[Update]: This blog post was first published on July 7, 2016. It’s been updated to reflect the current steps required for a proper configuration in the Exchange admin center.
In this article, you can find out how to set up your own server-level automatic email signature or disclaimer in Office 365. Like most of today’s email signature solutions, it supports HTML content such as tables, images and font formatting, but in contrast to e.g. Google Workspace (G Suite), it also allows for automatic personalization of individual signatures. However, there is no option to e.g. insert the signature directly below the latest reply/forward, or preview it in the user’s mailbox.
The following article describes how to set up a global email signature in Office 365. If you prefer the video format to the text-and-screenshot-based one, go to this blog post instead.
How to set up an email signature in Office 365
The steps below show how to set up a global email signature in the Exchange admin center (EAC).
- Sign in to the Exchange admin center using an Exchange Online administrator account.
- Go to Mail flow > Rules. Click Add a rule and select Apply disclaimers.
Note: When you select the Apply disclaimers action (instead of Create a new rule), the new rule creation wizard will open with the attributes already preselected.
- Type the name of your rule and configure the settings according to your needs.
- In the Apply this rule if section, select the conditions that will trigger the rule. You can find the list of available conditions in this Microsoft’s article.
- In the Do the following section, the Apply a disclaimer to the message > append a disclaimer action should already be selected. If it is not, use the dropdown menu to select it (you also have the option to prepend the disclaimer).
- Now, you need to insert your signature into the Office 365 editor. The signature can be either plain text or HTML code. To add your signature, click the Enter text link and add the text or HTML code of your organization-wide email signature in the specify disclaimer text pane.
- Next, select the preferred fallback action, which will be executed in case of problems with inserting the signature. You can select Wrap (forward the original message as attachment and stamp the forward), Ignore (send the message without the signature) or Reject (don’t send the message).
Tip: You don’t have to be an HTML expert to create a professionally looking email signature. Feel free to use this email signature generator or download one of the templates available in our free email signature template library. Then, if needed edit it so that all the variables follow the %%PropertyName%% pattern and paste the signature HTML code into Office 365 signature editor.
- Complete the remaining steps of the rule creation wizard. You can keep the default settings or adjust them to your needs (e.g. you can set up specific exceptions to your rule). For more information on these settings and the differences in rule processing based on message type, go to this article.
- Click Finish to save the rule.
- Once created, the mail flow rule is disabled by default. Select it from the rules list and use the toggle to enable the rule.
- Send a test message to check if the signature works as expected.
That’s it! Your company-wide Office 365 email signature is ready to use.
Unfortunately, there are several important functionalities you don’t get when using the built-in Office 365 email signature solution. Those include:
- Inserting the signature directly under the latest email reply or forward.
- Displaying server-side email signatures in the users’ Sent Items folders.
- Displaying email signatures as you type an email.
- Letting the users decide which email signature to use.
- Delegating rights to manage email signatures to non-admin users (for example, to Marketing).
- Embedding images in email signatures (not as attachments).
- Skipping signature lines which contain blank spaces when variables can’t be updated (e.g. because the value wasn’t provided for a user).
To overcome those limitations and gain other capabilities, I recommend using a third-party solution like CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.
You can also watch this video to learn about the product highlights: