MAY 2012: Does your email signature make you look good? Does it let your recipients go straight to the information they need? Does it display correctly on whatever email program it pops up in?
If you’re not sure, hop on these quick-fix tips and leave an awesome impression!
Your email signature should be concise, memorable and include these six things: name, company, title/position, phone number (just one), web url and email address (in case it doesn’t show up in your recipient’s header). For old-school frogs, think of your email signature as letterhead — except it’s at the bottom instead of the top!
Want to use images in your email signature? Check out the links below.
- Use plain text so recipients can copy and paste
- Choose a super-legible font so it’s easy to read
- Separate it visually from the body of your email — using two hyphens and a space is standard (– )
- Condense it down to four lines, or seven at most
- Keep lines to 72 characters to avoid wrapping
- Consolidate lines by placing a pipe ( | ) or double colon ( :: ) between items
- Type out urls instead of using links so they can be copied/pasted (also: sometimes links get broken during transit)
- Create an alternate short-version signature to use on replies
- Test how your signature looks and wraps by sending (and forwarding) it to yourself and viewing in on as many devices as possible
- Optimize any logos or other graphics so they load quickly — better yet, use an email signature service to avoid attachments
- Confuse your recipient by using too many colors or fonts (two max)
- Look silly by using animations or including personal contact information when doing business
- Include things your recipient doesn’t need, like your snail mail address if you don’t have a walk-in location or your Skype address if you don’t use it
- Include a vCard (electronic business card) after the first email
- Bother with a legal disclaimer unless it’s standard for your industry and would look weird without it (they aren’t enforceable)
- Add a quote because you never know what someone might find offensive
- Put your contact information in an image — it’s impossible to copy and paste
Images included in your email signature, including your logo, show up as attachments and can cause your email to get caught in anti-spam filters, especially if images are more than a few kilobytes (KBs). They also make it difficult for your recipients to figure out which of your emails have attachments that actually need their attention.
For a branded look with an image, consider an email signature company that hosts your signature on a server that automatically loads images once the email is opened — no attachments! Check out Wisestamp, My eSig, Sigwich and Stationery Central. Fees and compatibility vary.