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Email signature best practices

A great-looking email signature is essential when presenting yourself professionally to the world. Read our ultimate guide to email signature best practices

Personal email signature Company-wide signature
Email signature best practices guide

As veterans of the email signatures industry, the WiseStamp team knows a thing or two about email signature best practices.

We’ve compiled this guide that takes you step-by-step through creating a professional and business-oriented email signature for yourself and your company.

Short answer

What is an Email signature?

An email signature is a block of text placed at the end of an email, containing essential professional contact details and company branding elements. This often includes your name, job title, company logo, and other relevant information, such as phone numbers and social media links.

Many email signatures also feature images, hyperlinks, and clickable call-to-actions (CTAs) to promote offers, products, or services to the email recipient.

Also referred to as an email footer, an email signature is distinct from the main body of the email. It complements, rather than overwhelms, the email content, and provides a polished conclusion.

An effective email signature identifies who you are, represents your company, and offers convenient ways for recipients to contact you.

Email signature best practices: Step By Step

An effective and professional email signature includes these basic elements:

1. Full name and job title

Clearly state who you are and your position within the company. Your name and job title should be the most prominent parts of your email signature. This ensures that recipients can quickly identify who the email is from and your role in the organization.

Including your job title provides context about your role and responsibilities, which is especially important in business communications. This clarity helps establish your identity and credibility right from the start.

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Creative email signature with GIF hand sign off and custom button

Best practices for email signature with Full name and job title example

2. Contact information

Provide your phone number and email address for easy communication. Including multiple contact methods can be beneficial, but make sure they are all up-to-date and relevant to the context of your communication. A direct phone line, for example, can be more useful than a general office number, but this widely varies based on the nature of your work. Additionally, if you are comfortable, include your office address.

Providing clear and accessible contact information ensures that recipients can reach you through their preferred communication channel.

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Job searcher email signature template with contact me CTA

Best practices for email signature with contact info example

3. A clear company name, logo & website URL

Include the name of your company and a link to your website. This not only reinforces your professional identity but also directs recipients to your online presence, where they can learn more about your business. A clickable website URL can drive traffic to your website, which can be beneficial for your business’s SEO and overall online visibility.

Learn everything there is to know and best practices for email signature logos.

Including the company name alongside the logo ensures that recipients can easily identify the organization you represent, promoting brand awareness.

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logo signature GIF for business email signature

Email signature with logo example

Adding social media icons to your email signature allows recipients to connect with you on various platforms. These icons should link to your professional social media profiles, such as LinkedIn for business contacts.

Including these links not only increases your online visibility but also provides recipients with additional ways to learn about your work and engage with your content. Ensure that the icons match your brand’s style and colors for a cohesive look.

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modern email signature template for mac mail with social media buttons

Best practices for social media icons in email signature

Note:

It’s SUPER IMPORTANT that the links you include in your email signature:

  1. Are correct and do not lead to 404 pages.
  2. Link to relevant pages related to your profession

Incorrect use of email signature links can lead to your email going to spam.

5. Call to action (CTA)

A call to action (CTA) in your email signature can encourage recipients to engage further with your content or services. Whether it’s visiting your website, reading your latest blog post, or booking a meeting, a CTA should be clear, concise, and compelling. A well-crafted CTA can drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or promote specific initiatives, adding value to your email communications.

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minimalist email signature design with CTA

Email signature CTA example

6. Awards and certifications

Highlighting significant awards and certifications in your email signature can add credibility and impress recipients. Mentioning these accolades showcases your company’s achievements and industry recognition, which further strengthens trust and authority.

Ensure that the awards and certifications included are relevant and up-to-date to maintain the professional integrity of your signature.

Including a legal disclaimer in your email signature is essential for certain industries to comply with regulations and protect your company legally. This might include confidentiality notices, liability disclaimers, or compliance statements. The disclaimer should be concise and placed at the bottom of your signature to ensure it doesn’t distract from the main content but still fulfills its legal function.

Understand GDPR and privacy regulations

Be aware of regulations that apply to your email communication, especially if you’re operating in regions with strict privacy laws, like the European Union. Including an unsubscribe link in marketing emails can also help you stay compliant with GDPR. Understanding and adhering to these regulations is crucial for maintaining trust and credibility with your clients and partners

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confidentiality email signature disclaimer example

Legal disclaimer in your email signature

Best practices for email signature design and formatting

Having a well-designed email signature helps keep your branding consistent. Here are some tips to achieve a clean, professional, and responsive email signature:

For the full guide, check out our best practices for email signature design

email signature best practices

1. Keep it simple

Avoid clutter and excessive information. A clean, simple email signature ensures that your email signature is easy to read and looks professional. Overloading your signature with too much information can be overwhelming and distract from the essential details.

Simplicity in design ensures that the most important information is easily accessible and not lost in a sea of text and images.

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personal email signature for academics with a hand written sign off

Simple email signature example

2. Follow the right email signature size

Pick the right size and weight of for email signature.

Email signature dimensions: Keep the height between 150px-200px and the width between 300px-600px. This size allows for all necessary information while ensuring it looks good on various devices.

Email Signature Weight: To ensure quick loading times, keep the file size under 100kb.

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simple and basic email signature with image

3. Use professional photos

Include a headshot to make your emails more personal. Make sure the photo is:

  • Clear and high-quality
  • Focused on you with no distracting background
  • Friendly and natural, with a smile
  • Sized between 50px-100px
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Example for Yahoo Mail signature with added personal image and hyperlink

Email signature image example

4. Include high-quality logos

A good logo makes you easily recognizable. Keep your logo consistent and high-quality, with a width of 150px-300px. Place it near your company information.

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Modern consultant email signature sample

Email signature logo example

5. Add alt text for all images

Ensure accessibility by adding alt text to all images, including logos and social media icons. Alt text helps visually impaired people understand your content.

6. Use social media icons

Replace text links with social media icons, which are easier to recognize. Use only the platforms you are active on, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

7. Keep CTAs simple

Your Call-To-Action (CTA) should be relevant and in line with your email’s tone. Options include:

  • Inline CTA: A link within a sentence encouraging action
  • Button CTA: A visible button for easy clicks
  • Banner CTA: A prominent banner for highlighting offers or events

8. Make your website link visible

People often look for a website link at the bottom of an email. A few different ways you can include a link in your email signature include

  • Full URL: Simple and clear
  • Anchor Text: Descriptive and straightforward
  • Button: Make the link stand out
  • Logo: Link your logo to your website

9. Use dividers

Group and separate content into sections using dividers for better readability.

10. Add whitespace

Ensure enough space between elements to avoid a cluttered look and make your signature easy to read.

11. Design with hierarchy

Highlight the most important information first. Use different font weights and sizes to guide the reader’s attention.

12. Make it mobile-friendly

Ensure your signature looks good on both desktop and mobile devices. Many people read emails on their smartphones, so your signature should be responsive and adapt to smaller screens. Test your signature on various devices to confirm it displays correctly.

Mobile optimization is crucial and a signature that doesn’t render well on a small screen can negatively impact the recipient’s impression of you and your business.

13. Use text formatting

Avoid image-only signatures. Text-based signatures are more accessible and less likely to be flagged as spam. You can still include logos and headshots.

14. Use the right fonts and colors

Use fonts and colors that match your brand. Stick to standard fonts like Arial, Helvetica, which are widely supported by email clients.

Learn best practices for email signature fonts.

Choose colors that align with your company’s branding, but avoid using too many different colors, as this can appear unprofessional.

Learn best practices for email signature colors.

Note:

Don’t forget to proofread. After dedicating time and effort to creating your email signature, it may be tempting to start showing it off right away. But wait a second! Taking the time to proofread and make sure all your details are correct is a step you should never skip.

Design your email signature for free with WiseStamp

email signature generator

Best practices for Email signature marketing and branding

Your email signature is a great place to promote your brand and marketing messages. By optimizing this often-overlooked part of your emails, you can enhance and effectively communicate your marketing efforts.

Use promotional banners

Add banners or links to promote new products, services, or content. For example, you could include a banner for an upcoming webinar or a link to your latest blog post. This turns your email signature into a subtle marketing tool. Calls to action should be clear and direct, encouraging recipients to take specific steps, such as visiting your website, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a resource.

Dynamic content

Include dynamic elements like your latest blog post or company news. Some email signature tools allow you to update content automatically, ensuring that your signature always contains the most current information. Dynamic content keeps your email signature fresh and engaging, encouraging recipients to check back regularly for new updates.

QR codes

Add QR codes that recipients can scan to save your contact information quickly. This is particularly useful for mobile users and can make networking more efficient. QR codes can also link to your website or a specific landing page.

Including a QR code in your email signature provides a modern and convenient way for recipients to access your information.

Google Analytics makes it simple to monitor the traffic generated by your email signatures to your online assets. To enable this tracking, you need to append UTM parameters to all links in your signature.

Use tracking links to measure the effectiveness of your email signature in driving traffic and engagement. Also, tools like Bitly can shorten URLs and provide analytics on how many people click on the links in your signature.

This data can help you refine your approach and maximize the impact of your email signature. Tracking links also allow you to measure the ROI of your email signature marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions to improve performance.

Learn more about email signature marketing.

Common mistakes to avoid with email signatures

An effective email signature has the right balance between relevant information that’s personalized for your recipients, and enough visual space that allows them to find just the information they need. Avoid these common mistakes when creating your email signature:

Overloading your signature with information

Keeping your signature concise and to the point is essential. Including too much information can make it look cluttered and overwhelming. Stick to the essentials and ensure your signature is easy to read. Avoid unnecessary details, such as:

  • Full postal address: Unless it’s crucial for your business, there’s no need to include your full address.
  • Multiple phone numbers: Providing more than one phone number can confuse the recipient. Stick to your primary contact number.

Inappropriate images or quotes

Use professional images and avoid controversial quotes. Your email signature reflects your professional image, so it’s important to maintain a level of formality and appropriateness. Consider the following:

  • Professional photos: Ensure any photos are high-quality, clear, and appropriate for a business setting.
  • Relevant quotes: If you choose to include a quote, make sure it aligns with your personal brand and the culture of your organization. Avoid controversial or overly casual quotes.

Inconsistent branding

Consistency is key in branding. Avoid using different fonts, colors, or styles that do not match your brand’s identity. Stick to your brand guidelines to create a cohesive look.

Using large or unoptimized images

Large images can slow down email loading times and may not display correctly on all devices. Make sure all images are optimized for email and kept to a reasonable size.

Neglecting mobile optimization

Many people check their emails on mobile devices. Ensure your email signature is mobile-friendly, with easily clickable links and appropriate spacing.

Forgetting to test across different platforms

Email clients can display signatures differently. Test your email signature on various platforms (Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.) to ensure it looks good everywhere.

Not including a clear call-to-action (CTA)

A CTA can guide recipients on what to do next, whether it’s visiting your website, following you on social media, or scheduling a meeting. Make sure your CTA is clear and easy to follow.

Ignoring accessibility

Not everyone experiences email the same way. Include alt text for images to assist visually impaired recipients using screen readers. Ensure your text is legible with a high contrast between text and background colors.

Using outdated information

Ensure all information in your email signature is current. Outdated contact details or job titles can create confusion and reflect poorly on your professionalism.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a polished, professional email signature that effectively represents your brand and communicates essential information clearly.

Final words

Whether you’re a brand or an individual sending professional email communication, you want to do what you can to make a great impression. Email signatures are an important part of this equation. They’re both the first impression and the grand finale of every email, so make them count. 

Avoid common mistakes like overloading information or inconsistent branding, and always consider accessibility.