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Signing off, sending the wrong message

The NYTimes has an interesting article about the message you send with your e-mail sign off.

The sign off (think “Sincerely,” “Love,” or “Yours truly”) is something that is almost universally an afterthought in e-mail. As an often informal communication method, it’s easy to disregard the importance of that final line. But, as the article points out, doing so could inadvertently signal a brush off or be so informal it makes your recipient uncomfortable.

As for my sign-offs, I’m pretty conservative and predictable. I usually end with “Thanks, Meranda” or a simple “~Meranda.” Although the article says no ending makes you seem cold, I think the tilde softens the ending without making it awkward.

In other reading, I also took some time to skim this list of 99 tips to make your e-mail more secure and productive, which I came across on Lifehacker.

Some of my own suggestions that aren’t on this list include…

  • Use a temporary address when you sign up for access to random Web sites. There are several places that exist for this purpose including Mailinator, My Trash Mail, Temp Inbox, Mail Expire and a dozen more.
  • Don’t sign up for sites, use a registration someone else has already created. Go to BugMeNot.com and type in the site you need access to. Chances are some one else has already taken the time to register, and if they haven’t, use one of the temporary inboxes above to do the next person a favor.

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