If you’re sending emails to try and land clients, you need a perfect email signature.
Your email is often the first time a prospect sees your name and face. And a memorable email signature is one of the earliest ways you can make a killer first impression.
A perfect email signature has a few parts to it. Not only does it have your name, but it has a strong CTA and adds value through social links. Plus, its color palette aligns with your company’s branding—without the cheesy graphics and pictures.
Here are the dos and don’ts of how to create the perfect email signature for your own email account.
1. Build your signature from the top.
The best email signatures are built from the top-down. The most important information, like a name and title, are placed smack at the top of a signature, like this:
Call it an email signature hierarchy. As the owner of the email signature, you need to be super clear to the recipient about what information is most important, and what you want them to see first.
Is showing your company’s physical address the main priority for you? Or would you rather show off your social media channels? Do you really need your email address in your signature… when you’ve sent an email from the same address? (hint: you don’t).
An email signature is a bit like a call to action. You can guide whoever receives your email to the most important parts by making the font bigger, bolder, or in a slightly different color.
What happens if your email signature has no hierarchy? Well, you end up like Karen:
Not only does the signature not give any indication about what’s important (is it the business address? Does the business want people to request a product demo?), it makes the marketing agency look super messy.
And looking messy is the exact opposite of what you want when you’re trying to do business.
Pro-tip: If you're looking for other ways to prospect more effectively (beyond just perfecting your email signature), check out this webinar.
2. Don’t overdo it. Always stick with your company branding.
Branding works best when it’s used consistently across every platform—and your email signature is one of those platforms.
If you want to add a touch of color to your email signature, make sure you’re sourcing colors from your brand’s palette. (Talk to your design team.) Better yet, make sure all of the signatures being used by your company look consistent (apart from your personal details, of course).
If you want to incorporate your company logo, keep it to one side and align it against your text, like John did here (though we’re not sure about omitting the space between his first and last name):
Keeping the logo to the left means any text or social media icons can be aligned alongside so things don’t get messy. These small touches are important for keeping your signature neat and compact.
3. Make sure it looks good on a mobile device.
Your signature might look ace on your laptop, but what does it look like on a phone or a tablet?
Emails are now being opened on mobile devices roughly 50% of the time, so making sure your email signature fits on a small screen is vital. Many factors will impact how mobile-friendly your email signature is, from its size down to what device your receiver is using. But if you nail the design, it’ll give your email signature the best shot at being compatible across most devices out there.
This is where the scale of your email signature comes into the picture. There’s no getting around it: mobile and tablet screens are smaller than the average desktop computer. So when you’re designing your signature, keep in mind what your text and images will look like if they’re minimized to fit onto a smaller screen.
If your logo is super wordy or it doesn’t look right when it’s minimized, think about replacing it with something simpler instead.
The last (but still super important) part of checking your signature’s compatibility with mobile devices is testing your social media and call to action links. If you have an Instagram icon in your signature, make sure it actually works when you tap it on a device.
4. Don’t go crazy with graphics.
Think about the design of your email signature like a landing page. Sometimes, you can say more with less.
Having more than two images on your email signature will make it cluttered, hard to read, and erase any hierarchy you’ve tried to give it. But even keeping it to two images isn’t always a good idea, especially if you’re breaking a lot of key rules like mixing color palettes and texts:
Would any business trust this business to do their graphic design? Yeah... no.
If you’re leaning towards using a picture in your signature instead of a logo graphic, it’s a smart move. Not only does a photo put a face to a name, but it can also create an instant connection with the recipient. But be warned, black and white images won’t be received as well as colored ones.
A study by the Institute for Biological Cybernetics found colored images are always more memorable than black and white. So, opt for a full-color headshot in your signature.
5. Use social media icons and CTAs.
Don’t be afraid to include your social media profiles and a CTA in your email signature.
Adding your social media links or blog link in your email signature is a great way to drive extra traffic. Plus, it gives your receiver a nudge to check your profiles out to see what you’re all about. If you’ve got a standout LinkedIn profile or a portfolio of work, here’s your chance to give them a shot at a bit of extra love.
Adding a CTA to a blog can also boost your credibility. For instance, if you’re part of a marketing agency that’s trying to sign a client up for content strategy work, this is a good way to boost your agency’s cred. What better way to show them you practice what you preach than by showing off your own material?
Just don’t let social media icons and CTAs overpower the rest of your signature.
Make sure they’re subtle and flow smoothly into your email signature. If you can, try changing the color of the icons to align with your own branding, so that they don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
You might be wondering: why icons instead of a URL to a blog or social media profile? Because the human brain, that’s why. Humans recognize a symbol a lot faster than text. Keeping your signature clean is nice—and so is being able to get multiple messages across to your email receiver at once.
6. Divide your info up.
Your email signature shouldn’t take up the entire email, and it can be a struggle to fit everything you need into such a small space.
If you’ve got a lot of information you want to put in your signature, but you’re afraid of cluttering it, use dividers. It’s a super simple way to make sure all your info is spaced out while keeping it digestible.
7. Get some help from an email signature generator.
The good news is that you don’t have to take all this advice and whip up a brand new email signature yourself. There are some awesome email signature generators out there.
Here are two of the best.
First off, WiseStamp is free to use. But if you want to send emails without their branding, you’ll have to pay a small fee.
All you have to do is pick a template from the catalog. Then, just type in your name and website, and add whatever social profiles you want.
You can also add a photo and live RSS feed of your blog, and change the color palette to match your branding.
If your business has a physical location, Si.gnatu.re is a good option as it adds a Google Maps link onto your address.
The generator has everything you need to make an email signature. Just plug in your contact details (which you can pair up with an icon to break up the text), and add your social profiles. Like WiseStamp, you can change up the color palette to align with your company’s branding.
A word of warning: be careful to not go overboard with Si.gnatu.re. It gives you the option to add a logo, photo, and a banner image. Only pick one or two… three is overboard.
A perfect email signature says more than just who you are.
Email signatures do so much more than just sign off an email.
If they’re built correctly, they can create an instant connection between you and your email recipient. Using an image, a company logo, or the right social media icons can make a massive difference on the overall impact of your email signature.
Just forget the cheesy inspirational quotes. You only have a short space of time to make an impact with your signature, so make sure it’s all about you and what you do.