An email signature is a small block of text that appears at the bottom of your outgoing messages sent from your email account. It’s important because it gives recipients a quick glimpse into who you are and how you communicate with others.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about creating a professional signature. I’ll also go over why you should include certain information in your signature and how to make sure your signature looks great across multiple platforms.
We’ll also look at the top mistakes made by new users when designing their signatures and provide tips on how to fix these problems. Finally, I’ll share my favorite free online services that will help you create a beautiful signature.
Five Benefits of Email Signatures
It doesn’t matter how often you’ve seen someone else’s signature. You will never get as excited about using it as you would if you designed it yourself. Here are 7 reasons why you should design your digital signature. And once you do, you’ll find that it makes a big difference in building relationships with your readers.
1. Build Trust
Professional signatures show people that you care about them and respect them. People appreciate receiving messages from people they know and trust.
It builds credibility and helps establish relationships.
2. Promote Yourself
Signatures are a great opportunity to promote yourself and your products/services. Include a short bio, your company’s mission statement, or your latest project.
Include a link to your website, blog, or social icons.
3. Establishes a Connections
By signing your communication in a unique and personalized way, you let others know you are interested in building relationships with them.
4. Create Brand Awareness
A well-written signature can help you stand out among your competitors. Use your signature to highlight your expertise and professionalism.
For example, if you run a consulting firm, write something like, “We consult businesses on how to grow profitably.”
Or if you are an accountant, write something like ‘Accountants offer tax preparation services. We specialize in helping small businesses save money.”
5. Boost Conversions
Having a clear call to action (CTA) in your signature block can help convert customers into repeat customers. For example, if you sell services, you can make them aware
Types of Signatures
There are many different types of signatures that you can use to get the best results for your business. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones:
1. The Simple Signature
This type of signature is very simple and easy to understand. You only need to add a few lines of text to your signature. This allows you to keep things short and sweet. Your signature puts a name to the communication. It reinforces your brand, therefore, it should not distract from your communication. Simple does not mean not memorable.
2. The On-Brand Signature
An on-brand signature is designed specifically for your brand. It has all the necessary elements that represent your company. For example, if you run a restaurant, then you might want to include your logo, menu items, and other relevant information.
If you are creating a personal signature, don’t add elements that are part of your professional realm. And visa-versa – do not include unrelated personal elements that clash with your professional persona.
Being on-brand also includes staying with or very close to the fonts that you use, and using photography that can be found on your other platforms – website & LinkedIn. Using your primary color from the brand pallet is another beautiful way to reinforce a connection to your brand.
3. The Actionable Signature
An actionable quality signature block includes links to your website, blog, social media pages, etc. These links allow people to easily find out more about what you do. Actionable does not mean confusing. Do not give too many options to act on in any of the elements you choose to add—no need to add links to social media if you do not update the accounts regularly. Think of one action that would benefit your audience the most – is it a reminder that they can schedule a call easily, or is it a special promo you’d like to remind them of gently?
What Elements of a Perfect Signature to Include?
Now that we have agreed that we must create one and understand the cons and pros, let’s get to business. This is one of those things that most people don’t think about until after they send their first message. Here are the main elements to consider when thinking through your own template:
1. Name & Contact Information
This is probably the most basic element of a professional signature.
It’s also helpful to include your phone number and website address. I also recommend adding your email address into the block, making it easy to create a new message without double-checking your email address.
2. Company Logo
Many companies offer logo templates online. However, you can also create your own custom logo.
Several websites allow you to upload images and customize logos. Once you have uploaded your image, copy and paste the URL into your signature.
3. Social Media Links
Social media links are another valuable addition to your signature. They let others know where you hang out online and provide links to your Twitter account, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, blog, YouTube channel, Instagram account, etc.
4. Website Address
Most web browsers automatically open a webpage when you click on a hyperlink. So, adding a website address to your signature makes it easier for recipients to visit your site.
5. Additional Info
Additional info is a handy thing to include in your signature. For example, you may want a list of upcoming events, news releases, or articles related to your industry.
You may also want to include a picture of yourself.
These are just five examples of additional info you may want to include in your signature, but there are plenty of other possibilities.
Remember, the purpose of your signature is to introduce yourself and connect with your audience. Don’t forget to include basic contact info, such as your name, contact details, and social links or even social media icons. But don’t feel limited to these items either.
Think about what else would be useful to include in your method of communication. You might consider expanding your business signature template with: contact details with a contact phone number, a personal photo, company logo or a scanned handwritten signature, job title, business address, marketing banners, menu bar items from your website, social media icons.
You can always create a couple versions of your signature – have a default signature and also add one that can be used for more specific use-cases. I find it useful to have an external communications signature and one that I use for client communication. My email conversations with clients can have a more personalized nature and I prefer not to share my personal phone number in my external communication.
When Does It Make Sense To Use a Logo in a Signature?
It is common to see company logos included in signatures. This is because logos are recognized easily and quickly. They’re also used frequently enough that many people recognize them.
If you use a logo in your signature block, there are two main reasons to do this:
1) Your logo makes your emails stand out from the crowd. People notice your logo when they open your emails and may remember your name and company later.
2) Your logo helps you build trust with your clients. Clients feel more comfortable working with companies whose brands they already know.
There are times when it doesn’t make sense to use a logo in your signature.
Here are some examples:
• If you’re sending newsletters instead of regular messages
• If you’re not selling anything
• If you’re just trying to be friendly
In these cases, you should still include a link to your website or contact form. But you shouldn’t put a logo in your signature unless you’re actively promoting your brand.
When Does a Photo Work Well in a Signature?
Use a professional looking photo. Your signature should be consistent across platforms, so use a single photo that looks good on all devices.
Avoid including a photo in your signature when sending bulk messages (more than 100). This is because most mailing clients automatically remove photos from signatures.
Finally, if you do decide to add a photo to your signature, remember to crop it properly.
A couple tools to help you:
https://pfpmaker.com/ or https://newprofilepic.com/ (iOS and Android apps)
Tools to Help You Design Elements for Your Signature
If you decide to marketing elements to your signature, you can do so with a design software like Canva, VistaCreate, or Pixelied.
For buttons, start with a canvas that is 400×85 px – once you design your elements, export it as a jpg or a png.
To design a profile pic or a logo, use a canvas of 300×300 px.
Save Time by Using a Professional Email Signature Template
Good news is that you don’t always have to work with expensive tools or hire a graphic designer to help you out. Instead you can use a template.
Here you can get a copy of a free email signature. For ease of use I am offering the samples in Google doc – it’s your easiest email signature editor. Follow the link and review the options, then select signature of your choice and edit it to fit your purposes.
Benefits of Using a Paid Email Signature Generator
There are many pros for using a paid signature generator:
– You may find it a solution that can keep team members on the same page stylistically
– You may find it easier to update links if the promos and links you add to your signature change often.
– A paid setup can allow you to easily maintain your preferences – especially helpful if you are using the services of a VA.
– Some paid signature generators allow you to add tracking links. It may help you determine how productive it is to add links to promos inside your signature.
The biggest downside is that a paid service is yet another subscription that you have to finance as you are building up your business. But be careful not to overdo it. Your signature should never take up more than two lines of space. And keep it clean. Avoid using too many graphics, fonts, or colors.
Here’s a free resource that you can use to create your own signature.
Some of the paid services I have enjoyed include:
3. signature.email (free option)
4. HubSpot (free option)
To add your new signature to Gmail, follow these steps:
1. Open up Gmail
2. Click on “Settings” at the top right corner
3. Select “General” Tab and scroll down to Signature section
4. Click “+ Create New” – a popup window will prompt you to add a name for your new signature
5. Paste the signature from your template
6. Scroll to the bottom of the Gmail settings page to click “Save changes”
7. Scroll back to Signature section to select the right signature to be used for new and reply options.
8. Test your signature by creating a new message and enjoy!
Try creating your own signature block with this freebie:
Download my free resource to create your own signature and reach out if you have any questions! Enjoy!