By Hannah Massen
A lot of people treat their email signatures like an afterthought, which is a real missed opportunity. Let’s be honest: how many emails do we send that are signed with our first name only–or no name at all? The average office worker sends 40 emails per day – that’s 40 opportunities to market yourself and your business to your email recipients.
Email signatures may be the last thing people read in your message, but they can help you stand out in someone’s crowded inbox. A well-crafted email signature does more than tell someone what your name is: it says who you are, what you do, and how people can reach you besides just hitting “reply.” Here’s a piece-by-piece breakdown of a great email signature.
Start (and end) here
Create a professional email signature using these three platforms:
1. Your email: Keep it simple by creating and automating your email signature directly in your inbox. If you’re a Gmail user, set up your signature under “settings.” If you use Microsoft, open the “message” tab, then click “signatures.”
2. Hubspot email signature generator: Hubspot’s six simple design options are great for the person who wants to end their emails with something more than their first name but doesn’t want anything too flashy.
3. Canva: With hundreds of fully customizable email signature templates to choose from, Canva gives creatives more room to experiment with layouts, fonts and colors.
First and last name
Your email should always include your first and last name, especially if it’s coming from a generic business address like email@example.com. Put your name at the top of your email signature.
Affiliation info (i.e. job title or department)
Now the recipient knows who you are, but what exactly do you do? Put your affiliation info (like your job title or department) directly under your name. Providing this information can give the recipient more context about the conversation and your role in it. If you’re a business owner or hold an upper-level position, your job title also can give you credibility.
Secondary contact Info
Most business owners (and some employees) are still “on call” when away from their computers, which is where your secondary contact info comes in. Put your cell phone number, office number or alternate email address a line or two below your name and title so people know how else they can reach you.
A bit about your business
The next two to three lines of your signature may be as important as your name. Be sure to include your business name followed by your tagline or a brief (yet descriptive) mission statement. If you have a physical office or storefront, it may be worth adding your business’s address, too.
Now comes the fun part: links. If the email recipient wants to learn more about your business, make it easy for them by adding your website URL directly under your business information.
Social profile icons
Social media is also a significant part of your brand (or, at least, it should be). Allow people to find and follow you on social media by adding icons that link your business’s profiles.
Headshot or logo (optional)
Adding your logo can be a great way to keep your emails on-brand. You also can use a photo in your email signature, but it must be a professional headshot. Either way, the image should be small with a neutral background so that it doesn’t take too long to load. Justify it to the left of the text to give your signature a logical flow.
And remember, less is more
While you may be tempted to go all-out with your brand colors and fonts, email signatures are so short that adding too many extra elements can make them look messy. When in doubt, skip the images and use your email’s standard font so the reader doesn’t get overwhelmed.