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The Top 15 Things Not to Include in Email Signatures

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How you design a professional email signature can influence the way your company is perceived. 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 in order 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
  • Email address

Keep these details shorter for internal emails and replies.

2. Custom fonts

It is possible to use custom fonts in your email signature template, 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 to 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. There will still be many using older email clients that cannot play animated GIFs.

Instead, only the first frame of the GIF will show or the dreaded red X showing the image is. To be safe, animated GIFs should just not be used in email signatures.

5. Videos

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to embed videos directly into your email signature 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.

If you’d like to share a video in your email signature, you can use a link with alternate text or a promotional banner.

6. Quotes

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, may get offended, and probably won’t even care about the message.

A quote is one thing you should not include in email signatures

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

Having 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.

Multiple fonts make email signatures look unprofessional.

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 will be difficult to update regularly.

If you use an image for your signature, your email is also more likely to end up in the recipient’s junk folder or it may be blocked by spam filters.

10. Links to unused accounts or old posts

Never include links in email signatures that are no longer relevant. Examples would be an old blog post or a social media account that hasn’t been used in over 6 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.

Only include your most active social media channels in email signatures.

13. Pointless certifications

Unless the degree or certifications you have obtained is relevant to your job, they should not be used in email signatures.

For professional email signatures, only add certifications your company has achieved in the past five years. A certification from 2017 is very much out-of- date!

14. Too much content

Too much content can ruin the formatting and is a common email signature mistake. If you have more than 72 characters on one line of your signature, it is likely to be wrapped onto the next line, especially on mobile devices.

Format your signatures to be evenly spaced on multiple lines as best practice.

15. Large image files

If you are using a logo or a photo of yourself in your email signature, make sure that 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 actually appear as the original file size.


Check out our 17 Email Signature DOs and DON’Ts to make sure 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.

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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. 

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