Whether you’re using Google’s GMail, Microsoft’s Outlook.com for Business, or another business email service, one of the most overlooked yet important elements of your email is the email signature. Take note of the following tips to make sure your email signature leaves the best first impression with your customers and clients.
Use Graphics Sparingly
The email signature is sometimes the most reassuring thing a customer sees when they read your email. Email signatures with graphics tend to be more professional-looking and therefore more reassuring, but you also need to make sure you’re using the right amount of graphics to make the right impact. Use jpg images instead of png images. Use the ‘-nosend-’ tag on all images, so they’ll appear correctly in the email. Make sure you hardcode the image width and length – Don’t assume it will simply look nice in the end. Use alt text to let the customer see what the image is suppose to do. Also, do not include animations, which are an absolute eyesore. Make sure your company’s logo is prominent but practically sized.
Keep Email Links Short and Simple
Most organizations use images as links, which keeps email signatures less complicated and clean (see above). However, if you must use written links, try to keep them as short as possible. Utilizing link shorteners such as bit.ly or Google’s goo.gl can go a long way toward removing the clutter and can also have the added benefit of allowing you to monitor link clicks for analytics use.
Keep It Within 5 Lines
This tip goes along with the “short and simple” tip above, only regarding your entire email signature rather than just the links. Try to keep your email signature within a 5 line limit. This may be difficult to do, or may be downright impossible for some, so use your best judgement and remove any unnecessary info to keep it as close to 5 lines as possible.
Follow the Law
Okay, this one seems obvious at first glance, but you’d be surprised how many businesses break the law when building their email addresses. Make sure to include any appropriate contact info. Also, be sure to include any disclaimers that separate opinion from fact when appropriate.
HTML and CSS Coding
If you’re coding your own signature, make sure you write it out longhand to ensure compatibility with most email services, which may not recognize short cuts or wild implementations that you might be used to. Using longhand HTML alongside inline CSS will ensure that your email signature looks right every time.
Keep the Email Signature Consistent Across Your Organization
Don’t stray from everyone else in your company. If one person uses an image that’s 500 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall sitting just above an address, everyone should use an image that’s 500 pixels wide, 400 pixels tall, and sitting just above an address. Having consistency will go a long way toward assuring your customers and clients that you know what you’re doing.