Email Marketing

What is an Email Signature: The Comprehensive Guide

As an internet marketer, a business owner, or a company employee, you probably send plenty of emails daily.

You might be wondering then what an email signature is and why it’s important.

Well, you’ve come to the right spot. Join us as we break down all the questions surrounding email signatures.

Email signatures may appear right at the end of an email, which could make you wonder why they’re important in the first place.

But guess what?

They can make or break your email campaigns. In fact, the information contained within them can even drive awareness, lead gen, and conversions.

Intrigued? We bet!

So, let’s get right into it.

What is an Email Signature?

An email signature, otherwise known as an email footer or signature block, is typically a block of text with hyperlinks, images, and other elements that appears at the end of an email message.

It includes vital pieces of information that help the recipient understand who you are, what you do, and how they can contact you.

But that’s not all.

You can also include additional information in your email signatures, such as call-to-action buttons, social media icons, links to special offers, new product launches, etc.

This makes email signatures powerful marketing tools that can help you send quality traffic to your website and generate more sales for your online business.

Here’s a simple example of an email signature with a name and designation.

Why Do You Need an Email Signature for Successful Email Marketing?

The importance of a professional email signature for your email marketing campaigns cannot be understated.

And why is that?

Even though it appears at the bottom of emails, your email signature can greatly impact your brand, improve engagement rates, and showcase your personality.

And that’s not all.

Over 333 billion emails are sent and received daily. And the figure is estimated to reach 376.4 billion by 2025. This means that email marketing can be a potential goldmine for generating leads and conversions, and email signatures can help.

Image via Statista

In fact, according to statistics, email signatures help increase brand awareness, lead generation, announce new products, increase sales, and retain customers.

Image via Marketing Charts

Sending emails with an email signature is like giving potential customers a business card every time you’re in an event.

Still not convinced why you should include an email signature in your emails?

Here are reasons why email signatures matter.

Helps With Consistent Branding

The email footer offers a perfect opportunity to brand all the email messages you send. When you send emails with email signatures, you establish and emphasize who you are as a brand.

Enables Two-Way Communication

The email signature is the best place to place quick links to your contact details so that your target recipients can just tap the links and contact you.

This is especially important if you intend to connect with your customers on a personal level. Adding social media links can help you connect with customers on social media platforms they actively use and build your social community.

Here’s a great example from Pinpointe.

Demonstrates Legitimacy and Professionalism

By including your name, contact details, and other pieces of information in your email signature, you demonstrate the legitimacy of your brand.

Also, including your professional photo or corporate logo, website links, and links to your social media accounts helps demonstrate professionalism. It also means you’re providing recipients with all the sources they need to see to verify your legitimacy, thus increasing their trust in your brand.

Note how this signature has a photo, name, and address.

Improves Efficiency

A business email signature can contain all the useful information like your company website, contact details, social media accounts, business address, and other key components, so you don’t have to retype them every time you want to send email messages.

Establishes Trust and Converts Leads Into Customers

An email signature helps create direct or personal contact with the recipient. This allows you to establish trust and convert prospects into customers or business partners. This can be easily achieved by creating signature banners, CTAs, or adding social links.

Note how the below signature has a phone number and a meeting link.

Helps Nurture Customers

Getting your contacts to trust your brand and do business with you takes time. When you add links to your social media pages, you help prospects connect with customers who are probably already buying your products.

Here, they can also read comments by other customers about your brand, discover your latest posts, etc. In the process, you nurture your customers.

See how the below signature has links to the website and a TripAdvisor banner too.

Expresses Your Personality to Recipients

An email signature lets you add a professional photo of yourself which can help make a personal association and connection with the recipients even if you are sending them emails for the first time.

It’s a Powerful Marketing Channel

Adding a clickable call to action button to your email signature line makes it a great marketing tool since it enables recipients to take the necessary action to discover what you want them to.

Note how this signature has a button and an email address for the recipients to take action.

Components of A Professional Email Signature

Now that you understand what an email signature is and why you need it, what elements should you include in this section of your email messages?

Typically, a professional email signature should have the following key elements.

Basic Information

When your email lands in the recipient’s inbox, they should be able to know who you are, your position or job title, as well as your phone number, and your company website URL.

There is no need to add your email address in the signature block since all the recipient needs is to click on “Reply.” Also, don’t confuse the recipient by including more than one phone contact.

Here’s a good example of a short email signature with basic info.

Photo or Image

It’s also important to include a high-quality photo of yourself or your company logo. This will help to create a personal association or connection with the recipient. Adding your company logo is always a great branding strategy. If you include a photo of yourself, ensure it’s clear and professional.

Here’s a great example of a signature with an image.

Professional Sign Off

A sign-off is the word or phrase you write before your name. Here, you can use words like “Thank you so much”, “Regards”, “Best Wishes”, etc.

Some people prefer to type their sign-offs when sending emails, but you can include them in the signature block. Also, you can use text or images for your signature sign-off.

Social Media Links

You can also add social media icons with links to allow the recipient to connect with you or your brand on social media. Many email signature software tools allow you to integrate your social media profiles into the email signature by just inserting the link.

Automated Banner Campaigns

As mentioned above, an email signature can be a powerful marketing tool. You can use it for your marketing campaigns by including email signature banners. And if you have employees, you can include the same banner in their email signatures.

The good thing is that most email signature platforms allow you to manage your employee’s signature banners from a centralized dashboard. You can also set your campaign’s start and end date and also track campaign analytics.

Call to Action (CTA)

Apart from the benefits outlined above, you can also use email signatures to get the reader to take a certain action, like purchasing a product, reading a blog post, etc.

Here’s an example.

Best Practices for Creating Effective Business Email Signatures

Generally, there are several items to include in an email signature, but you need to determine what you want to achieve with it.

Once you know the purpose of your email signature, the next thing to do is to follow the best practices for creating a professional email signature that achieves your goals.

Here are some practical tips for crafting a great email footer:

Keep Your Email Signature Simple

According to statistics, the overall average email open rate is 16.97%, with a 10.29% CTR. This means very few recipients will open your email, and fewer will click on your CTA.

Image via Acoustic

But that’s not the only problem.

Lately, people are spending less time reading brand emails. In fact, in 2021, people spent an average of 10 seconds reading a brand email.

What does this mean?

You need to provide just enough information in your email signatures to get their attention.

As a rule, your email signature should be concise, easy to read, and present your basic information such as:

  • Full name
  • Job title and company website or name with hyperlink
  • Contact number
  • Social media icons with links

Here is a good email signature example.

You can also include branding elements like your company logo and a banner but ensure you don’t add too much information.

Create Two Varied Email Signatures

Since you will be sending and replying to emails, you need to create two email signatures. One for your outgoing emails and another one for replying or forwarding.

In this case, the one for outgoing emails should have all the information we outlined above.

Keep the email footer for replying or forwarding emails less distracting and provide only basic contact information.

Style Your Email Signature With Fonts

When learning how to create an email signature, you must use different fonts as well.

Here are key things to keep in mind when adding fonts to your email signatures:

  • Your font should be easy to read at a glance.
  • Use the same font throughout your email signature to avoid confusing your recipients. Using too many fonts can also make the email signature look messy.
  • Avoid using default fonts. Instead, use brand-specific ones to make your email signature unique.

Here’s how Brand24’s signature is unique. It provides links to their website too, and they’ve deliberately used green font color for it.

Balance Signature Content and Design

Even though you will need to use fonts and colors that suit your brand, you must determine what you want your email signature to achieve. You must make sure the important information is visible right away.

Here are a few tips for balancing between the signature’s content and its design:

  • Add enough space between digital elements to help the reader understand the content.
  • Use white spaces or dividers between different signature components and focus on grabbing the reader’s attention.

When you use colors, make sure they match and are not more than two.

Here’s a good example of a minimalist email signature.

Include a Headshot

Optimizing your email signature design with a beautiful photo of yourself can boost your marketing and sales performance because it helps to create a personal connection with the recipient. Nevertheless, you must ensure the image you use is as professional as possible.

A good rule of thumb is to have someone take you a photo while smiling and when dressed professionally. Don’t use selfies in this case.

Get Social

Social media offers a great opportunity for your email recipients to connect with you or your brand. Use your email signature to build a lasting business relationship by adding social media icons for your LinkedIn profiles, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

The good thing is that most email signature tools and email clients allow users to add social media icons to their signature lines.

Add a CTA to Boost Conversions

A professional CTA in the email signature can be the most cost-efficient digital marketing tactic for brands. In fact, it can increase conversions and offer great ROI without any extra effort.

Image via HubSpot

Nevertheless, to generate the best ROI with your email footer, you need to consider the following key things when creating your email signature call-to-action:

  • Keep it clear, simple, and straightforward.
  • Use action words like “Register Now”, “Try it for Free”, “Book Now”, “Click Here”, etc.
  • Follow branding guidelines
  • Make the CTA stand out

Your signature CTA can be a clickable video, button, link, banner, etc.

A word of caution — when using links in your email footer, you need to follow the “keep it simple” rule. Avoid adding too many links and CTAs, as that can make your signature messy.

Make Your Email Signature Hierarchical

Since you want the recipient to see important information about you and your organization in the email signature, you need to use a structured, hierarchical style.

In this case, your name comes first, then your key contact details, followed by sections for your brand. Here’s a good example of a structured email signature.

Optimize Your Email Signature for Mobile Devices

About 41% of emails are opened using mobile devices, and 39% via desktop.

Image via HubSpot

What does this mean?

Email marketers and sales managers can no longer ignore smartphones and tablets since they form a huge part of all email interactions.

Having determined what elements to include in your email signature, the next step is to think about the devices your recipients will use to read your emails.

You need to design an email footer that’s easy to read on mobile. Essentially, it needs to be responsive and fit into screens of any size.

Also, ensure you test your email signature design before using it.

Use Small Logos/Banners

Including company logos or banners in your email signature is a powerful brand-building strategy. However, it can do more harm than good to your brand when not done well.

For instance, adding huge logos or banners can make your emails heavy to read for your recipients. Too many banners can make your emails look very promotional as well.

Ensure the logos/banners are small and left-aligned.

Here’s an example.

Maintain Brand Consistency

When designing email signatures, always keep brand consistency in mind. Every element you plan to include in your email footer should be coherent. To achieve brand consistency, follow your brand guidelines.

Optimize for All Email Clients

Another best practice for creating an impactful email signature is to make sure you format it for all the major email clients, including Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and many others. This will ensure that your signature renders well for most of your recipients.

Use Email Signature Generators

Email signature generators are powerful tools designed to simplify the whole process of creating an email footer. There are plenty of tools (free and premium) like Newoldstamp, HubSpot, and many others that you can use to design your signature.

Test, Tweak, and Adapt

To achieve your goals with your email signatures, you need to constantly test and optimize to see which version is working and which one is not.

With an email generator tool like WiseStamp, you can test and measure the success of all your CTAs or integrate them into your analytics to see the performance of your email signatures. This can help you design your signature better.

Here is one more thing before you leave.

How to Create an Email Signature

Now that you know what an email signature is, as well as the elements to include in it, the reasons you need it, and the best practices to follow when creating one, let’s learn how to design one.

With Email Signature Generators

With email signature generators, you can create beautiful signature lines by simply adding your information and components to pre-built templates.

All you need to do is to choose an email signature template and enter the details to customize your signature.

Using Your Email Clients

You can also design your email signature directly in your email client. Most popular email clients allow users to design important elements of a signature, including images, links, social media icons, text, etc.

With Gmail, you can easily create a signature via Settings.

Using a Word Processor or Google Docs

You can also design your email signature in a Microsoft Word document or Google Docs and paste it into your email client’s signature box.

FAQs

Q1. What is the purpose of a signature in an email?

A. An email signature can serve different purposes:

  • Helps with brand-building
  • Can be a powerful marketing item
  • Demonstrates professionalism and legitimacy
  • Helps nurture customers
  • Assures recipients that they are communicating with a real human being and not some bot.

Q2. What is an email signature?

A. An email signature, also known as an email footer, is a personalized block of text and images that includes professional contact information and company branding. It appears at the bottom of an email.

Q3. What is email signature software?

A. Email signature software are platforms that help you create email signatures by customizing pre-built templates. This simplifies the process of creating email signatures.

Q4. Can I make my email signature for free?

A. Yes, you can create a great-looking email signature for free using an email generator tool, your email client, or a document creator.

Q5. Why use a generator to make an email signature?

A. A generator makes the whole process of designing an email signature simple and quick. All you need to do is to enter details and elements into the relevant boxes, and you’re set. You can create a beautiful email signature in less than 4 minutes.

Over to You

Well, now that you know what an email signature is all about and why it’s critical for your email campaigns, get started with creating a custom email signature for your brand right away.

From creating brand awareness to driving conversions, the humble email signature can do a lot for your business.

The good news is that designing a great email signature isn’t a tough task. All you’ve got to do is use an email signature platform, and you’ll have one ready in minutes.

Got any questions about email signatures? Ask them in the comments.

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic | 5K keywords on page 1. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business2Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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