Guidelines for Professional Email Signatures

What to Include in Your Professional Email Signature

1. Basic Contact Information
First and foremost, your signature should provide information about you, such as your name, your business name, and your position title.

You can also include other ways you can be contacted, like your phone number or professional social media profiles.

Rather than just linking to different social profiles, use social media icons to save space and drive traffic. Choose a set of icons that matches the rest of your email signature. Here’s a list of 49 sites to find free icons so you can find one that suits your brand aesthetic perfectly.

As long as you keep the image file small, a logo or a headshot are a great way to personalize your signature. Just make sure it fits in with the rest of your signature’s aesthetic and limit yourself to two images or graphics max.

Disclaimer: once you choose to use items 1 and 2 you remove the ability for your recipients to search your messages based on “attachments” that exist as all images will come through as attachments. Consider your business use case model. While properly using images can be a powerful tool for creating message image and marketing (low substance emails), they can be a detriment for users whose email are primarily tactical in nature and frequently contain critical content in the form of attachments. Many business may need two email signatures standards one with logos and one without; such that each job function can use the one most suited for the employee role in the organization and interactions with suppliers and customers.

3. A Simple Call-to-Action
Include a call-to-action. This could be anything from inviting recipients to visit your blog, schedule a demo, register for an upcoming event or webinar, enter a contest, take a poll, or download a piece of content.

4. A “Sent from my iPhone” Disclaimer
You can also play around with a “Sent from my iPhone” disclaimer. Not surprisingly, correct spelling and grammar increase your credibility. So, if you tend to type out quick responses on the go, including some variation of this line can make recipients more forgiving of errors.

What NOT to Include in Your Email Signature

Here are some other things you should leave out of your email signature:
  • Your personal social media profiles
  • Your home phone number or address
  • Your personal website
  • Your email address (this might seem obvious, but needs to be said)
  • Your vCard (it adds bulk and is redundant for most of your contacts)
  • Inspirational quotes, jokes, memes
  • GIFs

Design Tips for a Better Email Signature

Now that you know what to include in your signature, follow these design tips to ensure your signature makes the best impression possible.

Less is More
The perfect email signature conveys your contact information in a simple, clean, visually-appealing format.

Rather than listing every possible way someone can reach you, select a few specific methods of contact to include. This keeps it concise and tells people how you prefer to be contacted.

Two or three lines is ideal – four max if you want to include your business address or phone number.

Don’t Make Your Entire Signature an Image
Feel free to include an image in your signature – like a brand logo or a photo of yourself – but don’t even think about making your entire signature an image. It might not always display properly and your recipient can’t copy your contact details if they’re part of an image.

Be Deliberate in Your Use of Color
Use too many different colors and you risk creating a cluttered, clashing sign-off. Instead, choose a few specific colors from your logo to highlight elements of your signature. This ties your whole signature together in connection with your brand.

Stick to a Single Font or Two
As with colors, using too many fonts is distracting, difficult to read, and makes your email look unprofessional.

If you want to draw attention to a specific aspect of your signature, like your name or phone number, play around with font size, weight, and color. This adds emphasis without the use of multiple font styles.

Make the Best Use of Space Possible
Create a design hierarchy to draw attention to the most important information first. You can achieve this by adjusting the font (size, weight, and color), alignment, and positioning of all elements including images. Left alignment is the safest bet for easy reading, since our eye is used to scanning from left to right.

You can also use dividers to help organize data and define your information hierarchy. For example, a vertical bar or “pipe” helps divide up different pieces of information while keeping your signature clean and organized.

For example: Emily Bauer | Content Marketing | Propeller CRM

Design with Mobile in Mind
54% of email is opened on a mobile device? That means over half of all email recipients are unable to read email signatures that aren’t designed to scale on mobile.

Since mobile screens are much smaller than computers, choose type and graphics that remain legible when scaled down significantly. Make sure any buttons you include (like social media icons) are easy to tap – which means leaving some white space in between them.

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