Overloaded Email Signature

A professional looking e-mail signature is more than just a digital business card, it is also a smart and easy way to market to promote yourself or your business. Here are some tips to help you get started to make the most out of your e-mail real estate.

1) Keep it simple

Don’t overcrowd your e-mail signature with unnecessary information such as your physical address, e-mail address, or links to items that a consumer will not understand. At a bare minimum (minimal is good!), it should contain your:

a) name
b) title, company name
c) contact information
d) links to social media and/or call-to-action

Except for the addition of the e-mail address, the signature below is a good example of a minimalistic signature with the essentials.

Minimalistic Email Signature

2) Include a call-to-action (CTA)

This is a great way to promote something timely happening at your business, or even extend the life of existing content. For example, if you have a landing page for a new or existing listing, add that to your e-mail signature to increase its exposure. Also, when the CTA becomes outdated, don’t forget to remove or update it.

Minimalistic Email Signature with Big CTA

3) Add your social media networks

A simple way to facilitate how people find out more about you and your brand. Just try not to add too many, and perhaps limit them to the three most commonly used: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

4) Add a professional-looking picture of yourself

You’d be doing yourself a disservice by not adding one, and it isn’t difficult. Professionals with an photo of themselves get 30% more replies than professionals without one, as it helps establish a more personal connection with the person you’re communicating with.

One more thing, make sure your image portrays you as a professional. Have an image like Jonathan’s, not John’s.

Professional Image in Email Signature

Unprofessional Image in Email Signature

5) Use e-mail “safe” fonts

Both Mac and Windows OS come pre-loaded with their own system fonts. To ensure that your e-mail signature displays consistently across all major email clients, choose a font that most Macs and Windows will have on their system. For example, 15 safe fonts are:

  • Arial
  • Tahoma
  • Verdana
  • Trebuchet
  • Courier
  • Lucida
  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia
  • Palatino
  • Impact (now included in Windows 10)
  • Arial Black (now included in Windows 10)

An image showing 11/15 safe fonts

6) Consider how it looks on mobile

A good rule of thumb is to use either your logo or CTA as the horizontal anchor, with a width of 300px (max 320px). So long as your contact details do not go beyond your logo or CTA, you should not expect any weird formatting issues. Additionally, try and keep your total signature height below 650px.

CTA as horizontal anchor for mobile email signature

7) Always add height and width to your images

If a height and width is not specified for your images, the e-mail program used by your recipient might get resize them, and cause the formatting to “not look right”.

8) Use alt-text for your images

In the event that your recipients email client is not displaying images, your recipient can hover over the blank area where to understand what it’s supposed to show. For example, if you added a CTA to Facebook that was not displayed properly, the alt-text could be, “Click to Like Me on Facebook”.

Broken image displaying alt text

9) Use a different signature for initial e-mails vs. replies/forwards

A detailed signature is great for the first e-mail, but when replying or forwarding, your detailed signature will take up a lot of screen space. Thus, a condensed version with just your full name, job title, and mobile is optimal.

10) Don’t use an image for your whole signature

Using an image for your whole signature can cause your whole signature to be blocked and therefore unseen, due to the privacy and/or safety settings of your recipients email client. Additionally, user experience is diminished as they can no longer copy information directly from your signature.

An image showing how an e-mail client that has images not displayed, and where you go to display images

11) Don’t use any bullets

Bullet points (and numbering etc) of listing items are rendered differently between e-mail clients (e.g. Gmail, Outlook). Avoid them to mitigate any weird formatting issues.

By now I’m sure you can’t wait to create your own e-mail signature. If you’re feeling a little confused or just don’t want to invest too much time into coding your own email signature, check out Wisestamp, a company that specializes in creating them. If you are looking for something more bespoke, we can help.

Sources:

  • [1] https://emailsignaturerescue.com/support-area/item/what-fonts-can-i-use-in-my-email-signature
  • [2] http://xink.io/news/email-signature-format-101-dos-donts/
  • [3] http://mailtrack.io/blog/email-signature-create/
  • [4] http://mailtrack.io/blog/email-signature-best/
  • [5] http://www.inman.com/next/you-need-to-fix-your-email-signature-today/
  • [6] https://www.exclaimer.co.uk/the-17-email-signature-dos-and-donts

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