your contact information, a bit like what you'd put in the top corner of a paper letter, some or all of: full name, email, address, phone, fax, etc.

Above the dash is the body of the actual email message, like the main part of a paper letter. This includes the greeting, message, sign-off and your name (can be first name only). Now, this main part is a single unit, so you shouldn't segregate the sign-off from the rest.

With regards,
[first name]
--
[first name] [last name]
[Any other details]

In fact you can omit the dash if you want's especially if you use another font or size for the contact info.

Now as to etiquette. You could put the "With regards" in your email program's signature so it is automatically appended. As @Paul said, "Regards" is a token and often false gesture, and especially so when over-the-top "With my very warmest regards" is added to every email without thought. So some may find it a little rude if you can't even take the time to type this in yourself and tailor it: perhaps you should sometimes use "Thank you".

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If you are interested in etiquette standards for online communications, the only good resource I know of is The Netiquette pages at Albion.

The main rule of thumb for an email trailer is that it should be short (four lines or less I believe). Yes, that includes any crap your company auto-posts at the end.

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