The Top 15 Things Not to Include in Email Signatures
Brought to you by Exclaimer
How you design a professional email signature can influence your company’s perception. Adding extra, unnecessary elements to your signature looks unprofessional and messy. If your email signature is poorly designed, it can negatively impact your reputation.
What not to include in email signatures
Check out the top 15 things you should not include in email signatures to create the best design possible:
1. Unnecessary contact information
Don’t overload your signature template with every possible way to contact you. Keep to the basics:
- Full name
- Job title
- Company name and address
- Phone number
- Website URL
Keep these details shorter for internal emails and replies.
2. Custom fonts
Using custom fonts in your email signature template is possible, but it is not advisable. This is because most of your recipient’s devices will not have your custom font installed, so it will automatically change to a default font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
If you have to use a custom font, make sure to use a web safe fallback font. You can find a list of web safe fonts here.
3. Bullet points
Bullet points are something you should not include in email signatures. In fact, good email signatures don’t use bullet points in any way.
This is because they render strangely in different email clients and can ruin the format of your signature. A bullet point in Outlook will look completely different from one in Gmail.
4. Animated GIFs
Now it is true that you can now use animated GIFs in email signatures. However, these will only work in modern email clients. Many will still use older email clients who cannot play animated GIFs.
Instead, only the first frame of the GIF will show, or the dreaded red X. To be safe, animated GIFs should not be used in email signatures.
Unfortunately, embedding videos directly into your email signature is impossible as most email clients do not support this. This is because videos are seen to be a security issue, so the content will not play. Native video files should essentially never be used in email signatures.
You can use a link with alternate text or a promotional banner if you’d like to share a video in your email signature.
The best corporate email signatures never include motivational and inspirational quotes. Don’t forget that not everyone’s values will align with yours.
For example, a recipient may get the wrong impression, get offended, and probably won’t even care about the message.
7. Personal information
If it’s a work signature, keep it professional. Links to your fundraising page or personal social media pages should not be used in email signatures. Remember, you are representing your organization, not yourself.
8. Multiple color fonts
An email signature with multiple font colors looks messy, especially if they are too bright. Use a maximum of two neutral colors that match your company’s branding.
9. An image as your email signature
You should never use an image as your email signature for multiple reasons:
- Most email clients do not automatically download and display images.
- The recipient cannot copy your contact details.
- You will not be able to include multiple hyperlinks in the image.
- It won’t be easy to update regularly.
If you use an image for your signature, your email is more likely to end up in the recipient’s junk folder, or spam filters may block it.
10. Links to unused accounts or old posts
Never include links in email signatures that are no longer relevant. Examples include an old blog post or a social media account that hasn’t been used in over six months. It will look unprofessional if a customer goes to a page you haven’t updated in a long time.
11. Out-of-date promotional banners
Do you still have a Christmas promotional banner in your email signature in May? Time to remove it! Out-of-date banners are one of the main things you should not include in email signatures. After all, promotional banners should be current and regularly updated.
12. Too many social media icons
Your signature template will look cluttered if you add an icon for every social media channel your company uses. We recommend using a maximum of four icons in your email signature. Also, only choose the channels that are most regularly updated.
13. Pointless certifications
Unless the degree or certifications you have obtained is relevant to your job, they should not be used in email signatures.
Only add certifications your company has achieved in the past five years for professional email signatures. A certification from 2017 is very much out-of-date!
14. Too much content
Too much content can ruin the formatting and is a standard email signature mistake. If you have more than 72 characters on one line of your signature, it will likely be wrapped onto the following line, especially on mobile devices.
Format your signatures to be evenly spaced on multiple lines as best practice.
15. Large image files
If you use a logo or a photo of yourself in your email signature, make sure you resize the image to be the size you want it to appear.
If you have a 2000x1500px image file linked in the HTML, but it is coded to display at 500x375px, this may be ignored by email clients and appear as the original file size.
Check out our 17 Email Signature DOs and DON’Ts to ensure you’re not making any other email signature mistakes.
To ensure that everyone in your company uses a consistent signature template, use professional email signature software from Exclaimer.
Ready to get started?
Exclaimer transforms everyday emails into a valuable platform to drive sales and build stronger relationships.
Start a free 14-day trial today (no credit card information required!) or book a demo with one of our product specialists to find out more.
Learn more with our range of resources
The Untapped Potential of Corporate Emails
Think email signatures are just a way to display contact details? Think again! Discover the full potential of your corporate email signatures in our white paper.Read More >
The Importance of Email Signature Management for Hybrid Workers
Making the move to hybrid working serves up a number of challenges for organizations. Find out how to make sure email signature management isn’t one of them.Read More >
The Top 10 Email Signature Management Headaches
Find out how to cure the headache of email signature management for IT teams – for good!Read More >