Email Signature Do’s and Don’ts

May 25, 2016 Dave Duke

The average worker will send more than 10,000 emails this year. And next year. And probably more the one after that. That means your company of 200 employees is sending over two million emails each year. Usually, when you’re doing something that often, you want to make sure you’re actually doing it right. But as we work to hone our messaging – adding the right amount of humor paired with an amped up value prop – we’re forgetting to optimize one crucial piece: the employee email signature.

This is one of the most visible representations of your brand – likely even more so than your company’s website. So why are we allowing our this digital real estate to include cheesy quotes and bad avatar photos?

Our Role in Marketing is Changing

We’re creating ideas (on and offline), executing them through fruition, measuring our analytics, optimizing our programs and improving conversion rates. And if that’s not enough on our plate, now we’re tasked with managing how every employee across our company represents the brand image we’ve worked so hard to create. And because social media – especially Facebook – is so pervasive, that responsibility seems to increase daily.

To this fusion of responsibility, add a touch of technology which have made it easy for employees to share your branded messages. One-to-one human email, for instance, has been on the up and up for years. Last year, more than 215.3 billion emails were exchanged every single day. And research predicts we’ll be exchanging 257.7 billion emails a day by 2020. The email signature is more important and more valuable than ever.

Proper Etiquette for Your Email Signature

In your workplace tech toolbox, your email signature is often taken for granted. So many first impressions are made through email, and your email signature is your chance to shape that impression. OfficeTeam’s overview, Email Signature Etiquette: The Good, The Bad & The Unnecessary, sits on par with our own best practices.

The Good

According to business etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore, a sender’s contact information is the most important part of the email signature. Your recipient needs the ability to quickly access ways to reach you. And they need direction on what it is you want them to do. To ensure your information is always available include these:

  • Your full name
  • Your phone number (office or mobile)
  • A single, clear call-to-action

The following information is also helpful, but not always necessary:

  • Your company name & website
  • Your firm’s mailing address
  • Social media links to either your company or personal accounts

For more email signature examples that follow best practices, check out Sigstr's September Issue or The State of Email Signature Marketing.

The Bad

When it comes to your email signature, less is often more. Nix an abundance of flare from your signature to cut clutter and make your information standout and readily available. Here are a few elements to cut from your signature:

  • Inconsistent fonts and colors: Avoid too many colors and font styles. An abundance of varying typography in your email signature can undermine your credibility as a serious professional.
  • Inspirational quotes: Inspirational quotes are a fantastic way to show your personality – on your Pinterest board. Some may give off a conflicting message from your brand’s stance, while others just simply make you cringe after reading it.
  • Additional messages: “Please consider the environment before printing this email,” is a nice sentiment, but it just clogs up a space you could be using to inspire your recipient to act. And it doesn’t do a ton of good when someone’s reading a print of your email. Not to mention, the default, “Sent from my iPhone,” signature is showing your recipient you’re just too lazy to proofread.

Check out "The 15 Biggest Blunders for Bad Email Signatures" for some hilarious examples of bad email signatures.

Email Signature Examples

There’s no question that email is a necessary and impactful tool in your communication strategy. Some three-quarters of adults say they prefer to communicate with companies through email. And, 73 percent of content marketers agree email marketing is a core piece of their marketing strategy – of which, about a fourth of them rate email as their top channel in terms of ROI. But what does a good email signature look like – or what’s a bad email signature example? Check these out:

Good

Bad

Try Email Signature Marketing

Sigstr turns your company's email into a targeted marketing channel that help drive event registrations, distribute content, execute account-based marketing, and more. Side note: If you book a quick demo with one of our team members, we'll send you some sweet Sigstr sticker goodness.

 

Editor’s Note: This post was completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on November 9, 2018.

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