Best Practices on How To Make an Email Signature

Best Practices on How To Make an Email Signature
27 June, 2024 • ... • 27 views
Anastasia Ushakova
by Anastasia Ushakova

What would you feel if a business connection you met up with made an Irish exit — left without saying a word? You would probably be confused as it’s important for communication to have a proper ending. Just like any other conversation, your email needs a good ending too. That’s your signature’s job. 

Your email signature is more than just your name at the end of an email — it’s a chance to show off your brand resources and make a lasting impression. In this article, we’ll discuss how to make an email signature, why it’s so important to get it right, and the best tools you can use for it.

What is an email signature?

An email signature is a block of text or images at the end of an email. It typically includes the sender’s name, job title, company, contact information, and often a logo or social media links. Think of it as a digital business card that tells the recipient who you are and how they can reach you.

An email signature featuring the sender’s name, photo, job title, phone number, social media icons, and address
Source: HubSpot

Email signature is a part of your email sign-off which typically consists of a brief word or phrase followed by your name and signature. The signature gives the message a professional touch and conveys essential information, while the closing phrase adds a polite and friendly ending to your email.

Why a professional email signature is important for your business

Whether you’re writing emails to your coworkers or communicating with clients as part of your business’ external outreach, using an email signature is crucial. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Easy contact. The primary goal of email signatures is to provide clear and easy access to your contact details, so the recipient knows exactly who you are and your place of work.
  • Professionalism. Using a signature is an email etiquette rule, it conveys a polished image and shows the recipients that you take your business communications seriously.
  • Marketing opportunities. Add links to your website, social media profiles, and recent content to your email signature to encourage networking and engagement. Take it up a notch by adding a compelling call-to-action (more on that later!).
  • Branding. Reinforce your brand recognition and identity by using consistent design and brand elements in your email signature. For example, you can use your corporate logo, colors, or fonts.
  • Customization. A creative email signature can end your email on a positive note and leave a lasting impression on the recipient. An overly simple signature is easy to miss while a well-designed one with all the necessary info may make your email more personal.

Even if you’re at the very beginning of your business journey, it doesn’t mean that you can neglect email signatures. They can be extra important as part of email marketing for small businesses to build trust and credibility. 

How to create an email signature

So, now that you know what email signatures are and why they’re so important, it’s time to build your own. Follow our step-by-step guide to create a perfect email signature. 

Choosing the right email client

You don’t need to use fancy software to create a professional-looking email signature, you can do it right in your email client. Most people use Gmail or Outlook for their emailing needs, so we’ll focus on these two. 

You can also use email generator tools to create email signatures, we’ll discuss them later.

Creating an email signature in Gmail

First of all, access the email signature parameters in settings. Log into Gmail and click on a gear symbol at the top right corner of the page, near your profile photo. Then click on See all settings.

Top-right part of the Gmail interface with an arrow pointing to the settings button

Under the General tab, find Signature. If you’re using your email address to send emails to different audiences, you’ll be pleased to learn that you can save several signatures. Click on + Create new button and add a name for your new signature in the pop-up window. 

The signature box highlighted in Gmail Settings with the status No signatures and a button to create a new one

Adding personal information and contact details

Add your full name, your job title, and any other relevant contact information like your email address, phone number, website, or physical address. Note that you can also add images like a photo of yourself or your company logo.

Contact details in the signature window in Gmail with a name, a job title, and a mobile phone number

Adding social media links

If you’d like to add social media links to your Gmail signature, download social media icons online and then add them to your email signature.

Contact details in an email signature box in Gmail, with the image icon highlighted

Once you’ve uploaded your image, it should look something like this:

A signature window in Gmail with the Facebook logo image added to the bottom of the signature

Highlight the social media logo you’ve just added, click on the link button, and insert a link to your social media page.

A signature in Gmail with a highlighted Facebook icon and link icon

Insert your link in the pop-up:

Poped-up window with Gmail’s edit link menu and a web address added

Including a call-to-action (CTA)

A call-to-action (CTA) is a short piece of text or a button used to prompt the user to take a specific action. The easiest way to add a CTA to an email signature is with an email signature generator’s pre-made buttons, but you can use Gmail for that too. 

You can add an image or short text with a link prompting the recipients of your email to subscribe to your updates or check out any deals you may currently be running. 

Email signature box in Gmail featuring the sentence “Subscribe to our latest news here!” and a highlighted ink icon

Customizing the formatting and design

To customize the formatting and design of your Gmail signature, change the font as well as the size and color of your text, create a bulleted list, insert a quote, or play around with indentation.

A signature window in Gmail with the name formatted in a larger red font with a red highlight and an italicized CTA

Saving and previewing the email signature

In the Signature defaults section, select your new signature as default for new emails as well as when replying or forwarding.

Once you’re happy with how your signature looks, scroll down to the very bottom of the Settings menu and click Save Changes

The Save Changes button at the bottom of the Gmail settings page

If you’d like to see how your signature will look to the recipient of your email, click on the Compose button to draft a new email. You will see your newly created signature at the bottom.

New email window on Gmail featuring a signature at the bottom

Creating an email signature in Outlook

If you’re using Outlook and not Gmail, we’ve got you covered — keep reading to find out how to create an email signature with Microsoft’s email client. 

Note that Outlook only allows you to create one signature per account.

Accessing the email signature settings

Log into Outlook and click on the settings icon at the top right corner of the page.

Outlook interface with an arrow pointing to the settings icon at the top right of the page

In the Email menu, go to the Compose and reply section.

Outlook interface with Compose and reply button highlighted in settings

Adding personal information and contact details

In the Email signature section, add your full name, your job title, and any other relevant contact information like your email address, phone number, website, or physical address. Like in Gmail, you can insert your own professional photo or your company’s logo here. 

Outlook signature window with a signature filled in with a name, a job title, and a phone number

Adding social media links

Adding links to your social media pages to your email signature in Outlook is very similar to that in Gmail.

First, find and save the icon for the social media platform you want to add and upload it to your signature.

Outlook email signature with a Facebook logo

Highlight the social media logo and add a link to your page on that platform.

Outlook’s insert link menu with a web address (URL) for a Facebook page filled in

Including a CTA

Much like in Gmail, Outlook only allows you to create CTAs using text and images with links. 

For example, if you’d like to prompt your audience to download your app, click on the link icon, type in your CTA in the Display as section, and enter your URL below it to add it to your signature.

Outlook’s insert link menu with the Display as section filled in with “Download our app now!” and a URL below it

Customizing the formatting and design

In Outlook, you have quite a few fonts to choose from to customize your signature, and you can also change the size, color, and alignment of your text.

A customized signature in Outlook with the name in violet and an italicized CTA with a center alignment

When it comes to working with images, you can freely resize those in Outlook while there are only three sizes to choose from in Gmail. 

Saving and previewing the email signature

Once you’ve finished formatting your signature, make sure to save it. Don’t forget to select it as your go-to signature for new emails and replies.

Email signature section in Outlook with Select default signatures menu and a Save button highlighted

To preview your signature, start writing a new email, and you will see it at the bottom of the message:

An email in Outlook featuring a signature at the bottom

5 best email signature generators

Using Gmail and Outlook to create email signatures is all well and good, but we’re sure you agree that they look rather basic. This is where email signature generators come in. 

Email signature generators are online services that allow you to create professional and highly customized email signatures without technical skills. They usually offer templates you can fill with your personal information, logo, social media links, and buttons, making it easy to create a consistent and polished signature for your emails. Check out our favorite email signature generators below.

Terminus

Terminus is a company that offers account targeting, analytics, and engagement tools; email signatures are part of the latter.

With Terminus, you can turn your email signature into an advertising channel thanks to banners — customizable graphic elements that promote products, events, or content. What makes these banners special is the fact that they’re personalized based on the recipients’ email addresses, allowing you to create targeted ads in your signature. According to Terminus, this feature boasts 100% targeting accuracy. 

There is no information about the price of this feature, but you can request a demo on the company’s website.

Here is an example of a signature made with Terminus featuring a banner:

An email signature featuring name, phone number, social media icons, and a banner with a CTA button made with Terminus
Source: Terminus

HubSpot

HubSpot’s email signature generator is very user-friendly. You can select the template you like from several customizable options and change fonts and color schemes and add neat CTA buttons.

HubSpot is compatible with several email clients including Gmail. This means you can copy the signature itself or its HTML source code from HubSpot to Gmail. What’s more, this tool is totally free.

Here’s an example of an email signature made in HubSpot:

A signature made in HubSpot featuring a name, photo, social media links, and a phone number
Source: HubSpot

Gimmio

Gimmio is a company that specializes in professional branding and marketing resources like email signatures or business cards.

Gimmio offers a wide range of templates for email signatures. There are also many options for customizing the design and format — you can control your layout down to a pixel. You can either copy your signature directly into Gmail or Outlook (with some layout restrictions) or copy the HTML source code.

Gimmio offers a free trial and several pricing plans depending on how many people will be using the signatures. The cheapest plan for one person and one signature costs $28 a year.

Here’s a signature created in Gimmio’s email signature generator:

A signature built in Gimmio featuring a photo, phone number, address, social media icons, and a quote
Source: Gimmio

Newoldstamp

Newoldstamp is different from its competitors; unlike them, it exclusively focuses on email signature management solutions. 

Newoldstamp offers fully automated email signature management software with simple integrations (including Google Workspace and Microsoft), automatic updates, customizable templates, secure access, and one-click deployment. It’s targeted at corporate use and offers solutions for marketing teams in particular allowing you to turn your signature into an advertising tool. It also includes analytical features, so you can measure your link and CTA clicks and other variables.

Newoldstamp has a free editor with limited functions as well as several subscription plans and a free 7-day trial. The cheapest plan costs $3.4 per signature per month.

This is an example of a signature built with Newoldstamp:

A signature featuring a photo, name, phone number, social media icons, and a banner with a CTA button made in Newoldstamp
Source: Newoldstamp

WiseStamp

Much like Newoldstamp, WiseStamp focuses on tools for building professional email signatures. It allows users to design customized email signatures with social media icons, promotional banners, and other branding elements to enhance their email communication.

WiseStamp offers 12 email signature templates (want to design your own template? Just get in touch with their specialists). You can customize your signature with a wide range of fonts, brand colors, layout and spacing options, icons, and custom fields to reflect your business’s unique style and priorities. The platform also features several pre-designed CTA buttons, such as Online scheduler, Online payments, Join a webinar, Join newsletter, and Download app.

If you’re creating the signature for yourself, you can use WiseStamp’s free plan but bear in mind it doesn’t have advanced layout customization or design options. If you need access to those, you’ll need to pay $5.8 per month (billed annually).

Here’s an example of a WiseStamp email signature:

A signature made in WiseStamp featuring a photo, contact details, social media links, and a banner to book an appointment
Source: WiseStamp

Tips and tricks for creating an email signature

Now you know all the technical components of creating an email signature — time to dive into some best practices.

Keep it simple and concise

A good business email signature should be concise and effective using minimal space and content. Keep it easy to read and include your contact number and social media links to make it simple for people to reach out — after all, that’s the primary purpose of your signature. You don’t want to overwhelm the recipient with unnecessary info or inconsistent design choices!

Use a professional tone

Use official job titles and business-appropriate language in the CTAs. This will enhance your credibility, reinforce your brand’s image, and leave a positive impression on the recipient. It could also prevent miscommunication. 

Using a professional tone in an email signature can be especially important if it’s the first time you’re communicating with the recipient or sending a pitch email. New to pitching? Find out how to write a pitch email on our blog.

Optimize for mobile devices

More and more people use their smartphones or tablets for business purposes. So if you’re including images or using a signature generator, make sure your signature is optimized for mobile devices. Send yourself an email to test whether the width of your signature is optimal or needs adjustments. 

Another thing to bear in mind is that many users prefer using dark mode on their phones. In email signature generators, you can make a signature that will look good in both light and dark modes.

In addition to this, make sure that all interactive elements like buttons remain responsive when viewed on a mobile device, and add compelling alt text to any CTA banners that may fail to render. 

Test and ensure compatibility

If our last point was focused on optimizing for mobile devices, this one is about broader compatibility. Сompatibility means that your email signature looks professional and functions correctly for all recipients. Start by sending test emails to various email clients and devices and check whether they render correctly. In addition, consider using online resources for email testing and optimization like Email on Acid.

Last but not least, carry out an A/B test (also known as a split test). Start by creating two versions with slight variations in email signatures, such as different CTA buttons or fonts. Your next step is to send each version to a segment of your email list and see which version performed better.

A/B tests are often used to see which one of the email variants gets more engagement, a higher email open rate, and conversions. Want to find the most effective signature and see analytics for your campaigns? Register in Selzy to run A/B tests and more!

Regularly update and review the signature

Whenever your contact information, branding, or promotional messages change, review and update your email signature to reflect those changes. You don’t want your clients to miss out on any deals, or to try to call you on a non-existent phone number! 

Consider setting a schedule to review and update your email signature every few months or whenever there are significant changes in your business.

Best examples of effective signatures

It’s time to put theory into practice with some visual examples of effective email signatures.

A simple and professional signature

We’ve already discussed that a signature should be concise and professional, and this one satisfies these criteria. All the necessary information is easy to see, the design is simple and consistent, and the CTA button is neat yet appealing.

An email signature featuring the name, job title, phone number, address, and a CTA button
Source: WiseStamp

Signature with social media integration

Here’s another simple yet effective email signature. All of the sender’s social media accounts are easily accessible via icons conveniently located in a separate section on the left.

An email signature featuring the sender’s name, photo, and social media buttons on the left side
Source: X

Signature with a promotional CTA

Here we have a signature that includes a call-to-action in the form of an animated banner. It features information about a promotional offer urging the recipient to click on it.

An email signature featuring a promotional CTA banner offering a discount
Source: WiseStamp

Signature with a logo

This email signature doesn’t feature the sender’s photo – instead, there’s a company logo. This reinforces branding and puts the spotlight on the company rather than an employee.

A professional email featuring a company logo, sender’s name, and contact details
Source: HubSpot

Signature for personal branding

Aside from all the email signature elements we’ve already covered, the one below also includes personal branding showcasing the sender’s professional identity. In this example, the sender is a graphic designer, so their signature also links to their portfolios via clickable buttons. 

You can also add quotes or a widget with your latest social media posts to introduce yourself as a person.

A signature featuring a name, contact details, and links to portfolios
Source: WiseStamp

Final thoughts

Email signatures can be found at the end of emails, but they shouldn’t be an afterthought. Upgrade your signature today, and watch your business engagement and online traffic grow.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • An email signature is a block of text or images at the end of an email including the sender’s name, job title, company, and contact information. 
  • An email signature makes your contact details easily accessible, shows your professionalism, and also offers space for marketing via links and CTAs. It also reinforces your brand identity and can leave a lasting impression thanks to customization.
  • You can create email signatures in most email clients including Gmail and Outlook or use email signature generators for a more customized look.
  • Keep your signature simple and professional. Before you send your email to your audience, make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices and test the rendering. Don’t forget to update your signature regularly.
27 June, 2024
Article by
Anastasia Ushakova
Mathematics major, former breaking news editor, digital content creator, freelance English teacher, bilingual writer. Novice contributor at Selzy. Keen on learning everything about the world and on sharing it with everyone. Hobbies include art, travel, thrifting, photography, playing the Sims, fashion, eating Marmite and generally having a good time.
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