While a witty subject line might get your email opened, and an engaging copy could facilitate conversion, a good email signature is what leaves a lasting impression. It also helps your email marketing by communicating your business offerings, establishing credibility, and wrapping up exchanges with professionalism.
Our inboxes get filled with emails every day. And as touched upon earlier, while the subject line might get you to open it, it’s often the signature that lets you know that the email’s legit. It’s essentially your digital business card, which means just like physical ones, yours should be:
Going off the above touch points, there are several other key techniques for designing and using a successful email signature.
Six Tips for Building a Successful Email Signature
- Look for the business benefits
- Keep mobile in mind
- Display essential & important information
- Consider image use & font size
- Make optimal use of space
- Focus on the right length
1. Look for the Business Benefits
Before you begin writing your email signature, it is important to look into what you’re trying to achieve. What do you want your email signature to do for your business?
Your email body might have the main CTA, but your signature presents you with one last opportunity for conversion, be it a social follow, or an RSVP to an event. As you can see in the example below, you can include social icons to encourage recipients to check out your social platforms. This could provide an additional boost to your social media strategy.
Additionally, if you have an upcoming event, you can promote it with a promotional banner as Toby Jones does. Along with having the relevant contact information, Toby Jones presents an informative and readable signature.
Boost Brand Awareness
One of the branding strategies that you should apply is to include your brand in your email. If you’re using your email for business, make sure that the signature style is aligned with your branding. As seen in the example below, use the same color scheme as your brand logo whenever applicable.
Of course, you should keep in mind that one of the main goals of an email signature is to exude professionalism. This means you should avoid too many flashy elements as you can see in the example below.
In this example, different color and font types are used, which gives the signature a bit of an edge. Those elements help it stand out from the rest of the content that is placed in the email.
2. Keep Mobile in Mind
Email opens aren’t exclusive to desktop. Throughout the day, people are using their smartphones to open and respond to emails. This not only puts weight on mobile application security, it means that after you create your email signature, you should test it for mobile compatibility. Different email clients use different HTML rendering engines, which could result in varied ways of displaying email signatures.
A good practice is to use vertical layouts as wide ones could end up looking squashed, while images could be scaled up leading to them being blurry.
3. Display Essential & Important Information
A good practice is to ask yourself, “Would I give this information to a business associate I just met?” If your answer is yes, then include it in your signature. Here are some of the basics:
- Full name
- Contact details (mobile, office number and address)
- Website and social icons
Limiting the information you provide to only the essentials not only makes your signature uncluttered, it also makes it easier for your recipient to find the information they need.
As seen in the example above, the bad example is extremely cluttered and provides information that isn’t necessary for initial communication. The good example does an excellent job by having a lot of information but using the social icons to lead to her profiles. This is a great way to consider the space you have.
4. Consider Image Use & Font Size
Fonts play a crucial role in the look and feel of an email signature. As much as possible, avoid using multiple fonts. Instead, contrast the font by adjusting its weight and size. Similarly, a good signature shouldn’t have more than 2-3 different sizes. This keeps it clean and professional. As opposed to profile pictures, stick to company logos, unless your role entails dealing directly with the public.
To ensure that it works across all devices, use PNG or JPEG formats. You can even compress images with tools like TinyPNG to ensure maximum compatibility. Keep in mind that PNGs are ideal for logos, while JPEGs works best for profile pictures, as it provides higher color quality.
Speaking of images, make sure the file is small enough to fit with the rest of your signature’s elements. Limit yourself to two images at most. The image below is a good example of using an image effectively.
The dental practitioner does an excellent job of balancing playful and professional with his choice of image and text. Putting the website in a different color is also the right choice to aid in promoting the service.
5. Make Optimal Use of Space
Similar to websites, having a design hierarchy that draws attention to the most important information is integral to a good signature. You can do this simply by adjusting fonts’ size, weight, and color, as well as with the alignment and positioning of all other elements.
Dividers are also commonly used to define information hierarchy as you can see below.
The email signature above spaces the important information in a clear and consumable way. The font is also easy to read.
6. Focus on the Right Length
There are two essential things to check when it comes to email signature size:
Pixels – This determines how big your signature is. As noted by Web Designer Depot, for desktops and larger screens that don’t need to scale, the recommended maximum email signature size is 700 x 300 pixels. For mobile, it’s 320 x 600.
KB – This refers to the amount of disk space your signature takes up when stored on a mail server. Because you’re likely to send a bunch of emails within the day, a large signature size in KB eventually adds up. Shoot for keeping it under 50KB.
To check if you have the right signature size, simply right click on it and click “inspect element.” This should show you the height and width of your signature.
Time for the Final Test
As mentioned earlier, once you tick off all the items in the good signature checklist, take time to test its compatibility across popular email clients. While you can’t ensure that your signature will work flawlessly on all email clients, sending from popular mailing platforms should give you a good enough idea of its compatibility.
Get Noticed with Your Brand-New Email Signature
With all the focus on email subject lines, engaging content, and automation, it’s easy to overlook the important role a solid email signature plays in the grand scheme of things. But while a subject line might lead to getting noticed in your customer’s inbox, your signature is what allows you to stay in the minds of your recipients.
Make sure your email signature is informative, clean, and concise. This ensures that you come off as both credible and professional.