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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  • outdated contact info,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.

Free ebook: 5 Best Practices for Effective Email Communication

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

What to include in internal email signatures?

What to include in your intra-organizational email signature

[Update] This article was completely recycled on October 30, 2023.

Why should you care about internal email signatures? In 2023, email is still one of the most common media for internal business communication. The right email signature can make this communication more effective. In the article below, I explain what to include in an internal email signature.

As we’ve already explained in this series of articles, email signature marketing & branding have a huge impact on corporate communication. And while those principles don’t work the same way for internal emails, they do apply here, too. Below, I’ll show you the best business practices on what to include in an internal email signature.

What to include in an internal email signature

The list below shows the most important elements of an email signature meant for internal communication:

  • Employee name and surname.
  • Job title and department – let people know who is who.
  • Preferred contact method – emails are asynchronous which makes them perfect for well-thought, long-term communication. Sometimes, though, you need to notify someone ASAP. Email signature is the first place to search for such a method. It can be a phone number, Teams link, WhatsApp link, or any other contact method.

Optionally:

  • Location – if your company has several offices around the world, it might be a good idea to let the recipient know which office your email originates from.
  • Small photo – it adds a more personal touch when communicating with other employees.
  • Email address – this has been subject to some heated discussions. This article lists pros and cons of using email addresses in signatures. Long story short, yes, they can be useful.

What not to include in internal email signatures

  • Legal disclaimers – they are usually very long and completely unnecessary in internal communication. However, if you are sending classified information in your email you might have to include a short confidentiality note.
  • Multiple telephone numbers or emails – do not include more than two telephone numbers in a company email signature as this will be confusing for others.
  • Full company physical address – when it comes to intra-organizational correspondence this is unnecessary.
  • Personal social media links – an intra-organizational email signature is still a kind of business email signature and should not include this kind of content. However, it is acceptable to include a link to a personal blog with job-related articles.

For more ideas on what to include in internal email signatures, see our in-depth article on internal email signatures.

Free ebook: 5 Best Practices for Effective Email Communication

How to handle email signatures for a whole company

Deploying unified email signatures for the whole company (especially one that employs thousands of people) could be challenging, unless you use third-party signature software. Email signature management tools let you create well-thought signature templates which are automatically personalized for every employee. This ensures a unified email signature branding for everyone while saving everyone’s time and nerves.

The best email signature management tools

See also

How to add a video to your email signature

[Update]: This article was updated on May 25, 2020.

Have you ever wondered how to make your email signature more attractive? Here’s an idea – add a video! It is as easy and quick as adding a link to your social media page. It will help you boost your company’s brand identity, while simultaneously promoting the video itself. The best thing is that it can greatly increase traffic and it won’t cost you a dime! And don’t forget that you can measure how much traffic your video attracts with Google Analytics (learn how to track campaigns in email signatures).

Add a video to email signature
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