How To Write A Damn Good Email Signature
Leaving a lasting impression is hard. Doing it at the end of an email is even harder.
That’s probably why so many of us end up searching for professional email signature examples every time we change jobs, get a promotion, or have a sneaking suspicion that our current sign-off isn’t up to par.
A strong email signature is attention-getting, but professional. It’s not flashy, but it’s not bland either.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best email signature examples, so you can see exactly what you should and shouldn’t include in yours. We’ll also share 3 tools you can use to create your own unique email signature in a snap.
Tight on time? Jump around to any section.
1. Limit your signature to three or four lines of text
Don’t overthink it. All you really need is:
Title (optional), Company (linked to website)
Simple, right? Here’s an example of what that might look like:
Once you have the basic format, consider adding one or two of the following options to personalize your sign-off.
How to make it personal: 3 email signature examples
1. Social media profiles that show off your professional brand.
Sales reps may want to include their LinkedIn profiles, while job seekers might argue they’re more active on Twitter.
Check out this email signature example from Yesware’s Director of Talent, Loren Boyce. She uses many different social media channels in her day-to-day role to connect with potential sales candidates, so it naturally makes sense to include them all as points of contact.
2. Stellar content that showcases your expertise
Have a product you want to tell the world about? A blog post that expertly outlines what you have to offer? Share it in your signature like Aaron Ross does in his:
3. A Call-to-Action
This is a line of text that prompts your recipient to take action. The action you want them to take could be just about anything: schedule a demo, attend an event, download an ebook, etc.
For example, here’s how Yesware’s very own Elise Musumano encourages people to visit our blog in the last line of her signature.
Caveat: Listing every possible phone number, email address, or social media network you belong to is overkill. In fact, the more pages you link to, the less likely it is your recipient will click on any of them any of them — a phenomenon known as the Paradox of Choice.
Here’s an example of an overstuffed email signature from The New York Times (fictionalized).
That’s 15 lines of text. Imagine how painful it would be to read on a mobile device.
2. Don’t put your email address in your email signature
I love this analogy Slate uses to describe the baffling yet common practice of including your email in your email signature.
It’s like placing two return address stickers on an envelope. Or, at a party, reintroducing yourself after the host has already done so.
“Mary, this is Kevin.”
“Hi, Mary. My name is Kevin.”
It’s an unnecessary waste of space because:
- In nearly every email client, hovering the mouse over the sender’s name will display the address, unless it’s already visible.
- You can always just hit reply.
Save the real estate for something that actually adds value — i.e. links to social media profiles, your company’s blog, your portfolio, etc.
3. Include an image (and don’t shy away from color)
People remember visuals better than text. But there’s a certain kind of image that can make your email signature especially memorable.
See that beautiful mountainside below?
You’re probably going to forget it.
You’re more likely to remember this.
Bottom line: Consider putting a face to your name if you want to stand out from the crowd.
4. Try “Sent from my iPhone”
A team of Stanford researchers recently studied the perceived credibility of misspelled emails sent with (and without) a “Sent from my iPhone” signature. One big takeaway: Using the iPhone’s stock signature could help improve your image.
What the researchers found was that when emails use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation, the sender is perceived to be very credible — regardless of whether they’re writing from their phone or computer.
However, study participants attributed higher credibility to the person who wrote a sloppy email signed “Sent from my iPhone.” They were more forgiving of errors, as the chart below shows:
So does this 19-character disclaimer really offer a free pass out of writing detailed replies? Our advice is to know your audience. For every person willing to look the other way, there’s another who sees it as an annoying form of humble brag.
Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to use a mobile email signature if you’re on the go and it makes your life easier. If you’re not feeling the standard “Sent from my iPhone” or use a different mobile device, you can always create your own sign-off that follows the same general logic: Apology/Location/Status [Communication] from [My] [Device].
Need inspiration? Here are some of our favorite creative mobile email signature examples (h/t The Atlantic):
- Sent from a phone. Regularly foiled by autocorrect. But duck it.
- *Brevity and errors aided and abetted by my beloved iPhone*
- From my smartphone so please forgive any dumb mistakes.
- iPhone. iTypos. iApologize.
- [Name] sent the message. iPhone sent the typos.
- Please excuse any tpyos as it was sent from my iPhone.
- Sent from my iPhone. Forgive the brevity, the typos and the lack of nuance.
- Sent from mobile device, all error self inflicted.
5. Try one of these 3 free email signature generators
The good news is that you don’t have to take all this advice and whip up a brand new email signature yourself. There’s an app for that.
Here’s three we think you’ll want to take a look at:
WiseStamp is a free email signature generator that integrates with your email client and automatically loads beautifully designed, customized email signatures into your compose window.
WiseStamp makes it easy to add in a photo, a live RSS feed that pulls your latest blog or social content, and more to your signature. Here’s an sample email signature of theirs that we particularly like:
If you’re looking for something a little bit more unique, check out newoldstamp. You can choose between 11 professional email signature templates in a variety of colors and formats, and incorporate a photo and social buttons.
We really liked their Autumn Feeling design:
Another great option is the Full Moon layout:
For a neat, basic email signature with just enough information and no unnecessary frills, try out htmlsig.com.
And here’s how to manually set up your email signature (if you so choose):
- How to set up your email signature in Gmail
- How to set up your email signature in Outlook 2013 and 2016
- Email signature set up instructions for Outlook 2010
(Bonus) How to include an email signature in a Yesware Mail Merge:
When you send emails with Yesware, your email client automatically inserts your signature into your message. Since Mail Merges are sent through the Yesware interface, rather than via your email client, be sure to set up a template including your signature to ensure that it’s included in your message.
To create a template in Gmail:
- Open the Gmail compose window and select Templates > New.
- In the Yesware Templates Manager, enter in the Template Name, Subject and Template Content.
- Click Save.
To create a template in Outlook:
- Launch the Template Manger by clicking the Template button in the Yesware section of the Outlook ribbon.
- Create a new template by entering in the Name, Subject and Template Content.
- Click Save.