Choosing the right email signature is more important than you might think. It has a story to tell. Your signature reflects your brand.
The right email signature format can make a killer first impression that can make a huge impact. How? Your email is valuable for the recipients already so they do want to know who you are. Thus your signature becomes an important communication channel.
By following the email signature best practices you can maintain consistent communication across your organization, build trust and get the most out of it.
Signatures offer more opportunities than including your name and title in the email footer. Signatures or sigs are also great to promote your business, upcoming events or new blogs post for instance.
According to Email Statistics Report businesses send out 43 emails a day. It means that there is a great potential here.
If you leverage signatures in a smart way you can boost your marketing performance. You look more professional and might make more money. You can kill two birds with one stone.
What is an email signature?
Source: Email Signature Rescue
An email signature is a text block in the email footer. It provides at least the basic information about the sender: name, title and the contact details.
Think of these modern email signatures as digital business cards. These cards are mainly used for external communication but large companies use them for internal mailing as well.
These emails are based on peer-to-peer communication. You know who the recipient is so you can target them with the right message. That’s why this channel is so successful.
What should be included in an email signature?
A good email signature must have a great design, include the important information and function as well.
To determine what information to include, you need to think through what is relevant for your department to communicate. The IT department probably doesn’t deal with the customers so they don’t need to add their phone number for instance whereas sales reps want to add it.
You have to include the basic details
- Your Title, Department
- Company Name
The basic idea is to identify the sender and make it clear what their role is within the organization.
Use the upper triangle hierarchy in your email signature.
Start with the most important information and highlight the one you want to emphasize. You can lead the eye in a particular direction such as your name, title or the logo.
It helps the reader process the text quickly. People don’t always scroll to the bottom, so optimize your copy to communicate effectively.
Aim to create a clean design
Your email signature design shouldn’t be too long. Don’t include more than 7 lines.
Don’t share too many details about yourself. It’s not your biography. Needless to say, you shouldn’t include personal details either.
Enrich your signature with the following optional details
- Photo – Build trust.
Signatures can seem really boring so sprinkle some personality into them. Using a photo makes your email more personal.
Apart from being visual, you can also build trust with the recipient. People like seeing who they deal with. Showing that you dress smart also ads to your credibility.
- Phone number – Make it easy to call you.
If you have a company phone add it to your card. If you don’t have one, the company’s number will make it too. In case you have both, you can include them in your signature.
- Email address – Just in case.
Professionals argue whether it makes sense to include the email address in your signature.
Indeed, the recipients can hit reply or see the sender’s email address in the ´from field´. But some email clients show the names instead of the email addresses. So what do you do if you forwarded the email and you want to contact the sender again?
You can insert your email address in your signature and link to a ´mailto link´. You might save a headache by being forethoughtful.
- Social media icons – Boost traffic.
When Unilever added a Linkedin Follow button to their email signatures, the number of their followers jumped from 40.000 to 235.000 in ten months.
Moral of the story?
People are lazy to look up your profile on social. But inserting a nice Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter icon in your signature can make miracles.
Source: Email Signature Rescue
Including social media links in your email signature provides a great opportunity to gain new followers. It makes it easier for the readers to follow you and might increase the traffic to the company’s social profiles as well.
- Website – Provide seamless experience.
You can increase engagement and drive traffic to the company website. The recipients are just one click away from your awesome product. Make it easy to navigate there.
Make sure you shorten the URL of your website to make the signature layout as clear as possible.
- Local Address – Differentiate yourself from co-workers living in another cities or countries.
Global companies with several offices around the world usually include office location in the signature. It helps to be relevant.
Source: Email Signature Rescue
- Logo – Strengthen brand awareness.
Logos help brand association and linking certain qualities to companies. 5-7 impressions are needed for someone to remember your brand. Your signature can be one of them.
This minimalist card was divided into two columns. The logo is on the left whereas the contact details and headshot are on the right.
Most languages use the left to right script. That’s why if you place the logo on the left side, that’ll be the very first thing that grabs the reader’s attention.
- Google Maps
If you want to share your address as well, using Google Maps is the best way to do so. The recipient doesn’t need to copy paste your address and leave the email to find it. They will appreciate that.
Call to Actions steal the show, Ladies, and Gents.
This is your chance to use your email signature as a marketing tool. You can promote your ebook, latest article or next conference.
Source: Act Today
Act Today uses this banner to encourage the reader to click on the Read More button and learn about the news release.
The beauty of using banners in email signatures is that you can create different banners for your segmented audience and rock!
Make an effort to create a good email design
I can’t emphasize enough how important consistency is. Using the best email fonts that align with your brand guideline makes you look professional. We recommend to use a professional email template builder to create a visually appealing email within minutes.
Limit number of design elements. Don’t try to over-dominate the content of your email. Keep it simple. It always works.
Organized copy helps the reader process the information. Aligning your copy to the left is the safest bet you can make.
Separate content so readers can scan each item in your email signature. As the example shows below, dividers help create an easily digestible content.
Using whitespace between the elements can ensure that your email won’t be crowded or and unpleasant for the eye. This unused space helps you give your email signature design an elegant look and drive the attention to the main part.
You can experiment with geometric shapes. They can help you create a great structure.
The signature above immediately communicates the sender’s achievements using this unusual design. It’s definitely a signature to remember.
- Use 2 colors for your email signature design only.
Keep your email signature design as simple as possible. Don’t use too many colors otherwise your copy would look cluttered.
Studies show that people can recall patterns with fewer colors and that harmonius colors have an effect on our short-term memories.
Use brand colors, you can’t make a mistake with that.
If you are certain that you know how to use colors then go ahead and create an exciting, creative email signature.
Source: Email Signature Rescue
This signature is colorful yet harmonic. Notice that how they adapted the design to Google Play’s colors. I have to say the CTAs are great as well!
- Avoid fancy web fonts
If your reader doesn’t have a specific web font installed on their computer, they only see the fallback font in their email. So, go for a simple solution and save some time for yourself.
Choose a websafe typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman and use their variations. You can use bold font or larger size to highlight information.
- Responsive signature for everyone!
89% of Millenials are constantly on their phones. Even Google thinks having a responsive design is a must and determine it as a ranking factor.
Users don’t need to zoom to read or scroll horizontally. Just as your email templates are to be mobile-friendly so are your signatures.
Of course not only your email signatures but other promotional emails have to be responsive. Fortunately our software can help you to craft mobile-friendly email templates with ease. You can access it for free by registering here.
Banners are great to show your expertise and add your promotion. Each email you send helps you increase the conversion rate.
Banners offer a great upselling opportunity for the sales representatives. Add a UTM parameter to each banner so you can track the result with Google Analytics.
Include dynamic content to encourage readers to read your latest blog post. The recipients can get instant access to your article and you can enjoy the advantages of having more traffic to your blog.
- Upcoming events, webinar
Increase the awareness and notify prospects about your next event so they might attend. Don’t forget to answer the basic questions in the banner: what, when and where will take its place.
Show off your expertise so the readers know you are someone they can rely on.
Ensure consistency across the organization. If one employer has their certificate included so should their co-workers. Otherwise, it would imply that some people don’t have the education needed to fill the position.
- Product announcement
Different people follow you on different channels. To distribute news properly, make sure you include product announcements in the email signatures as well.
- Twitter field
Twitter is about real-time communication. The latest tweet in the banner is a great idea to spread information and get people engage.
- Ask for feedback
The sales reps or customer services can get a great insight by using a little survey in their signatures. Using emojis is probably the quickest and most efficient way of asking the recipients about their opinion.
- Book, videos
You can not only promote your blog articles in the signature but any other content like books or videos you have. Spread the word about your masterpiece wherever you can.
The optimal size of your email signature also depends on your target audience. Do they read your emails on desktop or mobile?
Smartphone screens are generally 320px and 500px wide. So go for the 320px wide signature. The industry standard for PC/Mac is 600px.
Images on the internet are displayed at 72dpi. You can use either JPEGs or GIFs designed for this parameter. This way you can ensure that your image is sharp and not blurry.
Keep the images below 50KB to prevent slow downloading speed.
Images in email signatures
You have two options to insert images into your email signature. You can either embed or host them externally and link to them.
Displays the images without the recipient clicking on the download button. The downside of this method is that it increases the size of the email. Your image might even appear as an attachment.
If you decide to host the image on your web server, you can prevent the problem mentioned above. The images are downloaded every time the email gets open.
If you know that most of your recipients use Outlook you can go for the embedded method otherwise use the linked image solution.
Use the right image-text ratio. Don’t make your email about your signature.
Don’t make your signature an image either. Images don’t always render on the screens due to the emails clients’ settings. Even if the recipient can see the image, they can’t copy paste your details or click the hyperlinks.
Corporate email signature best practices
Whereas personal email signatures can be informal, professional email signatures must follow certain rules.
Companies must take ownership of the employees’ email signatures. A corporate email signature template must ensure that everybody in the organization uses the same standard signature that clearly represents the brand’s values.
How to unify the business email signature style across the organization?
Employees might not realize how important it is to use the same style and fonts for the company email signatures.
If everyone started creating their own signature without any guidance the result would be catastrophic. It would imply that the company isn’t professional and organized.
Set the corporate email signature standards
Draft an official signature template and customize it for each department. Make sure the signatures work across all email clients and they are mobile-friendly as well.
When you create the professional email signatures for the departments you need to build a framework to define what information to include.
Every email must align the brand specification. The goal of this email signature shall support the sender’s goals and the marketer department’s.
- What are the similarities and differences between the departments
- What components change frequently?
- What is controlled by marketing, sales reps, IT?
- Which certifications to add?
- What messages can we send? Who needs to include the disclaimer?
How to manage professional email signatures centrally
A dedicated person should design the signatures for everyone by using Office 365 and Exchange Server. They need to use the HTML snippet and set the rule for the templates.
If you aren’t good at coding you can also use CodeTwo to manage Outlook, Gmail and Office 365 signatures. It doesn’t require any coding knowledge and helps you unify email signatures and deploy them.
How to create a signature for email
You can use two methods to generate your digital card. You can design your own one in a professional email template builder or use email clients to draft your email signature. Otherwise, you can go for the signature generators.
Design you own email signature in an email template builder
If you are already using a professional email builder, this will be a piece of cake for you. You can do it in an ESPs’ editor but it’s not so flexible as in the professional ones. Depending on which email editor you are using, you can create the most beautiful signature within minutes, save it as a block and reuse in other emails.
In Chamaileon, our professional email template builder, you can do exactly that. You can design it in one minute and already have it in your email. You can add it faster when creating new emails with the help of our new feature- email blocks. Save the signature as a block and then reuse it when designing new emails.
Here are steps on how to create an email signature in an email template builder:
Step 1. Add a column element if you want to have an image and a text
Step 2. Drag the image element in one box
Step 3. Drag the text element to the other box
Step 4. Double click on the image element to add the image
Step 5. Change text you want to have in your signature
Step 6. Change the column width accordingly
Step 8. Save as a block in the template so you can reuse it again
We also created a video tutorial which you can see here.
If you already want to start designing it, you can access it for free here and design your perfect email signature.
Email client to create personalized email signature
Generating a signature with Outlook, Gmail or Apple Mail might seem the most logical choice at first glance. The bad news is you need hardcoding to define the image dimensions otherwise God knows how your signature will be displayed on different platforms.
Best Free Email Signature Generators
If you don’t know how to code, use template editors that translate your design to HTML. You can see how your signature looks like in real time and experiment with different styles.
Hubspot’s free email signature template is easy and quick to use. It has 8 different themes you can choose from. You can easily add your sig to Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Apple Mail or any other email clients.
You can add your social links, CTAs, even your Hubspot certificates. Once you fill out the template and picked the style, you can simply download your signature and paste it into your email.
- My Signature
My signature allows you pick from 6 options. The LinkedIn and Facebook import tools are impressive. You can import information with one click.
The process is similar to Hubspot’s. Design your signature and just download it.
Mail-Signatures.com offers you a number of choices and allows you to add the disclaimer copy as well. You can also decide whether you want to create a signature for a specific email client.
Inspirational email signature design examples
Last but not least, I’m sharing some inspirational email signature design examples with you. The graphics of email signatures were designed to leverage different strength for reaching different goals.
Black and white email signature – The elegant
This design example of the signature shows how you could create an elegant piece by simply using black and white colors. The sophisticated logo is in the center and the simple black and white social media icons are placed on the bottom to ensure easy navigation. There is no need for distracting colors here.
Creative signature with avatar – Showing the skills
The layout of this signature is simple but great. Graphic designers can show off their talent by using a well-designed avatar or logo instead of their photos. The job position and social media icons are aligned in a visible and simple way. The unconventional green color fits the profession itself.
GIF email signature – The modern card
Unfortunately, we can’t use animation in signatures. But hey, we still can use GIFs!
This email signature sample shows how GIF can add personality to your digital card. The sender’s different emotions show the person we deal with is a human being too. It makes the conversation more laid back.
Keep in mind, this type of signature doesn’t fit every business.
Signature for photographers – The showcase
Photographers can sneak into the mailboxes and show off. Why not? You can create a beautiful signature and show your talent.
The real estate guru – Click to call in action
I love call extensions. Nothing is more convenient than calling someone by one single click. You’ll love it too if it starts increasing the number of incoming calls.
Disclaimer in email signature – Safety first!
When you share certain information in your email, you want the recipients to handle it carefully and not to share it with third parties. To separate the disclaimer from your signature, place it at the very bottom of your email.
It’s time to think of your email signature as one of your marketing channels. It’s your digital business asset supporting your brand.
You can communicate via your signature where you don’t need to compete with other ads. You can promote your campaign or increase the number of social media followers. The sky is the limit. Just don’t forget to create an appealing email design as well by using the right email design tools.
The most important rule to keep in mind is to be relevant. Create signatures that communicate the senders’ goals and useful for the recipients as well.