Best Email Signatures
Here at Terminus we see a lot of email signatures across our hundreds of customers – we like to think we have a pretty good idea of what makes one great. The best email signatures we’ve seen can do a lot for a company: establish a strong brand impression, give relevant information about the sender & organization, and turn the email into a marketing opportunity.
There are a few key email signature best practices to think through when creating your signature.
Does the recipient have everything they need to take action, based on an email? Can they pick up the phone and call the sender, or schedule time on their calendar? Do they know the title of who they’re corresponding with? Make sure you’re giving them what they need to contact your employees in the preferred avenues.
Think about the number of lines of text your signature is taking up – is there anything in your signature that’s redundant and can be removed to save space (for example, including the email address of the sender may not be necessary). Ensure that your email signature size isn’t aggressive, or taking up too much space.
Do you have a professional mobile email signature experience on every email you’re sending? Ensure that what works on desktop works on mobile as well – you don’t want a signature that runs off the screen when the email is read on a phone, for example.
Images in Email Signatures – Best Practices
There’s no one right rule for what type of email signature image should or should not be included in your banner. The most typical images we see are a company logo, employee avatar, and social icons. An email signature with logo included can ensure that your sign-off is branded, while avatars and social icons can add further personalization for the sender. It’s up to you to decide what fits best with your company’s branding.
Include a Marketing Message
At Terminus, we think of the sign-off as an opportunity for a one-two punch. The “business card” area covers typical company information – first name, last name, title, etc. These are typically standardized and consistent across your company and across time. The email signature banner, on the other hand, is an opportunity to promote your latest marketing initiatives. Sigstr gives central control of these banners, and the ability to make them dynamic based on sender, recipient, lifecycle stage, and more – to ensure that you’re always delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
Think through appropriate sizing with these images as well – our State of Email Signature Marketing report found that the standard email banner size across clients is around 383 pixels wide and 102 pixels tall.
Every email you send is an opportunity to make that brand impression positive. Email signatures and banners that deliver your marketing messages are the perfect way to do it.
There are a variety of resources to help you find some of the best email signature examples. Check out our September Issue of Email Signature Marketing for some of our customer’s best email signatures (2018). Sigstr has several more resources that give insight into how to do this well, and don’t be afraid to search other places too, like HubSpot resources or even examples from our competitors such as Exclaimer. Email signature size, images, mobile experience, and marketing messaging are all variables that should be considered as you build out your own email signature.
Outlook Email Signatures
One of the most popular email clients is Outlook. Creating an email signature here is relatively simple, and Sigstr integrates seamlessly to ensure that your Outlook email signature is standardized and ready to serve relevant content.
Create email signature template (Outlook)
First, decide what you will use for your email signature template. Outlook supports HTML images, which means that you can take full advantage of Sigstr’s dynamic campaign functionalities and include a campaign banner here. Resources such as our signature generator allow you to create a signature that fits your brand. With this resource, it’s easy to create a personal email signature. Outlook requires you to:
- Sign in to your account
- Navigate to “Settings” then “View all Outlook Settings”
- Choose “Mail” and then “Compose and reply”
- Insert your signature template under “Email Signature”
- Hit “Save”
This process may be simple for one or two employees, but it breaks down if you try to scale it. That’s where Sigstr comes in. We allow you to standardize your signatures across all employees and roll them out seamlessly with zero end-user involvement. Not only can you execute this process at scale, you can also use it as an opportunity to create marketing impressions in every single email sent by your team. Every email is an opportunity for a positive brand impression, and Sigstr allows you to simplify the process of creating that impression with no end-user involvement required.
Personal Email Signature
As mentioned above, it’s easy to create a personal email signature through a generator available online. Sigstr’s personal email signature generator is a fantastic resource to get started, and to have a glimpse of how powerful your sign-off can be. When you’re creating your own personal email signature templates, be sure to think about what image you want to project in your emails. Including an avatar can provide a face-to-a-name, human connection. Necessary contact information gives them a way to reach you. Think about personal email signature etiquette as well – don’t crowd your recipients’ inboxes with unnecessary, bulky signatures – keep it non-intrusive & professional, while still effectively displaying your brand.
For some personal signature examples, check out resources like HubSpot to see what others are doing. And if you;re looking for some personal email signature templates free of charge, we have you covered with styles such as Classic, Professional, Science, Modern, and more.
It’s always necessary to keep in mind that an email signature for personal account use is vastly different than an email signature for your entire company. Sigstr can help you take the professionalism of a personal signature and scale it across your entire organization alongside a seamless rollout and central management.
Email Signature Quotes
One of the most polarizing aspects of email signatures are email signature quotes. These personal additions to your sign-off are loved by those who use them, and not-so-loved by those who don’t. We have spent the last three and a half years scanning through funny email signature quotes, unique email signature quotes, military email signature quotes, and even email signature quotes for teachers. Of the hundreds that we have come across, we have found only a select few that align to the company’s brand.
In your own personal email signature, quotes are up to you. If you have a life mantra or want to give a sense of your personality through a favorite quote, go for it! But keep in mind that for email signature quotes, environment matters. While sending a note to an old friend may be an acceptable time to use a favorite song lyric to close your email, inspirational quotes will probably not be as well received in more professional settings. Some people even create short signature “day” quotes that they rotate out daily.
At Terminus (Sigstr), our view is that, in a business email signature, quotes give too much potential to project an off-brand image. For that reason, we recommend keeping one standard format across your whole company’s business email. Quotes may be acceptable in personal settings, but in a professional setting you want to ensure that you’re putting your organization’s best foot forward and staying consistent with their branding and messaging.
Free Email Signature Generator
As we’ve mentioned a few times, there are a number of tools and resources to help you create an email signature template. Our own free email signature generator gives you access to several free email signature templates that you can use for your own account. You can also read our ebook, the State of Email Signature Marketing, to check out some of our client’s favorite email signature templates. Free download options are also available across the web. However, it’s necessary to keep in mind that these templates create one-time solutions that don’t allow you to fully leverage the space.
Free email signature templates for Gmail, Outlook, or other email clients give you the bare minimum – a format to work off of. Softwares such as Sigstr, however, allow you to truly maximize the sign-off as a marketing opportunity. By centrally inserting HTML email signature code in all of your employee’s emails, you have the ability to not only create a standard template, but to make banners dynamic based on sender, recipient, and other factors. Our Sigstr signatures are tested and proven, and we can provide a responsive email signature template that looks good on desktop and on mobile.
Professional Gmail Signature
Just like Outlook, Gmail is a relatively simple client that will allow you to create a professional Gmail signature. Here’s the process to create a signature:
- Open Gmail
- Select the “Gear” in the top right of the screen and choose “Settings”
- Scroll down to the Signature builder
- Insert your signature
- Save changes
Once you’ve set up this personal email signature, Gmail will automatically insert it in all emails that you send. There are a few things to keep in mind for Gmail specifically, especially if you’re interested in how to make email signature with logo. Images in Gmail signatures are a bit unique – they can be inserted by uploading from your computer, pulling in from Google Drive, or linking to a hosted image. There is a Gmail signature size limit of 10,000 characters that you’ll need to keep in mind – however, it’s very unlikely that you’d be using that large of an email signature size. Gmail, like Outlook, contains a few steps in their manual process to update a signature. Can you imagine trying to implement this across your entire company, and have them go through those steps every single time you wanted to switch out a marketing banner? Sigstr allows you to implement and update the signatures and banners with no effort from the end user to create a simple, powerful marketing channel. With Sigstr’s software, you’ll not only be creating a strong brand impression on each of the 10,000 employees one of your employees sends annually, you’ll also be able to utilize it to serve targeted messaging to prospects, partners, and customers.