Even though email signatures are usually under-appreciated, they play an essential role in any company. If you make them correctly, email signatures will help you reach the branding and marketing goals of your business. Here are some of the most important dos and don’ts of corporate email signatures:
- Do include social media links. Besides the essentials (sender’s name, company name or job title), include links to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Google Plus pages. The email signature is a great way to get more social media attention.
- Do use the correct tools. A signature is not a web page or a text document, and it must be created in HTML. If you don’t know HTML, avoid using programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Word, since they will format in their own way and other programs may not display the signature correctly.
- Do make it thin. For your signature to look professional, keep it under 650 pixels and 4 to 7 lines. Very big signatures will not render well in email clients. Moreover, make it mobile-compatible, meaning that the font should be readable and the links and icons should be “thumbable” on mobile devices.
- Do use JPEGs or GIFs instead of PNGs. Although PNGs are usually right for the web, you’re making an email signature, not a website. Remember to use the ‘-nosend-’ tag on all images for correct rendering.
- Do include an email disclaimer. Look for the laws regarding email disclaimers that apply to you and your business in the region you live in. Complying with these laws is an absolute requirement.
- Don’t use an image as your whole signature, as some email providers or devices block images in emails by default. If you do want to include images, use alt text behind them.
- Don’t include animations. In many corporate email clients, such as Outlook, embedded videos (or even GIFS) cannot be rendered.
- Don’t use formatting in the signature file or business email. Use plain text instead of ASCII formatting, graphic images or font bolding and colors. Formatting can flag your email as potential spam and graphic images may be displayed as attachments.
- Don’t add political or controversial quotes or opinions. Using controversial or offensive quotes in your email signature will make you and your company look childish and unprofessional.
- Don’t use bullet points. Given that bullets tend to be rendered differently from client to client, it’s not a good idea to include them. Instead, use different rows and tables to make your signature look organized.
Finally, don’t forget to update your email signature from time to time, depending on what’s changed in your company. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to use signatures to your benefit.