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How to Create an Office 365 Email Signature Easily

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Migrating to Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) is becoming increasingly popular for organizations both large and small. If you have leaped to Microsoft’s cloud platform, you know that you will need to create a corporate Office 365 email signature for your users. This will essentially be an electronic business card for everyone. By using an Office 365 Transport Rule, signatures in Outlook will be added to all outgoing messages.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below or watch our comprehensive video guide on how to create an Office 365 signature using a Transport Rule.

Note: There are limitations to using this method, especially when sending emails from mobile devices and Outlook Web App (OWA).

How to create and add an email signature in Office 365

Before you start, if you wish to include personalization in your Office 365 email signature (different contact details for different users), you will need to add Active Directory attributes to the design. These will be surrounded by percentage symbols, e.g. %%Display Name%%.

For a full list of AD Attributes, check out this TechNet article.

1. Design your default signature template in either HTML or plain text and save it to a text file. For tips on designing a professional email signature, check the Hints & Tips section of The Email Signature Handbook.

2. Open a web browser and enter the URL

Login into Office 365 to create your email signature

3. Enter the username and password for your organization’s Microsoft 365 tenancy ID.

4. From the Home screen menu, click the icon on the top left of the screen and then Admin from the menu that appears.

Choose the Office 365 admin center

5. You’ll be presented with the Microsoft 365 admin center home screen. In the bottom left of the screen, scroll down to ADMIN and click on the Exchange option.

Go to the Exchange section in the Office 365 admin center

6. Once in the Exchange admin center, the left-hand pane lists the main admin options. Click on mail flow.

Go to mail flow in the Exchange admin center

7. You will now arrive at the mail flow page, with a row of options along the top. From the tab list, click on rules.

The Exchange admin center mail flow page

8. Click the Add (+) icon and select Create a new rule… You can click ‘Apply disclaimers…’ but this means you will have to use one of the suggested Office 365 templates.

Create a new rule to start your Office 365 signature

9. A separate lightbox window will open. Give your Office 365 email signature a name that you will easily remember.

Give your Office 365 signature a name

10. As not all the signature options are displayed, click More options… at the bottom of the window.

Click the More options link

11. In the *Apply this rule if… section, select your desired conditions. For example, you could set it so that the sender is located inside your organization or is a member of a specific group like the marketing department.

Set conditions for your Office 365 email signature

12. Under the *Do the following… section, select Apply a disclaimer to the message… and select append a disclaimer. The prepend a disclaimer option will put the signature before the email message, so don’t choose this.

Select where the Office 365 signature should appear in a message

13. Click on the Enter text… hyperlink. This will open a new lightbox window called specify disclaimer text. Copy and paste the plain text or HTML of your email signature design into the text box.

Enter the plain text or HTML code of your Office 365 email signature

14. Click OK. You now need to specify a fallback action if the Office 365 signature cannot be automatically added to an email. You have three choices available to you:

  • Wrap – this causes the message to be enclosed in a new email envelope. The Office 365 email signature is then added to the new message.
  • Ignore – send the email without the signature. This is the safest option to choose.
  • Reject – don’t send the email. The sender would receive an NDR saying that the message could be delivered.

15. If needed, you can add an exception to your email signature. You could set it so that the signature is not added to any email that is sent to a user within your organization as an example.

16. Once you’re happy with everything, click Save. Your new Office 365 email signature has now been created.

The issues with manually building Office 365 signatures

Creating a signature in Office 365 does have restrictions, which are detailed in this article.

These challenges will occur irrespective of how your users send emails, i.e. OWA signatures will face the same issues as mobile ones.

  • Outlook won’t automatically add signatures directly under each reply or the latest forwarded email.
  • HTML email signatures on mobiles or Macs are not possible.
  • Embedded image files will appear as attachments.
  • Blank spaces will appear in certain users’ contact details, e.g. missing mobile phone numbers.
  • Lots of Transport Rules will be needed for different departmental signatures.
  • Different signature designs can only be reviewed by sending lots of test emails.
  • Getting users to use uniform signature templates is difficult.

If you want to create, update, and manage Office 365 email signatures easily, be it for one user, a department, or a whole organization, you’ll find no better way than with an Office 365 signature manager from Exclaimer.

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