Author Archives: Kamil

Email signatures for marketing & branding purposes

[Update]: This article was first published on September 15, 2015. It was completely rewritten to reflect current trends and changes in email signature branding best practices.

Email signatures for branding marketing blog

We’ve seen how professional, visual-identity-compatible email signatures have evolved from a new trend to marketing and branding basics. Now, only the most conservative companies stick to the old ways and insist on including only first and last name in their email signatures. Most companies have recognized the potential of email signatures for marketing and branding purposes. I’ll show you how best to realize this potential.

The cost of unprofessional email signatures

Email signatures have become more than just a regular, tiny detail of corporate identity. They’re included in every single email every employee sends. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a tech company or not – as long as you send emails, people will judge you based on what your company’s email signatures look like. It shows how much attention the company pays to communication with prospects and partners.

In other words, if your email signature includes, for example:

  • broken links,
  • social media buttons linking to dead profiles or platforms (G+, anyone?),
  • outdated contact info,
  • broken images,
  • movie quotes,
  • just your name,
  • broken layout,

recipients will automatically assume that this aspect is out of your company’s control. And it’s quite natural to take assumptions a step further and think that it may not be the only thing beyond control. You lose trust and valuable marketing opportunities. But let’s not focus on what you can lose – let’s see what you can gain.

Advantages of professional email signatures

For ‘not convinced’ ones, let’s see what kind of information you may disclose when you send an email with your optimized signature.

Sample email signature for branding & marketing

The above-mentioned options stand for who you are, who you are working for and what you do. But that’s hardly all you can do with email signatures. You can also include:

  • banners and logos for your marketing campaigns,
  • adverts of key products and services,
  • information about upcoming events,
  • social media content,
  • information on business partners and projects,
  • logos of gained certificates and awards, commercial videos,
  • other significant information about your company,
  • customer-satisfaction surveys,
  • quick meeting/scheduling links.

While adding all of those elements into one signature at the same time is not the best plan, the above list should give you an idea on how much you can do with each email your employees send. The elements you add to signature should go with what you want to focus on and who is the final recipient of your message. Keep in mind that a potential customer will use the signature to gain insight about you (as a company). This might be a point where they decide to engage or withdraw from further interaction.

An example of how to handle email signature marketing

Enhance your company’s visual identity

In general, visual identity is a base on which you build your brand trust. It’s the message you want to send to everyone who interacts with your company. If you want to boost your branding, the signature needs to communicate the same message and comply with your business identity.

Marketing strategies

Marketers have come to a point in which effective brand promotion is harder than ever. Your target audience often turns a blind eye to advertisements as a rule, use ad blockers, or the campaign simply doesn’t reach them. And there’s no point in great promotional offers if nobody knows about them. Fortunately, email signature marketing lets you bypass those limitations. Most of your recipients are not random people – you know which campaigns can be of their interest. And if you set up the email signature right, marketing banners will always be noticed.

As for the specific elements, your choice will depend on what you want to achieve. Social media links, article links or feeds could show your audience that you provide valuable content on a regular basis (hope you do!). This less direct way of promoting your services or products tends to be effective, since recipients aren’t feeling they are forced to click on your links.

Email signature marketing in action

Where to start with email signature branding?

Every journey starts with a single step. In case of email signature marketing, you need to design the signature before doing anything else. There are quite a few difficulties you might face at this point.

After reading the first part, you probably have some ideas on what to include in this branding-friendly and visually optimized email signature of yours. You have the visual identity sorted out and all the needed images are sitting there, ready to shine. Now comes the specific layout of the signature – how to arrange all this data, so that it looks good? And then, you need to convert this signature into HTML, making sure it won’t break in various email clients.

For most people that’s a bit too much. That’s why we’ve brought to you a completely free email signature generator. It lets you easily create professional HTML email signatures, even if you don’t know what HTML code is. And if you just need some inspiration, our signature template gallery lets you download pre-made templates and re-design them however you see fit.

After you’re done, you get a well-designed template for email signature branding purposes. The thing with visual identity and branding is that it doesn’t apply to a single employee only – for the good changes to take an actual effect, they need to be company-wide. So, the final thing is to get a personalized version of this email signature for everyone in the company.

How to set up email signatures for the whole organization?

When setting up signatures for an entire company, you might face some challenges, as the video below shows:

Now you can see, it’s not as simple as it sounds. So, if you need to manage email signatures for all employees, you might need to use a dedicated tool. This way, you could, for example:

  • ensure unified company-wide branding with no end-user interaction required,
  • deploy email signatures for all email clients and mobile devices with a few clicks (no HTML knowledge needed),
  • make sure your branding and marketing content always gets through, thanks to embedded images,
  • customize signature rules, so that different departments can have different signature elements (while following your visual identity guidelines),
  • make instant updates to all email signatures at once.

It might be the right time to take your email signature branding to the next level with award-winning solutions.

See also

How to set up organization-wide Outlook 365 (OWA) signature with PowerShell

Company-wide email signatures in OWA with PowerShell

If your company uses Microsoft 365, you can use PowerShell to add a unified email signature for everyone in your organization. I’ll show you a script which adds a unified personalized email signature to every mailbox. This way, everyone who uses Outlook on the web will have an email signature automatically added to their mailbox settings.

Reasons for unifying email signatures

Email signatures are tricky. They can be a single line with your name only or a compact design with the most important contact info. They can also be a cringe-worthy “Sent from my <insert_device_name>” or a monstrosity with multiple banners, a two-page disclaimer and broken layout, to top it all.

The fact is, an email signature is added (and usually expected) in every single email. A signature (or a footer) is a message in itself. It tells, among other things, whether:

  • you care about details,
  • you treat your job seriously,
  • the company cares about its image,
  • the company wants to be reached.

Every single employee is a brand ambassador. Tendency to generalize is in human nature – when an employee lacks professionalism in a conversation, recipients will often think it’s not only this single person. That’s why, with every bad signature, your brand gets a punch in its face.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the world ends as soon as a bad signature is sent. It’s usually a much slower and sadder process when the brand and the company gradually lose trust. You can either unify email signatures and send a strong message that helps the brand, promotes your offers and supports you, or get a hit with every message sent. I’m only showing one of the methods to unify email signatures.

How it works

Before you run the script, it is crucial to understand how it works.

The script gets user information from Azure Active Directory (AAD) and adds an HTML code of a signature (with those details included) to mailbox settings. At the moment, only Outlook on the web (OWA) can benefit from that. It means that when a user sends an email from Outlook for Mac, Outlook for Windows, or any client apart from Outlook on the web – the signature you set up using this method will not show up.

Also, if your Azure AD information is not updated, or is incomplete, the final result will not be attractive or helpful.

There are other methods of unifying email signatures in a company which will work for all email clients. See the video below to learn more:

Required permissions

Using PowerShell to set up Outlook on the web email signatures is possible in every Microsoft 365 organization. However, to execute the script that sets up those signatures, you need to be an admin and have at least some basic grasp of how PowerShell works.

There are a few permissions that you need to have to successfully run the PowerShell script:

  1. Your account needs to be PowerShell-enabled. It means that a global admin might use a simple cmdlet to grant access to a certain user (Set-User -Identity <certain user> -RemotePowerShellEnabled $true)
  2. You need to have User Options and Mail Recipients admin roles assigned.

Get HTML email signature template

Before running the script, you need the HTML code of the email signature template you’ll be using.

The best way to do this is to use the free email signature generator.

  1. Select Microsoft 365 as your email platform
Signature generator - Microsoft 365 email signature
  1. Choose a signature template. You can use the generator to change images and elements which will be the same for every user, like Company name, disclaimer and so on.
Pick email signature template for Outlook on the web
  1. Click Replace user data with Active Directory placeholders and Apply your signature. The first button replaces personal data with Azure AD placeholders normally used in mail flow rules to automatically personalize users’ data in signatures. Placeholders don’t work this way when setting up OWA signature with PowerShell. The script will change placeholders to Azure Active Directory data.
Signature generator - Replace user data with placeholders
  1. Generate the HTML signature, copy it and paste into a txt file. I’ve created it in C:\signature.txt for easy access. You can freely modify the HTML code, just remember it’s best to leave the %%AAD placeholders%% intact. The script relies on a certain format of those placeholders to enter relevant user information.
Signature generator - Generate and copy HTML

Set up an HTML email signature for everyone

The two key cmdlets we’ll be using are:

  • Get-AzureAdUser, which downloads user data from your directory and
  • Set-MailboxMessageConfiguration with -SignatureHTML parameter, which applies a personalized HTML email signature to user mailboxes.

To run those cmdlets, you need to use two different PowerShell modules – AzureAD and ExchangeOnline. If you’ve never used them before, the AzureAD module requires you to start with:

Install-Module -Name AzureAD, which will download and install the right module and

Connect-AzureAD – the cmdlet that lets you start using AzureAD-related commands.

To learn how to connect with Exchange Online, use Connect-ExchangeOnline. If there’s any problem, see this article to learn how to make it work.

You can copy & paste the rest of the script into your PowerShell console:

$users = (Get-AzureADUser | select GivenName, Surname, Title, TelephoneNumber, Mobile, Mail, CompanyName, StreetAddress, City, PostalCode, State, Country) <# Gets all users' data from Azure AD and saves it to an array. If you want to  #>

$HTMLsig = Get-Content "C:\signature.txt” <# Saves HTML code of a signature from the signature generator to a variable. Change the path to the location of your file. #>

foreach($user in $users){

$HTMLSigX = "”; <# temporary variable with HTML code of a personalized signature #>

$HTMLSigX = $HTMLsig.replace('%%FirstName%%', $user.GivenName).replace('%%LastName%%', $user.Surname).replace('%%Title%%', $user.Title).replace('%%PhoneNumber%%', $user.TelephoneNumber).replace('%%MobileNumber%%', $user.Mobile).replace('%%Email%%', $user.Mail).replace('%%Company%%', $user.CompanyName).replace('%%Street%%', $user.StreetAddress).replace('%%City%%', $user.City).replace('%%ZipCode%%', $user.PostalCode).replace('%%State%%', $user.State).replace('%%Country%%', $user.Country) <# Replacing AzureAD placeholders with personal user data #>

Set-MailboxMessageConfiguration $user.Mail -SignatureHTML $HTMLSigX -AutoAddSignature $true -AutoAddSignatureOnReply $true <# Saves the personalized email signature in mailbox settings. It should be available in Outlook on the web right away. The -AutoAddSignature parameter sets the signature as default for new messages and -AutoAddSignatureOnReply does the same for replies. #>
}

After running the script, all users should get their personalized email signature in their Outlook on the web settings:

Outlook on the web personalized email signature

Limitations

Although useful, the Set-MailboxMessageConfiguration cmdlet is not perfect for managing email signatures – here are some of the reasons why:

  • First and foremost, changing mailbox settings works only on Outlook on the web (OWA). You can use VBScript to handle Outlook for Windows, but this way you’ll need to use two different methods to handle each signature update. Furthermore, you’d still only have two out of all possible email clients handled.
  • You can’t use embedded images. Which means that in most cases, your recipients will need to click an option to see the graphics you so carefully designed for your email signature. Otherwise – images will be blocked.
  • It’s a bad idea if your Azure AD is outdated. There’s no way to let users update their AAD properties and to dynamically change signature if, for example, a certain personal information is missing.
  • Each change or update requires you to operate on HTML code, there’s no editor you can use to work on the template’s design.
  • There’s no easy way to schedule email signature campaigns or use different designs for different recipients.

If you want to be able to manage email signatures for an entire Microsoft 365 organization without those limitations, there’s an easier alternative. CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 lets you manage signatures for all users without any scripting. Signatures are added to emails sent from all email clients and devices. Try it out for free

Black Friday 2021: email signature inspirations

Black Friday 2021 free signature templates & inspirations

Black Friday shopping spree is coming! Everyone is saving up some extra money, checking advertising materials, and expecting the best deals to come. All around the world, spouses are being convinced that it’s the best moment to buy a big, expensive, 9+ Lego set for their still unborn child; or that this 36th pair of shoes is an absolute must and is needed right here, right now. At the same time, teens are coming up with best negotiation tactics and hard data to show that this fantastic smartphone (or another gadget) will boost their school accomplishments tenfold. A lot is going on, no doubt.

It is also a busy season for the salespeople. All is revolving around marketing and promotion, and there are different ways to handle it. Of course, you can turn to all these common advertising channels as in previous years. But why forget about email signatures which are an effective and non-expensive marketing tool? Especially when your potential prospects’ mailboxes are probably already teeming with mostly unread newsletters. Instead, you can use email signatures as a less intrusive promotional method.

To help you in this respect, we have prepared 4 attractive signature templates with seasonal banners you can use for free in promoting your campaigns & deals.

Best Black Friday 2021 signature templates

Black Friday is all about selling. That’s why a perfect email signature for this occasion should include a special banner which tells all about your deals and encourages your customers to get at it. Let’s see what we have in store for you.

Make your offer stand out

Black Friday free email signature inspiration

Nice, eye-catching banner with bold typography and contrast colors is a perfect recipe for a successful promotion of a Black Friday campaign. The promotional aspect doesn’t make it any harder for your customers to locate the contact data. Don’t forget about including your logo to work on that brand awareness. We’ve also included a sample legal disclaimer, so feel free to adapt its content to your needs and stay compliant.

Download this Black-Friday-themed template or edit it in our email signature generator completely free of charge

Simple & effective design

Free Black Friday email signature template

This two-column signature template is a proof that simplicity can go hand in hand with effective communication. The big banner on the left will grab the attention of your customers & encourage them to click the shop now button. And if they look for your contact information or company’s social media links, they will find them easily on the right.

Grab this simple yet effective signature template and use it to promote your Black Friday campaign

Sell with good taste

Email Signature template for Black Friday campaigns

Is elegance an important ‘ingredient’ of your company’s image? Do you sell premium products? Do your customers look for classy solutions? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions, we’ve got a template for you! The golden and black elements make a perfect combination to create a tasteful design which will encourage customers to buy from you. And if they want to contact you, they will easily find all the necessary information. Finally, this email signature looks equally good (if not better) when viewed in dark mode.

Download the template or adapt it to your needs with our email signature generator to enjoy premium experience in your email communications

Joy of buying

Get a Black Friday email signature for free

With this signature template, you’ll put your customers into good mood. The banner is full of bright and vibrant colors to give your recipients a break from gloomy emails they are used to. The upper half is seemingly in the shadow but it’s still clear, informative, and consistent with the banner in terms of colors. It’s worth adding that the template works just as well in light and dark mode in Outlook (and other email clients, too).

Download this Black-Friday-themed email signature template and bring joy to everyone

See also

All about canned responses in Outlook, part 2: Outlook templates & email signatures

Canned responses part 2 - Outlook templates, OFT, email signatures

Canned responses can make your job much easier. They save you from having to do repetitive work and make it quicker to provide helpful answers to recurring questions. This article shows how to use canned responses with Outlook email templates (OFT files as well as with the My Templates add-in) and with email signatures. At last, I’ll show you how to manage canned responses for the whole team or organization at the same time.

This is the second part of the article about canned responses in Outlook. See part 1 in which I explain how to use Outlook Quick Parts.

Outlook templates (OFT)

There are two kinds of Outlook templates: OFT and My Templates. I’ll dive into the first variant first, as it is the better-known one.

OFT (Outlook file template) is a separate file which contains not only the email body but can also include a subject that you define. Here’s how to use them:

  1. To create a new OFT file, start composing a new email in Outlook. Once you prepare your email contents, click File and Save as.
Outlook - new OFT template
  1. Now, from the Save as type dropdown, choose Outlook Template. Type in a file name and save the file.
Outlook - new OFT template - save as OFT
  1. To use a saved Outlook email template, click New Items > More Items > Choose Form.
Outlook - use Outlook email template
  1. Finally, from the Look In dropdown, choose User Templates in File System, click the appropriate template and then click Open.
Use Outlook email template

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • They support all the formatting options.
  • Fine for new emails.
  • Can be used in Outlook rules as an automatic response.

Cons:

  • Extremely troublesome to use them for replies and forwards (and canned responses are, by definition, replies).
  • No way to insert them directly into a reply.
  • Don’t work in Outlook on the web.
  • No way to centrally manage them for a team or the whole organization.

My Templates in Outlook

My Templates is a built-in Outlook add-in which lets you add canned responses similarly to Quick Parts, but I find it a bit more intuitive. Here’s how it works:

  1. In a message composing window (it works in email preview, too), click the View Templates button. In the desktop Outlook, it’s located in Message > My Templates, while in Outlook on the web, you need to click more options (the three dots icon) and then My Templates.
Outlook desktop - My Templates button
Outlook on the web - My Templates button_2
  1. In both Outlook email clients, clicking this option will show up a new pane to the right. To add a new canned response, click the plus (Template) icon.
Outlook on the web - add a new template
  1. Now, the My Templates editor has no formatting options. You can use keyboard shortcuts to make slight adjustments (like Ctrl+B for bold), but it’s easiest to simply compose your canned response in the standard Outlook new message window and paste the contents here. Click Save when you’re done.
Outlook on the web - save a new template
  1. After your template is saved, all you need to do is open the My Templates add-in and click the template you want to use.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Similarly to Outlook Quick Parts, it’s easy to use.
  • Can be used if you reply in the email preview pane (you don’t need to open the message in a new window).
  • Works for both desktop Outlook and Outlook on the web.

Cons:

  • The editor does not support any formatting options. You can paste formatted text and images into the add-in pane, but it will not be displayed correctly in the preview box.
  • There’s no way to centrally manage canned responses for a team or entire company.

Email signatures

I won’t elaborate on how to add and use email signatures. You can refer to this guide if you need instructions on how to set them up.

The email signature feature is usually used for your professional HTML email signature. They often include contact details, company branding, a marketing banner, maybe a legal disclaimer. But if you dare to think a bit out of the box, the signatures feature is perfect for canned responses.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Support all the formatting elements and images.
  • Work in desktop Outlook and Outlook on the web.
  • Can be managed centrally for a team or entire organization!

Cons:

  • By default, you can set up only one email signature in Outlook on the web. However, in the next section I will show you how to fix that with a third-party tool.

Centrally manage canned responses for your team

If you want to centrally manage canned responses (via email signatures) for your team using native options, you can use the following solution:

VBScript: create an HTML Outlook email signature for the whole company – this method uses GPO to create personalized HTML email signatures for the whole company. You can use it to deploy canned responses as well. It deploys signatures to Outlook for Windows. The problem with this solution is that it requires some scripting and HTML knowledge. It also personalizes signatures based on local AD, which is a problem if you use Azure Active Directory. It’s also quite problematic when it comes to updates.

Fortunately, there is a third-party alternative which doesn’t suffer from those limitations.

CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 lets you create email signatures for the whole company directly from a web browser.

One of the out-of-the-box examples of use is to manage canned responses for a team or the whole company. You can set up as many canned responses as you need. They can include the message body itself as well as a signature and a relevant disclaimer. Each user (or users belonging to certain groups) will be then able to pick the canned response directly in their Outlook or Outlook on the web.

How to use email signatures as canned responses – see this guide to learn how to set it up.

All about canned responses in Outlook, part 1: Quick Parts

Canned responses in Outlook: Quick Parts

Repetition is a normal part of email communication. For most mailbox users, it’s very common to receive almost identical questions from different senders all the time. That’s where canned responses come in handy. Instead of typing (or pasting) the same solution each time, you can tell your Outlook to use an email template you’ve prepared earlier. There are three different ways in which you can set it up. In the part 1 of the article, I explain how to use Outlook Quick Parts for your canned responses needs.

Canned responses in general

Some people might think that using a pre-made template shows that you don’t really care about the recipient. After all, you’re using a generic message for everyone. It’s like you don’t treat your recipients as separate human beings with their own issues, problems, and questions.

WRONG!

Using canned responses, apart from boosting your productivity, means that you actually care more. Here’s why:

  • You can fine-tune your canned responses to be as helpful as possible. Include useful links, make sure the formatting is perfect, etc.
  • A canned response is usually created based on an actual email that you send as a response to a specific question or problem. But instead of sending an email in a rush, you can take your time to proofread it and make sure the message is easy to follow.
  • Having canned responses doesn’t mean you need to send generic messages. Some parts are meant to be personalized. Hopefully, you won’t send emails starting with Dear recipient, or Hello *First Name*.
  • If you receive follow-ups to your canned responses, it’s usually a great idea to make some changes in them, e.g., add more info just to be extra helpful and go the extra mile for your recipients. They will be more satisfied, and you will be able to provide assistance more quickly, which will leave more time to focus on other things.

In the end, like with any other tool, it all comes down to how you use your canned responses. Just because you can break your finger with a hammer doesn’t mean you should label it as dangerous and stop using it whatsoever.

Outlook Quick Parts

Quick Parts is probably the most-used tool for managing canned responses in Outlook. They contain “building blocks”, which you can insert into any of your messages. They are based on an existing email fragment, which means that you can store formatted text, images, gifs – everything you would normally see in an email.

How to create a new Outlook Quick Part

  1. To create a new Outlook Quick Part, compose its content first. Then highlight it and go to Insert > Text > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
Outlook new Quick Part - Save selection to Quick Part Gallery
  1. The new window (Create New Building Block) has a few fields that you can edit:
    • Name: by default, its value is automatically set to the beginning of your canned response. Change it to something understandable and easy to find.
    • Gallery: best to leave Quick Parts as default. If you change it to something else, it will not be easily available from the Outlook’s ribbon.
    • Category: You can group your canned responses to different categories. This is especially useful if you have a lot of canned responses for different purposes. By default, there’s only one category: General.
    • Description: specifies the tooltip that will appear when you hover over a chosen Quick Part.
    • Save in: specifies the Word Template used by Outlook to compose emails. In most cases, you’ll probably leave it as default.
    • Options: defines how the building block will be pasted later on. The Insert content only option is the most versatile one, but you can also choose to insert content in its own paragraph or page. In short, it will add different non-printable characters.
Outlook Quick Parts - create new building block

How to use Quick Parts

Using Quick Parts is extremely easy. In Outlook, go to Insert > Quick Parts and click a building block of your choice. Left clicking it will immediately add your canned response to your current cursor location. If you right-click a building block, you can choose to insert a Quick Part at the current position (default), at the beginning of an email or at its end.

Outlook insert canned response

How to edit Quick Parts

Now this one is a bit tricky. If you want to edit the contents of a building block, you need to overwrite an existing Quick Part:

  1. If you want to edit the name of a Quick Part, change its description, or assign it to a different category, open a new email in Outlook, go to Insert > Text > Quick Parts. Next, right-click the right canned response and choose Edit Properties.
Outlook Quick parts - edit properties
  1. The problem is, editing properties doesn’t let you change the most obvious part of Quick Parts: its content. To edit the content, open a new message and insert the Quick Part you want to edit.
  2. Make all the necessary adjustments. After that, select all (Ctrl+A), click Quick Parts > Save selection to Quick Parts Gallery.
  3. Use the exact same parameters as when you created the building block the first time (i.e., Name, Category, Save in).
  4. When Outlook asks you whether you want to redefine the building block entry, confirm your intention. If there is no confirmation window, it means you’ve just created a duplicate Quick Part.
Quick Parts - redefine building block entry

How to delete Quick Parts

Deleting Quick Parts is a very useful feature. The obvious use case is when some templates become outdated or no longer useful. However, because Quick Parts are what they are, the editing process makes it easy to create duplicates, which can cause Quick Parts to lose its effectiveness.

  1. To delete an Outlook Quick Part, start composing a new email in Outlook, click anywhere within the message body, and go to Insert > Text > Quick Parts. Right-click any Quick Part and select Organize and Delete.
Outlook Quick Parts - organize and delete
  1. In the Building Blocks Organizer, click the Quick Part you want to delete and click the Delete button below.
Building Blocks Organizer - Delete Quick Parts

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Once you learn how to use them, it’s quick and easy.
  • They support all the formatting options.

Cons:

There are some scenarios in which you won’t be able to use Outlook Quick Parts:

  • If you’re replying to a message within its preview (Reading Pane), the Quick Part gallery will not be available for you – the Insert tab is not available there. Quick Parts only work when you open an email in a separate window. So, when you’re in the reading pane, use the Pop Out option to make your canned responses available.
  • If the Quick Parts icon is greyed out, your cursor is most probably out of the email body. Not a major disadvantage, but this can be annoying.
  • They don’t work in Outlook on the web.
  • There’s no way to centrally manage them for a team or entire company.

Read more:

Best email sign-offs – find a perfect way to end a perfect email

You’ve just finished composing a perfect email. Double-checked for any errors or typos. Simply put, you’ve created a well-composed piece of art. And then, you get blocked by the shortest and, in theory, easiest email part – the email sign-off.

Best email sign-offs

What is an email sign-off?

An email sign-off (email ending / email closing) is a short phrase added at the end of an email, right above your email signature. Using it stems from the simple truth that most people learn in the primary school – every text should have a beginning, middle and ending. The closing phrase shows where the email’s body ends and is one of the primary elements of netiquette. It is an indicator of good or bad manners and can clearly highlight your expectations. Without this email ending, your message might be seen as unfinished. In short, it’s quite important.

Best practices

  1. Keep your sign-off consistent with email body. Writing in a super formal style and ending with “Yo” would be ridiculous. Similarly, an informal, private email ending with “Your sincerely” is simply off.
  2. Use only one. Sounds ridiculous? Then ask yourself a question if you’ve ever seen an email ending with:

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Best regards.


    This combination or even the use of any two items from this list is a clear indicator that the sender is not sure how to end their email.
  3. When in doubt, imitate. Using the same sign-off as the person who emails you is the safe option. There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe. Unless the sender chooses something really strange as their closing phrase.
  4. It’s OK to drop a sign-off in a thread. As long as you don’t take three business days to answer each email, not every single reply requires a sign-off. While email wasn’t made for instant messaging, it is often used this way. There is no need to add beginning and ending in quick exchanges. On the contrary, there is nothing really wrong with it.
  5. Add a personal touch. You probably don’t have time to think about how to make each email unique. That’s why in most cases you might be using plain, boring sign-offs that suit every situation. However, from time to time, you can add a personal touch, for example, by writing “Thank you for (insert the specific reason)” or “Have a nice trip” when you know someone is about to take one.

5 Bad practices (or which sign-offs NOT to use)

It doesn’t matter if you write a formal email to your professor or email your friend some books in an attachment, there are email sign-offs that are generally a bad idea.

  1. Sent from my iPhone – a truly cringeworthy sign-off. It’s been made fun of; organizations look for ways to automatically get rid of it, but still it persists. When you use it, it’s not clear what you mean by it. It might mean that the recipient might see some fat finger syndrome symptoms, or that the sender prefers this kind of mobile device. In general, for the recipient, it doesn’t make any difference if you are emailing from an iPhone, Android, toaster, or a flying saucer, as long as they get the message.
  2. “Always look on the bright side of life” – or any other quote, motto, or a joke. If the recipient likes the quote, they might enjoy the first time they see it. Later on, it becomes just an unnecessary and annoying space filler, no matter how great “The Life of Brian” (or any other quote source) was.
  3. Thank you in advanced – this, together with a lot of other permanently misspelled sign-offs might trigger your recipient. It’s like reading about “updatations”.
  4. ASAP – if you’re in a hurry, need a lightning-fast response and, in general, a lot depends on a quick reaction, there’s nothing wrong with letting your recipients know about that. But even when the issue’s priority is high, ending an email with a clean ASAP is a bit too much.
  5. Waiting for a positive response – the phrase itself might be considered OK in the right context. The problem is, it is usually preceded with an offer that can and, in most cases, will be refused. The sign-off itself definitely doesn’t improve chances of an actual positive response.

Universal email sign-offs

The sign-offs below should work in almost any scenario, but for the emails when you should be super formal or when you’re writing to your dear and near ones:

  1. Best/All best/All the best – one of the most neutral options for ending an email.
  2. Thank you in advance – it’s a nice option if your email contains a request. Apart from showing good manners, it might be super helpful if your recipient misses the point of you needing something from them.
  3. Let me know if you need anything else – a bit wordy but still a great way to finish off a conversation in which you provided some assistance.
  4. Hope it helps/Let me know if it helped – it’s a great option right after you give someone instructions on how to fix something.
  5. Much appreciated/Thank you for your time – if someone helped you, it is far better to thank them than to end with a generic “Best regards”.
  6. Thanks – simple but works in almost any situation.
  7. Have a great weekend/vacation/etc. – you won’t always be able to use it, but this level of personalization proves that you care and listen to others. Just don’t use ”Have a great life”.
  8. Stay tuned – suitable for both formal and informal emails if you want others to expect follow-ups or some big news.

Formal email sign-offs

Formal email closings are the ones you should use when you contact someone for the first time, don’t know them in person, or you’re not quite sure about what to use. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to use formal options in business emails – again context is everything.

  1. Regards, Best regards, Kind regards – all those options are pretty much universal for email sign-offs. Formal, but not too formal, you can pretty much use them in any email. Even occasional appearance in informal emails won’t kill anyone.
  2. Sincerely, Your Sincerely, Sincerely Yours – much higher in the official ranking. In most situations, it might be considered as too official, archaic, or reserved for snail mail.
  3. Respectfully – the super formal email closing variant.
  4. Looking forward to hearing from you – that’s a nice way of saying you can’t wait to get a reply.
  5. Awaiting your response – the colder variant of the sign-off above. You will usually see it in follow-ups.

Informal email endings

Like mentioned before, informal email endings might appear in business correspondence. Usually, there’s nothing wrong with keeping conversation casual, especially if your recipient is not a complete stranger and, preferably, is around your age.

  1. 😁, ;] – some people 💗 to end their 📧 with an 😊, 😅, 🤗 or other emoji. It’s quite 👍 for informal messages. Just remember that some people simply prefer words. Too many emoticons might make them go (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
  2. Cheers – one of the most common informal email endings. It doesn’t get simpler than this.
  3. Take care – usually reserved for the end of a conversation, when you know that all you meant to discuss on a particular subject has been discussed.
  4. Warm regards/Warmest/etc. – the raised temperature makes this sign-off less formal than simple “Regards”. Warm seems to make this ending more emotionally charged.
  5. WDYT? (what do you think?) – for your recipient, it’s a clear indicator that their opinion is expected. Without it, some emails are likely to be read, archived, and forgotten. The abbreviated version is more suitable for colleagues than business contacts.

Private correspondence sign-offs

This section is different from the one on the informal email endings above in that the suggestions below won’t work for business emails.

  1. Love/Hugs/Lots of love/XOXO – there are a lot more variations; all of these emotionally charged closings are nice when you’re emailing someone very close to you.
  2. Thx – expressing gratitude and appreciation is a good practice. However, to use this option, you need to know the recipient pretty well.
  3. Let’s kick some ass! – such references to a… healthy competition might inspire and boost morale. This one, however, might be considered as a bit too informal or straight offensive. Make sure to read the room before you send such a sign-off to anyone.

Professional email sign-offs

Like I’ve already mentioned, it’s not the formal or informal style which makes a sign-off suitable for professional business correspondence. Depending on the context, you can use any sign-off from the Universal, Formal, and Informal groups. That’s why I’ve saved this part for alternative ways to use the ending phrase in your email.

  1. If you want to schedule a meeting with me, click the Book Now button in my email signature – a modern email signature has evolved from a simple line with your name in it to something much useful. One of the ways in which it can be used is making scheduling meetings easy. Mentioning this fact in your sign-off shows your recipient that the button is not for show but, in fact, the preferred way to contact you.
  2. You can find more helpful articles on my blog (check the link in my signature) – your email signature can be very useful to your recipients. Pointing it out might be helpful when someone is not expecting that a signature can be a useful email element.

There are lots of different ways in which email signatures might be used. Be careful, though. If you add a complete email signature with marketing banners, social media buttons, customer satisfaction surveys and so on to each email, the actual content of the conversation might become overflowed with signatures. A good way to prevent this is to use different signatures for the first and consecutive messages.

Unique email sign-offs

“Unique email endings” are the phrases that you probably won’t see very often. I’ll list these less popular sign-offs together with the most probable explanation for why they haven’t taken over the world of email.

  1. V/R (“Very Respectfully”) – although I’ve seen someone trying to use it as “Virtual Regards”. This case is quite strange as it’s a very formal ending, made vastly informal by abbreviating it. Also, the simple fact that most people need an explanation of what it means makes it unlikely to become a go-to email sign-off.
  2. Best Wishes – while quite natural for informal letters and postcards, coming across this sign-off in an email is not as common. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it rarely fits the context.
  3. Rgds – the lazy version of Regards. Theoretically, everyone should understand what it means. Unfortunately, recipients might wonder how much time is saved by typing three letters less.
  4. Your faithfully – an extremely rare sighting in emails. In standard letters, it is the sign-off reserved for formal letters when you don’t know the recipient’s name. There’s nothing wrong with using it in an email if the context is right.
  5. To infinity and beyond! – OK, I’ve never seen this one in real life, and it would fall under the quotes category, but I’m (unsuccessfully) trying to convince myself that it could work for an occasional informal email.
  6. MfG (Mit freundlichen Grüßen) – it’s actually a very popular email ending, but not for emails written in English. What I especially like about it is that 90% of emails I’ve received in German have this exact sign-off. Still, I admit it may be a statistical anomaly because I haven’t received that many emails in this language…
  7. If I don’t make any sense, blame the autocorrect – I find it (and all the other tributes to autocorrect or fat fingers) a better alternative than “Sent from my iPhone”, but still, if you have time to be this verbose, you should also be able to scan the whole email for typos and autocorrect fails.

Sign-offs versus signatures

An email sign-off is not the same as an email signature or a disclaimer. Although they usually come together, they serve different purposes.

  1. Email sign-offs still count as the middle of an email’s body. Netiquette aside, they make the email content whole. Often, without an email closing, a message looks incomplete, and the recipient might wonder if the email wasn’t prematurely sent.
  2. Email signatures serve other important purposes, the most important ones being to identify the sender and give some information about them. But they also carry the branding value, make emails compliant with corporate identity, can be used for various marketing activities, include scheduling/meeting links, or collect customer feedback. If you want to create your own professional email signature, you can use our free email signature generator.
  3. Email disclaimers are the “legal mumbo-jumbo thingies” at the bottom of an email. While their legal effectiveness has been put in doubt on numerous occasions, there are situations in which they are required for business communication. Still, nothing can excuse an exclaimer being a two-page long essay, especially when added to a three-word long email. See some good email disclaimer examples

If you don’t want to worry about the email closing each time you compose your message, you can add one of the neutral examples to your automatic email signature, just above the signature itself.

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How to set up an HTML email signature in Apple Mail

[Update]: This article was updated on September 13, 2021.

Creating and adding your email signature to Apple Mail (or Mac Mail, whichever name you like more) should be as easy as possible. Is it, though? If you’ve ever had any problem with setting up your email signature in Apple Mail, this guide is for you. I’ll show you how to create an email signature with a free email signature generator and how to add it to the Apple’s native email client.

How to add signature to Apple Mail

How to add an HTML email signature in Apple Mail – the easy way

[UPDATE]: We’ve updated our free email signature generator with a dedicated option for Apple Mail. There’s no longer any need to browse through the file system or paste HTML code directly into text files. You’re welcome.

To set up a professional email signature in Apple Mail, follow this short instruction:

  1. Before you begin, a word of warning. If possible, don’t use the email signature generator with the Safari browser. I don’t want to point fingers, but this browser has the tendency of adding unnecessary formatting to signatures. So, unless you want to give a slight Picasso vibe with an abstract signature formatting, use another browser, or proceed at your own risk.
  2. Go to the signature generator, choose Apple Mail and follow the intuitive interface to create your own email signature. When in doubt, you can always refer to the user’s manual. When the email signature preview on the right looks great, click Apply your signature.
Apple Mail HTML signature generator
  1. Next, Copy your signature to the clipboard.
Copy Apple Mail HTML signature
  1. Start Apple Mail.
Open Mail App
  1. Then, go to Mail > Preferences > Signatures.
Mail App Preferences
  1. Before you proceed with anything else, switch from All signatures to your email account (1), add a new email signature with the + button (2) and uncheck the Always match my default message font option (3). If you don’t do it, the signature probably won’t turn out right. Next, paste the signature you have copied earlier (4) and (optionally) select it as the default one (5). Note that the signature won’t look right in the Apple Mail’s editor at this point – don’t worry about that.
Apple Mail Signatures Settings
  1. When you compose a new email, the signature should be there with all the formatting and images displayed correctly (even if they were missing in the signature editor).
Apple Mail signature standard mode

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Now you have a professional email signature in your Apple Mail client. But what if you want everyone in your company to get a similar signature? You could rinse and repeat the whole procedure for everyone, but it might take you ages to complete such a task. Especially, if some users use more than one email client. That’s why I saved the best method for last.


Organization-wide email signature management (the easiest way)

If your company uses Microsoft 365 or Exchange Server as the email platform, you can manage email signatures for everyone, the smart way. No matter what email clients are used, no matter how many users there are, you can deploy signatures to everyone in a matter of minutes. Whether it’s Apple Mail, Outlook for iOS, or any other client used on any other device, email signature management tools let you provide instant updates to the signatures in your company.

  • CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 – the #1 email signature solution for Microsoft 365 tenants. With this flexible web-based email signature service, you can manage your Microsoft 365 signatures easily from any device. It can be integrated with web analytics tools, CSAT survey tools and meeting scheduling solutions, and it is the first among competition to use the newest technologies to help you manage your branding effectively.
  • CodeTwo Exchange Rules – the best signature solution if you use Exchange Server. It lets you change a simple email signature into an effective marketing channel.
    And if you want to do much more than just manage email signatures, it includes a Pro variant which gives you full control over your mail flow.

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