Email signatures are one of the most overlooked parts of online communication. Some people go to town and cram all 100 ways to get a hold of them in their signature; others don’t put anything at all. Chances are you thought about what to do with your signature once and then forgot all about it.
Even though you see your signature in every single email that you send, it’s something that you’ve probably trained yourself to ignore over time. That doesn’t mean that your email’s recipient is ignoring it too, though. In fact, it’s entirely possible that the person is seeking out your signature to know who the email is coming from and see how else to get a hold of you.
If you’re ready to spruce up your emails, here are 10 ways to improve your signature to leave a better lasting impression:
1. Only Include Essential Information
Sometimes less is more, and this is especially true for email signatures. You might have a fax machine gathering dust or a Pinterest board where the last thing you pinned was a picture of this crazy new thing called an ‘iPad.’ If that’s the case then there’s no need for them to be in your signature.
Think about what information people need to know about you and the best ways to reach you. Then try to boil these down to the bare essentials. Some common pieces of information include:
- Company & Job Title
- Phone number
- Email address
- Twitter username
These of course will vary from person to person, so really think about what information people need to see. Don’t waste their time with irrelevant information that they don’t need.
2. Create a Visual Hierarchy
Many people don’t realize just how customizable the fonts are for an email signature. Use different font sizes, bolding and italics to guide readers through your information. It’s the difference between this:
Job Title, Company
Job Title, Company
Play around with different combinations and see which works best for you!
3. Add a Splash of Colour
Many email clients will also let you customize the colour of the text in your signature. This is an easy way to add some fun to your signature, or to make it more on-brand if it is a business email account. Just don’t change the colour of the whole signature to one colour; instead, change certain words (e.g. company name or social media profiles).
4. Add an Image
Images are a great way to liven up a boring all-text email. If it’s a personal email account, consider adding a picture of you to make it feel more personal. If it’s a business account, it’s common to include your company’s logo. To ensure proper formatting, add height and width specifications; otherwise it may be resized and do something crazy like taking up the space of the entire email.
5. Don’t Make The Entire Signature an Image
Before you go too crazy with images, don’t waste your time creating a complex image of a flower formed out of your contact information. Some people prefer reading emails in plain text, and some email clients disable images by default. If this happens, you want to make sure that the person actually sees your information. It’s best to keep images to things that are supplementary but not essential.
6. Create a Plain Text Alternative
As mentioned in the previous point, all the hard work you put into your signature with crazy HTML and image customizations will go unnoticed when an email is viewed in its plain text form. Set up a plain text version of your signature and configure your email client to display that instead when needed.
7. Include Social Media Profiles
Whether you’re active on Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social network, your email signature is a great place to increase your followers. People might not think to seek you out on other networks when they’re emailing you, but having a link ready for them can give them a prompt to go connect with you in other ways. Just be sure to only put links to networks that you actually use so you won’t waste space and, more importantly, waste their time.
8. Feature Your Content
If you have a blog, you can use your signature as an opportunity to drive more traffic to your site. By adding a link to one of your more popular posts to your signature, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your blog one email at a time.
9. Be Consistent Across Devices
It can feel strange to be in an email thread with someone and some emails end with a highly stylized signature with 5 lines of info and a picture, and others end with “-Name.” Chance are that you’re replying to emails from your computer, phone and tablet, so change your signature on each device to closely match your other devices.
10. Remove “Sent from my iPhone”
“Woah, this email was sent to me from an iPhone?!?” said no one ever. There isn’t really any reason to include what device your email was sent from, so at the very least take this out of your signature.
The only exception to this rule is if you want to include a disclaimer as to why there might be a lot of typos if you have big thumbs and if proofreading isn’t your thing. Even still, there’s no reason to get brand-specific — just say that you’re sending it from a smartphone or something else generic.
If you want to make your email even more customized, search for your own domain name to use for your emails from Hover: