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4 Ways to Add an Email Disclaimer

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Learn how to add an email disclaimer to your signature.

Email disclaimers have played a part of signature templates since the early days of corporate mail. It's always been important for organizations to automatically add disclaimers to any emails they send. Some criticize the use of disclaimers saying that they are ineffective and don't classify as any sort of legal information.

Many advanced markets, such as North America and Europe have regulations that require businesses to add disclaimers to emails.

Some European examples include:

Then in North America, you've got laws such as FISMA, HIPAA, GLBA, CASL, etc. These class as some of the most comprehensive email disclaimer laws in the world. So adding an email disclaimer to all outgoing email is still important.

So, how do you make sure that all users in your organization always have a compliant disclaimer when sending emails? Read on to discover the most common methods of ensuring this important text is included.

Let users create their email disclaimers

Many email clients allow users to create pre-defined content for their email signature, This will also include a legal disclaimer. Once the users have created their disclaimer, no further action is carried out and they often are no longer monitored.

Inevitably end users end up modifying or deleting their email signatures and disclaimers, whether deliberately or by accident. Even if you find a way to overcome this problem, they can still delete legal text straight out of their email messages. This means they can change the disclaimer to the point where it no longer serves its purpose.

Use another system to route emails

Other companies take responsibility for adding email disclaimers away from all users and set one up on a separate system. Some examples would be a firewall, an anti-virus or anti-spam system that include features to add text to some or all emails that pass through them. If all messages go through one of these systems, then it gives you straight email compliance.

Some common issues do occur though:

  • Many of these systems only allow plain text to be entered. This gives you no control over the layout and you can’t include any images.
  • There is unlikely to be any control over where the disclaimer goes other than the top and bottom of an email.
  • There is no way to prevent the system from adding the disclaimer over and over again. After several replies in an email exchange, disclaimer text can very quickly build up. This ends up turning a conversation into an email disclaimer exchange, dwarfing the actual message content.

Add email disclaimers at the server level

With Microsoft Exchange Server and Office 365 (now Microsoft 365), all email disclaimers are added on the server level with the Hub Transport role. A similar process happens when using G Suite (now Google Workspace). This gives you greater flexibility as these servers handle all of your emails, internal and external.

However, the disclaimer features that come with Microsoft Office products and G Suite are basic and often do not meet the needs of many organizations.

For example:

  • They won’t let you have HTML email signatures designs on all devices particularly on mobiles
  • You can't create different signature templates for various sender and recipient groups
  • Images like logos will turn into attachments unless they are hosted externally
  • Disclaimer text will stack at the bottom of email replies

Use email signature software to create and manage disclaimers

Email signature software allows you to easily define the disclaimers that are added to every email. Email disclaimers get automatically added and users have no way of changing them. With central management, you can ensure that all users’ corporate mails consistently have a professional signature with the necessary compliant disclaimer.

Learn more about email signature software from Exclaimer

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