Making an email signature usually isn’t too hard, but it can be tricky to know what elements to include and how to format it. We pooled our collective wisdom and came up with some of our favorite email signatures that we have seen come through our inbox. Most of the time we changed the names and contact information to protect the person, but looking at these examples for comparison to figure out what you need to include in your email signature may be helpful.
1. Keep it simple, don’t include too much
An email signature should be scannable all that the reader can glance at it quickly and get the information they need. Some people feel the need to include the kitchen sink in their signature but it ends up being too much. For the contact information just choose the most important items, leave out unnecessary stuff like your email address or fax number. Limit yourself to just one or two images/logos. And for marketing messages just try to communicate one thing. Whether that’s a promotion, company tag line, or customer testimonial, those are all great things but you probably can’t afford to include them all or the signature will just become overwhelming.
2. Make your contact information helpful
Think of it like a business card, this is a tool you are providing your reader to quickly look up your contact information at a later date. It might be on their way to you office (when they are running late) or it might be seconds before they have a call with you the next time. Organize the signature clearly by keeping like information together and use white space to clearly create groups of information. Another way you can be helpful is by linking things that the user expects to be able to click on. For example a logo should always be linked to your website if you have one. Your phone numbers should be linked so that on a mobile device they can easily click on them and have the phone dial automatically. Those kinds of things will make people appreciate your signature and the thought you have put into it.
3. Use color to grab attention
Color is a powerful tool to bring attention to certain elements, give context, and call out emotion. Ideally you would just choose a single color, your primary brand color that represents you or your company. Your logo would include this, your name might be in this color, and some of your links or important text might appear in this color. Two colors is ok, and more than three gets to be too overwhelming. Stick with black or grey for the rest of the text preferably.
4. Use the right fonts and sizes
Your email signature needs to “fit” in the environment it is in. It's easy to start making your signature too big, even using 16px - 20px fonts can feel quite large in the midst of an email. Remember that most emails are viewed around 12px or so depending on the user’s preferences. Having too large of a signature can feel garish and obnoxious to the receiver. On the other hand, some people go the opposite way and decided that their email signature should be tiny and unobtrusive. This results in a hard to read email signature that frustrating to the viewer as they squint to dial your phone number or write down your address.
5. Use your photo, people will remember it
Using your photo in your signature can be a great personalized way to show that you are a real human. You are friendly, relatable and not some corporate entity. It also will help people to remember you! Humans are great at remembering faces and names together, having those two elements beside each other in an email can help to fix them in your reader’s mind. Many people would prefer not to have their photo in their signature. The common fears are that they 1. Don’t like the way they look, or 2. Are afraid that they will come off as pretentious. But these are probably not accurate fears. Most of the time you make yourself more relatable as well as being vulnerable and open to connecting with your readers.
6. Include a really nice looking logo
There are not many companies that include a perfectly formatted logo in their email signature. Often someone grabs a small blurry logo from their website and throws it into the signature, resizing it again. This makes your organization look unprofessional! The logo’s size is important. If it is too large then it just ends up being obnoxious, especially if the file size ends up being huge then it can be a pain for everyone to download. We recommend starting with a high quality version of your logo (preferably a vector file like like .AI, .PDF, or .EPS if you have it) and then save it as a JPG or GIF at exactly two times the size it will appear in the email signature. This means that your logo will still look amazing on mobile devices which have higher resolution screens. Some companies opt to include them at all, either out of laziness or worries about the logo being an email attachment. Logos in email signatures do not need to be attached to the email! Rather they should be included in the HTML as a remote link, loading the logo file from your website or another server.
7. Include a call to action or special offer
Email is one of the primary ways you will interact with your (potential) customers. They may know everything about what you have to offer, but they may not. Having a few quick links that show what your services are can be hugely beneficial to those companies that include this in their email signature. Are you offering a sale? Put that in there! Do you have a free resource you can offer to people? Put that in there! Getting your customers to learn more about you and your company is always helpful.
8. Spacing is crucial
Good white space is tricky in email signatures because different email clients tend to treat those spaces differently. But spacing is one of those things that can make or break your signature. The tendency is to jam a bunch of your contact information together into a big blob of a signature. But this makes it hard to read, visually jarring, and unhelpful to readers. Think about using spacing to group like information together. Start by grouping your name and title together. Maybe group your office phone and mobile phone together, and then put your website and social media links together. These groups of similar information make it easier to read and the white space around them makes it easier for the eye to quickly process the data.
9. Include a customer testimonial
Words have a powerful effect on behavior. Knowing what your other customers thought about working with you and their experience will make a difference as they consider their options. They give you legitimacy and help your customers to be more comfortable with you and your services. Knowing that they are this important, then why not include them in an email signature? You may even want to consider asking for testimonials and feedback about working with you as a link within your email.
10. Include your company social media profiles
Sometimes your customers want to find out how to contact you, but sometimes they are more curious about you and your organization. They may have already looked at your website and gotten the buttoned up PR version of who you are and what you do, and now they want to know your personality. What are they like when they have fun? What kinds of causes do they support? What are they like in real life? Social accounts are much better at communicating this with your customers than your website. So point your customers to them in your email signature. It’s a great jumping off point and can create conversation talking points that your customers may bring up to you on the phone at a later time.
So now you know everything you need to go create a great looking signature that will impress your clients and bring the professionalism of your organization up a notch. If you need a way to make a signature, we may be biased, but we think signature.email is the best. Try it out today!