How to have an Office 365 email signature inserted only into new emails?

How to have an Office 365 email signature inserted only into new emails?

[Update]: This blog post was first published on July 13, 2017. It’s been updated to reflect the current steps required for a proper mail flow rule setup in Exchange Online.

Do your email signatures pile up at the bottom of your conversation threads? Well, I have bad news and good news for you. The bad news is that this is the default setup for Microsoft 365 / Office 365 email signatures. The mail flow rule responsible for appending email signatures can insert them at the very top or at the very bottom of the entire email thread. The good news is that there are ways to work around this. Let’s get right into the details.

Signature inserted only into new emails

Office 365 native solution

To solve the problem natively, you need to configure a mail flow rule that adds email signatures to new messages only. Follow the steps below to see how to do it:

  1. Sign in to the Exchange admin center. Go to Mail flow > Rules. Click Add a rule and select Create a new rule.
    Create a new rule
  2. Name the rule and set the conditions that have to be met for the signature rule to be triggered.
    New rule name and conditions
  3. Next, set up an action in the Do the following section. Select Apply a disclaimer to the message > append a disclaimer.
    Append disclaimer
  4. To open the disclaimer text editor, click Enter text below the selected action. Office 365 supports the HTML format only, so to make this part easier, you can use professional signature templates from our free email signature generator or signature templates library. Once the email signature is ready, click Save.
    Disclaimer HTML code
  5. Now click the Select one link to set up a fallback action for the rule if the disclaimer can’t be inserted (e.g. if a sent message is encrypted).
  6. Next, in the Except if section, select The subject or body > subject or body matches these text patterns.
    Exception to a rule
  7. In the pane that opens, insert a copied piece of your disclaimer text. Click Add and confirm by clicking Save.
  8. Complete the remaining steps of the rule creation wizard. Review your rule settings and click Finish to create the new rule.
  9. Once created, the mail flow rule is disabled by default. Select it from the rules list and use the toggle to enable the rule.
    Enabling the mail flow rule

With this mail flow rule, only new messages in an email thread will get the signature. This is a native solution allowing you to prevent signatures from appearing at the bottom of the email conversation.

Limitations of native Office 365 email signatures

Native email signatures come with some limitations:

  • The rules are managed on the server level and can only be implemented in Office 365.
  • You won’t be able to place your signatures under the latest reply.
  • There’s no HTML signature template editor.
  • No way to remove blank spaces after empty Active Directory fields.
  • Forcing email format is not available.

Learn more about Office 365 email signature limitations

As Office 365 is unable to divide a message chain into units, all embedded signatures pile up at the bottom of an email thread instead of being added right under every response. Not only is it unaesthetic but also makes using email signatures kind of pointless. If you plan to get more control over Office 365 email signatures, then you should consider a third-party solution.

Overcoming limitations with CodeTwo Email Signatures 365

By choosing CodeTwo Email Signatures 365, you are ensuring that all of your Office 365 emails have signatures attached right under the latest reply. New emails can contain full contact information about you and your company including links, social media icons, logos and images. However, when replying to a message within the same email thread, you don’t need to use that full-detail email signature over and over again. Instead, feel free to set up a simplified version of your company email signature to keep the conversation light, yet informative.

CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 is a one-of-a-kind cloud application created to enhance your ability to manage email signatures and disclaimers in Exchange Online. To see how to add different signatures to new and subsequent emails, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to the signature management app and use the CREATE RULE button to create a new rule. Depending on your settings in the CodeTwo Admin Panel, create either a server-side or a client-side rule.
    Create new rule in the signature management app
  2. In the Senders, Recipients and Keywords steps, define conditions and exceptions for your rule. In other words, which emails should get the signature.
  3. You can schedule an activity period for the rule in the Scheduler step. If you leave the feature turned off (default setting), the rule will be active all the time.
  4. Next, in the Logic step, decide on the behavior of other rules when this particular rule is applied or not.Options for a signature rule
  5. Go to the Design step, and from the drop-down menu select the Different signature in the first email and different in subsequent emails option.
    Setting up different email signatures
  6. In the tabs First signature and Subsequent signature, create separate signatures for new messages and for next messages. Click the Edit signature button to load one of the predefined signature templates or to create your own HTML signature.
    Setting up first signature in emails
  7. In the Signature template library, you can select and deselect various categories to filter email signature templates to better suit your needs.Signature template library
  8. If you choose to create your signature from the very beginning, simply select an empty layout to work with.
  9. In the Signature template editor, you can adjust the signature to your needs. It makes designing easy so that you can create email signatures with embedded images, user photos, social media links, company logos and hyperlinks within a few clicks.
    Signature template editor
  10. To create signatures for subsequent emails, go to the Subsequent signatures tab and repeat the steps you took to create the first signature.
  11. Once your email signatures are ready, click Save & Publish to save your changes and apply the rule in your organization.
    Publishing the signature rule

You have just created two separate Office 365 signature templates for both newly created messages and for forwards/replies by using CodeTwo Email Signatures 365.

Features that follow CodeTwo Email Signatures 365

From its very first release CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 has been extremely popular among CodeTwo customers. The software was created specifically to solve all the issues with Office 365 email signatures, and make the signature rules as adaptable to your needs as possible. CodeTwo team is continuously delivering hot features, with a few mentioned below:

  • The WYSIWYG HTML template editor
    You don’t need to be an HTML expert to create advanced email signatures that work on different email clients and mobiles. CodeTwo comes with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor for you. It will automatically convert your signature into HTML, Plain Text and RTF formats, easily insert Active Directory placeholders, edit the layout of the signature, insert images, logo or Office 365 users’ photos, change colors and fonts, etc.
  • Embedded logos and images
    With CodeTwo Email Signatures 365, you will be able to add company logo and marketing banners as inline attachments.
  • Use custom Entra ID fields
    The application now supports custom Exchange Online attributes configuration. Other than Microsoft Entra ID (Azure Active Directory), you can determine conditions and email signature templates based on fields chosen by you, adding for example, HomePhone or Initials values to your signatures.
  • User photos in your email signatures
    It is now possible to add Office 365 users’ photos to email signatures by inserting the {Photo} placeholder to the signature template created in CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 template editor.
  • Display signatures in user’s Sent Items folders
    CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 is the first email signature management system for Office 365 that allows you to display email signatures in users’ Sent Items folders across different devices.

And a whole lot more. Try it out!

For more information about the program, visit the official website of CodeTwo Email Signatures 365.

4 thoughts on “How to have an Office 365 email signature inserted only into new emails?

  1. Akshat Jain

    I appreciate the attention to detail on your website. It shows that you really care about providing a great user experience.

  2. Florentino Garg

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It’s the little changes that make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!

  3. PD

    method 1 doesnt work – sig is still applied multiple times for me. Have tried multiple times, tried using the full sig as the comparison text, just part of the sig, tried saving it, closing outlook , reopening waiting etc . Still appends multiple times.
    Crazy MS doesnt fixed this basic functionality.

    1. Kamil Glaser

      Hi Phil,
      Try using “subject or body includes any of these words” and enter the fragment of a disclaimer then.


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