Email is an essential part of modern communication, with nearly limitless reach and the potential to connect us with people around the globe. And that’s why it’s so important that we use our emails strategically to market ourselves and our businesses.
In just a single email, we have more than 300 opportunities to promote ourselves and our work to our recipients. But many people treat their email signatures as an afterthought, overlooking this valuable marketing opportunity.
An effective email signature needs to be engaging and easy to read, while also giving people quick access to your contact information as well as further information about you or your business. By taking the time to craft an effective email signature, you can ensure that you are making the most of every single email you send. So take the time to make sure your email signature is one that truly represents you and your business!
So, if you’re only putting your name and a few words of contact information in your signature, you’re not taking full advantage of the opportunity to connect and interact with the people you’re emailing. So, exactly what should go in your signature?
What to Include in an Email Signature
- First and Last Name
- Affiliation Info (Such as Job Title and Department)
- Secondary Contact Information
- Social Profile Icons
- Call to Action
- Booking Links
- Industry Disclaimer or Legal Requirements
- Photo or Logo
1. First and Last Name
Whether you are writing an email to a colleague, customer, or potential employer, it is always important to include your name as the opening line. This helps the recipient easily identify who you are and lets them know that you took the time to write them a personal message.
Additionally, including your name at the beginning of your email can help establish trust and credibility by signaling that you are an individual with authority.
So whether you want to connect on a professional level or build rapport with a customer, remember to always incorporate your first and last name at the top of your emails. After all, first impressions matter, so don’t leave yours out!
2. Affiliation Info (Such as Job Title and Department)
After your name, you should list your affiliation information. This could include your job title, the company you work for, and/or your department.
Providing this information gives the recipient more context about the conversation and your role in it. In addition, affiliating yourself with a larger organization lends you more credibility, especially if it’s a recognizable organization.
This helps you get the attention of busy people who may not have time to read every email in full. However, be careful not to overdo it with the information you include.
Stick to the basics and only include what’s necessary. Too much information can be off-putting and make you seem unprofessional.
3. Secondary Contact Information
When sending professional correspondence, it is always important to include your primary contact information at the top of the page. However, you should also include secondary contact information in case the recipient is unable to reach you through your primary method.
This could include a phone number, fax number, or even your website. Including multiple methods of contact shows that you are committed to staying in touch and makes it more likely that the recipient will be able to reach you.
In addition, it allows the recipient to choose the method of communication that they are most comfortable with.
Therefore, includingsecondary contact information is an important part of efficient and effective communication.
4. Social Profile Icons
Social media is an important part of your personal brand. It helps you build a following and shows people what matters to you. What they post and how they present themselves can tell you a lot about someone.
It’s great to include links to social media pages within your email signature. This not only strengthens your personal brand but also allows people to find new ways of contacting and following you.
Even better? If you post links to your content on social media, it can drive traffic to your website. If you include social icons in the signature, ensure that you keep your social media profiles updated and full of relevant, interesting content. In other words, if your last tweet was in six months, you might want to delete Twitter.
Instead of just text links, why not use icons on social media? Icons are easier to recognize for people reading your signature and will stand out from other text. Research by NeoMam Studios shows that visuals in color can increase the person’s willingness and ability to read the rest. This is a big advantage. Icons are great space-savers when you have a lot to store.
You don’t have to be on every social media site, but you should limit the number of icons that you use. You should focus on the accounts that are most important to you and your business.
You should try to reduce the number of icons for social media if you have a lot. This will make your design less busy. The example below was created using HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.
5. Call to Action
A well-crafted call-to-action can be a powerful addition to your email signature. By clearly stating what you want the recipient to do, you can increase the likelihood of them taking the desired action. However, it’s important to Strike a balance between being too pushy and too subtle. Your CTA should be relevant to your current business goals, and it should be updated regularly to ensure that it remains accurate. When done right, a CTA can be a valuable tool for driving conversions and building relationships with your customers.
6. Booking Links
You might find yourself emailing clients and colleagues who wish to book meetings with your company. Make it simple by adding a to your calendar in your email signature. Below is an example by Bryan Lowry.
Many tools exist that can help you book appointments. Bryan uses HubSpot’s personalized shareable booking link. HubSpot Sales customers can share their personalized meeting and allow them to choose from the available times. You can set HubSpot CRM to automatically create a new contact record for everyone who book a meeting.
Calendly is a great meeting tool for those who are not HubSpot customers. It is free for Basic, lets you integrate your Google and Office 365 calendars. YouCanBook.me, which costs $7 per calendar per year, is an alternative to Calendly.
7. Industry Disclaimer or Legal Requirements
Certain industries, such as financial and legal, have their own guidelines regarding email usage and etiquette. This is to prevent private information being sent. You might want to check the regulations in your industry and add a disclaimer about email transmissions in your signature. Mail-Signatures provides a variety of examples for email disclaimers, including this one.
“This email is confidential and only intended for the recipient named in the message. Without the express written permission of the sender, it is strictly forbidden to share any portion of this message with third parties. To avoid any future mistakes, please reply to this email and request its deletion.
8. Photo or Logo
When it comes to email signatures, many people opt for traditional options like contact information and social media links.
However, an image can be a great way to add some flair and personalization to your signature while also helping to further establish your brand.
If you want recipients who may not have met you face-to-face to associate your name with your face, a professional headshot can be a great choice. Alternatively, you can use the company logo in your signature if you are trying to drive more brand awareness with every email you send.
Whether you choose a photo or a logo, adding an image to your email signature is a simple way to catch people’s attention and help give your messages an edge in the increasingly competitive world of email marketing. So why not try it out today? After all, anything that makes email more engaging is bound to benefit both you and your recipients!
While not as common in email signatures and certainly not required, adding your preferred pronouns to your signature is helpful, especially when emailing individuals you’ve never met. It also takes ambiguity away if you have a name perceived as gender-neutral.
Now that you know the elements you should include, what does a great email signature look like? Here are some tips for creating signatures that are helpful and professional, including a few great examples.
How to Make an Email Signature
- Emphasize your name, affiliation, and secondary contact information.
- Keep the colors simple and consistent.
- Use design hierarchy.
- Make links trackable.
- Use space dividers.
- Include an international prefix in your contact number.
- Make your design mobile-friendly.
- Use an email signature generator.
- Check your new email signature for quality.
1. Emphasize your name, affiliation, and secondary contact information.
As you might guess, your name comes first. Closely following your name, however, should be your affiliation and where else people can reach you.
Your affiliation could mean your job title, your company, your school, or a similar organization that you deem important to your recipients. Your name should eventually be its own draw, of course, but using a more popular brand name — and even its logo — ensures you get the attention of your readers and they take your message seriously.
Secondary contact information is important, too. You might not want to endorse your personal phone number, but you could take this opportunity to promote your personal website — a passive way to open the lines of communication without flooding yourself with outreach you don’t want.
Here’s a sample email signature that hits on all three things described above nicely. Kevin’s first and last name are accompanied by his affiliation with the University of Connecticut. He also promotes his personal website so his recipients have another outlet to see his work and contact him for more information.
Want to create a signature like the one below? Use HubSpot’s Email Signature Generator.
2. Keep the colors simple and consistent.
Branding is most effective when it’s consistent — and that includes your email signature. Adding color to your email signature is a nice touch that’ll help it stand out from the rest of your email. But if you do choose to use color, be sure to stick to one or two in addition to dark text.
Use subtle highlights to match your logo or branding, like Brittany Hodak does in her email signature, below. Notice how her social media icons are the same blue hue as the ZinePak logo.
3. Use design hierarchy.
Good design is all about presenting your information in an easily digestible manner. Because your email signature is likely more a list of information than it is a compelling story, you’ll want to use hierarchy to direct readers’ eyes to what they should be reading first.
Scale your name up to a larger font so that it attracts the most attention, like you would on a resume. Then, pick and choose information to bold and color based on importance so you can help guide people’s eyes logically through the design.
4. Make links trackable.
So you put a few links in your email signature, including your CTA and your social media icons. But is anyone actually clicking on them?
To figure out whether the links in your signature are actually attracting clicks and making an impact, you’ll want to make those links trackable — just like you would any other in your emails.
Follow these instructions to easily make a tracking that helps you attribute traffic to your website to your email signature. From time to time, you might switch up the format of your signature or the wording inside your signature to see what drives the most clicks.
5. Use space dividers.
Although you never want to jam-pack your email signature for too much information, there are ways to fit a lot of text into a compact area like this one without compromising design.
This is helpful for breaking up different types of information, like your name and contact information, your logo, any calls-to-action you have, or even a disclaimer.
Using space dividers within your design, as in the example below, is one great way to do this. You can also use glyph dividers, which is the vertical bar symbol (i.e., |.)
6. Include an international prefix in your contact number.
If you work with people around the world, don’t forget the prefix for your country’s code when you list your contact phone number. Many people overlook this if they aren’t used to dialing international prefixes themselves, but it’s really helpful for your international colleagues and clients to have it right there. Here’s a list of country codes if you don’t know yours.
Here’s an example from Kit Smith, formerly of Brandwatch, a company that has offices in both the United States and Europe and works with international clients. Including the U.S. country code makes it easier for folks in other countries to reach him by phone.
7. Make your design mobile-friendly.
According to Truelist, over a third of professionals open emails on their phone making it a prime method of communication for business and professional matters.
The more people who read email on mobile devices, the more you’ll want to keep mobile users top-of-mind when you’re writing emails — including your email signature.
One major way to make your email signature mobile-friendly is to make your signature’s design easy to read and clickable for mobile users. This is where scale becomes really important. Make sure your text is large enough to read on small mobile screens, and that your links and buttons are large enough — and spaced out enough — for folks to tap on with their fingers.
Check out the example below, and note how much space there is between different clickable elements like the social media icons. These are great for tapping with your finger on a mobile screen so that users don’t accidentally tap on the Facebook icon when they meant to go to Twitter.
8. Use an email signature generator.
If you’ve tried all of these steps and you’re still not happy with how your email signature turned out, don’t fret. These digital sign-offs can be tricky to get perfect. Try a free email signature generator to do the heavy lifting for you instead.
Rather than choosing the colors, fonts, and layout yourself, this generator gives you several combinations to choose from. Simply add your information, photos, and links. Then choose your colors. Once you’re satisfied with your email signature, you can add it to your email account right away.
9. Check your new email signature for quality.
Finally, as with any part of an email, make sure your signature looks as good as you think it does by testing it with various email clients. Microsoft Outlook doesn’t recognize background images, for example, so avoid using those. Other email clients don’t load images by default at all.
Best Professional Email Signature
The best professional email signature will be true to who you are both in and outside the workplace. Once you include the basic contact information, the rest of your email signature is a blank canvas for you to share a bit of personality with each professional email you send.
Armed with these email signature best practices, you can create your own signature that aligns with your brand and gives your emails a little extra umph.
This post was originally published in June 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. link