If email is sent from a corporate email address, it represents the corporation that created it. Uniform email signatures present a professional image while still providing brand consistency across departments, divisions, offices and locations.
A professional email signature isn’t the place to offer inspirational quotes or try out colorful designs with fun, new fonts. You wouldn’t scrawl a Comic Sans quote on each and every business card, so why would you include one in an email?
Ultimately, a signature exists to answer three questions: Who are you? Where are you from? How do I reach you? Here are a few guidelines to keep a signature professional while still answering the basics:
Keep it Short, Keep it Simple
An email signature need not be longer than the email itself. Let less be more. The recommended signature fits on four lines and should never go more than six. Go wider rather than longer, and use pipes to separate components.
Make sure to include your name, the name of your company, your title and the best method for getting in touch with you.
There is no need to include your email address in your signature since it’s just as easy to click “reply.” And while random quotes are fun among family and friends, they can risk offending professional colleagues who may not share the same points of inspiration.
Drop the Images
An image only increases the email’s file size and may be blocked before it’s opened. Most email clients store images as attachments or block them altogether, meaning the recipient will have to guess if it’s a real attachment or not.
Different email clients process images in different ways and there’s no way to ensure the image will correctly appear across the board, even if it’s the company logo. When compounded, images hinder delivery performance and increase storage quotas. In short, drop the images.
Forget Fun Fonts
Standard-sized fonts, black in color, are one of the only ways to ensure a signature will appear the same regardless of the client each recipient uses. Stay away from big, tiny, or rainbow-colored fonts. Simple fonts are easier to read on computer monitors and mobile devices than more complex script and cursive fonts.
Check the Rules
There are some countries with specific rules for what information needs to appear in an email signature. Most often these rules require a company name, registration number and place of registration. Check with the country where you are located to see if these rules apply.