Top 10 email signature branding DOs & DON'Ts
Let’s face it, if you were sent an email that had an appallingly branded email signature, would you think highly of the organization that sent it? You need to apply the same care to your email signature as you do with every other aspect of your corporate branding.
Now, check out our Top 10 email signature branding DOs & DON'Ts for the perfectly branded signature.
1. DO treat emails like all other forms of corporate communications
A professional email signature is designed to reflect a company’s ethos and credibility. When a signature is designed well, it easily promotes your brand in a positive and professional manner.
We recommend going beyond just one uniform email signature and varying your branding according to the sender’s department i.e. give customer services one signature and the sales team another.
2. DON’T let everyone design their own email signature
Create an email signature policy and enforce it so everyone’s email signature template uses the same design and layout.
If in doubt, use a dedicated email signature tool to take responsibility away from users so they can’t modify the design. You’ll then be assured that all employees will always have the right email signature.
3. DO use brand guidelines to inform your signature design
Any email that reaches someone who is not part of your company gives an immediate representation of what you stand for. That includes the quality of your email signature. A shoddy design will mean a shoddy organization in the eyes of many people.
Having an email signature accompanied by your company logo and contact details makes you look legitimate as a corporate organization and helps to build brand recognition among your contacts.
4. DON’T use custom fonts
Some people think that choosing a ‘wacky’ font is a great way to showcase their individuality in an email signature. Invariably, it just makes them, and their organization, look very amateurish.
You should always choose a font that closely matches the message body of your emails. If your organization uses Verdana, this should be the font you use in your signature.
In any case, choose a clean font that is easy to read such as Tahoma, Arial or Sans-Serif (no Comic-Sans!). Also, don’t make the font size bigger than 12 points to ensure easier visibility.
5. DO code signatures properly
Make sure you use a web designer to code your email signature template in HTML. However, be aware that signatures don’t work in the same way as a web page, so should not be designed in the same way. If no one in your company knows HTML, create a plain text signature instead.
Also, make sure that you do lots of testing before deploying the signature to your users. An email signature that works in Gmail might not necessarily look the same in Outlook or on an iOS device.
6. DON’T make your signature a full image
Unless you are using a dedicated signature service, don’t design your email signatures as a full image. An email signature created like this can cause messages to get marked as spam due to the image-to-text ratio being too low. It will also cause you numerous problems when it comes to updating it in the future.
Also, images increase the file size of an email, which will also increase the time it takes for a recipient to open your messages. This could cause problems if some of them have slow Internet connections.
7. DO embed or host any signature images
If you want to include any imagery, you should either embed it directly into the signature or host it externally and link to it. Don’t just copy and paste them!
If you aren’t sure which method to use, consider how your recipients view the messages you send them. If a large percentage use email clients like Outlook, then use embedded images. If, however, you know that a lot of recipients view emails on mobile devices, use hosted imagery instead.
In either case, never forget to add the appropriate ALT-Text for all images. That way, if a recipient is unable to view them, they will at least know what they represent.
8. DON’T forget about mobiles
Over 50% of all emails are now opened on mobile devices, so your email signature must be optimized for smartphones and tablets. If a recipient can’t easily put their thumb on a link in your email signature, your message might get deleted.
Also, reading speed on a mobile tends to be slower than on a computer, so you want to use a font with a point size of 11 to 14. In the end, usability has to take precedence over design.
9. DON’T add irrelevant information
No one is interested in the personal quote you put at the bottom of your email signature. A quote should only ever be used if it is representative of your brand. Not all people’s values will align with your own, so you could end up inadvertently offending someone. Most of the time, you’ll just end up annoying people, which is probably not your intention.
10. DO keep your signature simple
An email signatures really doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs to have a clean design, look as professional as possible and be easy to read.
If all else fails, then reach out to Exclaimer. We’re the market leaders in dedicated email signature solutions and we can help you take the pain of email signature management away from you. We’ve even written the official Email Signatures for Dummies guide so we know our stuff!