Have you looked closely at your organizational email signature? If your signature is not treated with the same care as your other corporate branding, it could seriously affect your business reputation.
1. Embedded images – If you use local/embedded images in your email signature, there is a risk that they will appear as attachments in some email clients e.g. Gmail, or not appear at all. Also, there are known issues with images being stripped out of emails and increasing in size on iOS devices e.g. iPhone and iPad. To avoid this happening, you should ensure that all images used in your email signature are hosted on a publicly accessible online location.
By default, most email clients will prompt a recipient to download any external imagery. Signature images will not be displayed automatically and the recipient will have to be online to view web hosted images.
View our video here for vital information on making sure you email signature images display correctly and not as attachments.
2. Web safe fonts – If your email signature has fonts that are not that common and you don’t use a fallback font, the font will default to Times New Roman.
3. Testing how your email signature looks – If you are not testing your email signature in different email clients and on different devices (mobiles, Macs etc.) before it is deployed, it could end up looking very different to what you expect it to.
4. Social media links – Social media links in your email signature can attract lots of additional followers/fans and improve your customers’ relationship with your business.
5. Text colors – Too much color can clutter an email signature and make it look amateurish. If you have one main color in your logo, it is best to just incorporate this in your signature.
For example, looking at the signature example below, the company logo uses black text and a red image. Therefore, the email signature has replicated the branding by using black and red text and red/grey social media icons:
6. Using an image as your email signature – An email signature created as a whole image could make the emails you send get marked as spam due to the image-to-text ratio being too low. You can also only have one URL link rather than multiple ones to your social media profiles and your website.
7. Too many primary images – If you use less than two primary images in your email signature (excluding social media icons), it will improve the overall design and decrease the size of the signature file.
8. Long disclaimers – There is no need to have an extensive email signature legal disclaimer. You only need to use a few lines and include a link to a longer version online with more detailed information. Below is an example of a good size disclaimer:
9. Design for mobile devices – Over half of all emails are now read on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If a recipient can’t easily put their thumb on a link in your email signature, your message will probably get deleted. Also, reading speed on a mobile tends to be slower, so you want to use a font with a point size of 11 to 14. In the end, usability has to take precedence over design.
10. Keep it simple – Email signatures really don’t ever have to be too complicated:
- Avoid using too many images.
- Keep the primary images to a maximum of two.
- Use fallback/web safe fonts.
- Avoid using a long disclaimer.
- Don’t use an image as your email signature.
- Add URL links to your website and social media profiles.
- Test your email signature in all email clients and on all devices such as smartphones, tablets etc.
- Use hosted images instead of embedded ones.
Here is an example of a professional email signature that your organization could emulate: