The Most Comprehensive Email Signature Guide

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Email signatures play a vital part in an email. Last impressions matter as much as first impressions. A good email signature needs to be precise, informative, and to the point. But, that does not mean it has to be dull. Your email signature represents your brand. Therefore it is necessary that you incorporate certain standards and elements into it. Here is the email signature guide for creating the best email signature.

Email Signature Guide

While it is important to include important information, ensure that you do not add too much of information in there. Most often people treat their email signature lile a mini autobiography. They include a lot of links and information that can make it look bulky. This kills the purpose of the email signature. Which, brings us to the next question, What is the purpose of an email signature?

Well, an email signature should help the recipient find more information about you and perhaps allow different ways to contact you. What ideally should go into an email signature, is your name, role, company, and probably your website/social media handles and your contact number.

1. Choosing the color palette

When it comes to color palette, less is more. We all would have at some point come across a signature where each alphabet is of a particular color. While it seemed cool at one point, the business standards have changed and it certainly does not look professional anymore.

Also, when you use a lot of colors, the design can become overwhelming. It is best to select the brand colors that are used in your logo. This gives a sense of belonging to your brand.

2. Choosing the font

In the last section, we discussed why your color palette needs to be small. Well, your font palette needs to be even smaller. Stick to a maximum of two fonts. Most people, prefer using multiple fonts to highlight a text. Find a typeface font and use different combinations that go with it.

3. Hierarchy

To communicate a design effectively, it is best to have an approach rather than just going with a gut feeling. One of the ways to ensure that is to maintain a visual hierarchy. Now, what does a visual hierarchy mean?

It is the way by which humans process information. Most often than not, the information on a page is processed in ‘F’ or ‘Z’ patterns.

F pattern: F patterns are generally used for designs that have heavy text. It follows the shape of the letter F. It starts at the top left and then moves horizontally to the top right.

Z pattern: Z patterns are used for less dense designs. Here the information starts at the top left and moves towards the top right. And then, goes diagonally to the lower left and finally the right side, tracing the shape of the letter ‘Z’.

When it comes to signatures, it is best to choose an ‘F’ pattern. This is easy on the eye and helps in consuming information at a glance.

This is important because no matter what type, color or weight you use, it does not make sense if your readers aren’t reading them. When it comes to hierarchy, it is best to have the Author’s name followed by the brand or company which is followed by the contact information.

Using Simple Graphic Design Elements

Using a lot of design elements in your signature can end up looking like a collage rather than a signature. Too many highlights can cause chaos causing people to ignore the signature in the first place. Limit the usage of the elements to a maximum of one or two.

This brings us to the question, what element should be used?

It is a common practice to include the head-shot of the author. This helps in building a professional relationship and enhances the trust quotient.

Another element that you can add to your email signature is your brand logo. This helps the audience to quickly identify the sender and strengthens brand recognition.

You can choose to incorporate both in your email signature as long as you have a simple and minimalist design.

Social Media Elements

If you or your brand has a good social media presence then it could benefit you a great deal to link your social media platform in your email. Apart from driving traffic to your pages, it opens up new avenues for the recipient to contact you.

But how you do this plays a great role. You can’t simply go ahead and link all the platforms that you are on. This will occupy a lot of space in the signature section and can make it look clunky. Find the pages that enhance your value and makes sense for the business. Also, include hyperlinked social media icons rather than adding the URL.

Dividers and Alignment

Here is something that not many know of. No matter how bad your design is, a good alignment can save the day. And no matter how good your design is, a small alignment issue can bring the whole thing down. Aligning your signature in the right way can instantly add harmony to your design.

To ensure that your design is aligned:

  • Apply even line spacing
  • Align both horizontally and vertically
  • Align the text to left
  • Ensure that you have a margin

Dividers can play a similar role in the design. Dividers are a great way to fit a lot of content in a confined space without making things took complicated. It helps in organizing the signature in a simple, clean, and easily digestible way.

Create Your Signature with Mobile in Mind

According to a survey conducted by 99 Firms, more than 40% of consumers use a mobile application for checking their email. This enforces the importance that one must give to mobile friendliness while creating a signature.

The prime thing that one must consider for a mobile-friendly design is the scalability. Mobiles are smaller than laptops, therefore a design that might look great for a desktop or a laptop might occupy the entire screen when viewed using a mobile phone. It is important that you have this in mind when creating the design. Also, if your design can scale down, you need to consider the readability of the image when it is scaled down. What if the text in the design scales down to a point where it is not even readable?

The next thing that you need to consider while creating an email signature is to ensure that the links can be tapped. If the space allocated for an icon or a link is too small when viewed in a mobile device, it becomes difficult for the recipient to access it. Ensure that you leave adequate spacing between the links that will help the users access the link that they want.

Do’s and Don’ts of an Email Signature

Do’s:

  • Add your social media icons. People need to know you are real.
  • Use the right tools to create the email signature. Tools like Microsoft Word or Outlook will format the signature in their own way which will not look the same when you are using another platform.
  • Use the industry-standard size (650 Pixels) for email signatures.
  • Use tables to create layout if you are not versatile in CSS or HTML.
  • Use an ALT text

Don’ts:

  • Don’t Use bullets
  • Don’t add too many links
  • Don’t add custom fonts
  • Don’t add irrelevant information

You can also have a look at Creating a Professional Email Signature – Dont’s

Bottom line:

Email signatures although small, are an important part of the email. They play a vital part in building a brand identity as well as professional identity. It helps in showcasing your brand visually without any marketing spend.

A final piece of advice is to maintain balance. When designing your email signature, it is important to keep things simple. Simple is beautiful when it comes to email signatures.

Have an email signature, already? Show us what you got.


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