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How to Choose the Best Email Signature Format

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When it comes to professionally branding your business emails, the email signature format is an essential design point to consider. Having an email signature that has had no thought put to the layout can look messy and make you look unprofessional.

If you’re struggling with getting your email signature format correct, check out our guide below.

Choosing the correct email signature format hierarchy

The best way to decide on the correct email signature format is by creating a signature hierarchy with the elements you want to include.

First things first, if you haven’t already, decide on the elements you would like to include in your signature. Check out this article for help with what to include.

Next, you will need to actually create the hierarchy. Simply put, create an order of which you want your contact information and other signature elements to appear. We typically suggest having your name and job title at the top of the signature.

The email disclaimer should be at the bottom of the signature. Although it is important to include, it’s not the first thing the email recipient should see:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Company name (optional, if appears in logo)
  • Phone number (with country area code)
  • Email address
  • Website URL
  • Company postal address
  • Email disclaimer

Then come optional elements:

  • Social media icons
  • Promotional banner
  • Photo image
  • Feedback surveys
  • Custom links, e.g. appointment booking
  • Award or certification images

Perfecting your email signature layout

After you’ve decided on the order of the signature elements, you need to format the layout of the signature. When it comes to email signature formatting, a simple layout is always best. Having the company logo as the focal point is the best place to start.

The shape of your logo will play an important part in your email signature formatting, whether it’s a square, rectangle or circle. Your logo should be the focal point of the signature, as including your brand is essential.

HTML tables

For the ideal email signature layout, we recommend using HTML tables where possible. HTML tables are the best way to build a professional email signature design. By using rows and columns, you will give the signature template a professional feel.

You can use padding to create space between the individual design elements. This will be read universally by all email clients, i.e. Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, iOS, etc. You can set a fixed width on any table to ensure the signature also fits on mobile devices.

If want to use a more complex email signature format, you can even add tables within tables depending on the design required.

Image size

The recommended email signature format for HTML images are:

  • JPG
  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • GIF

You can either host images on a website or embed them directly into your email signature template. Whichever option you choose, the images must be uploaded at the correct size required. You should also include appropriate Alt Text for each image. This is in case they don’t show up correctly when a recipient receives your email.

If you aren’t using an email signature solution, images can appear as attachments if you embed them in a template. In this scenario, it is better to use web hosted images. This way, the images are hosted on a public server and use hosted URLs to link into the email signature template.

It’s also recommended that you avoid using unique fonts, colors, and graphics in your design. It will make the signature format look cluttered.

A formatted email signature with many elements
Email signature format focusing on the company logo
Email signature format with visual elements

Check out these articles below for more email signature formatting hints and tips:

Logos in email signatures

Email signature size

Email signature fonts

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