It’s 2024. We check our emails on mobiles more than we do on computers. But when you look at email signatures, it often feels like people are still in the last decade, with signatures that don’t have mobiles in mind. I’ll show you the easiest way to get a mobile-friendly email signature that looks good both on mobiles and larger screens.
What is a mobile email signature?
There are two definitions of a mobile email signature:
- Primarily, a mobile email signature is the signature added to emails you send from mobile devices.
- Alternatively, it’s a signature added to any email that is displayed on a mobile device.
In other words, if you want your email signatures to be mobile-friendly, it’s not enough to set up a signature on your mobile. You also need to remember about your recipients’ mobile devices. Let’s look at the numbers to see if you should care about that.
Mobile email usage in numbers
Let’s talk numbers. It’s not easy to come up with statistics, since there’s no standardized control over email. However, there are some sources that you can trust.
According to Litmus Email Client Market Share, Statista research, and a summary of mobile email usage statistics from emailmonday, mobile email usage is on the constant rise.
Apple Mail Privacy Protection introduced back in 2021 made it difficult to track how many people exactly use which Apple’s device, but there is some data to look at, nonetheless. Based on Litmus’ Historic Market Share Information – Apple iPhone was #1 email client when it comes to email opens. Back in 2021, approximately 42% of email opens occurred on mobiles in general. This might be an understatement, since back in 2018, research made by Adobe (Email Use 2017 – US Report) shown that up to 81% of email users prefer to read mails on mobiles.
Why are those numbers so different? For starters most research is based on tracked email campaigns. This instantly introduces selection bias, whether we like it or not. And there are ways to tamper with those statistics, Apple Mail Privacy Protection being only one of the examples.
Based on the number of the default “Sent from my iPhone” signatures still seen in 2024, for B2B emails, mobile email usage doesn’t slow down.
Think about it. For companies, it’s becoming easier and easier to set up and secure company email, even on BYOD devices. Detailed statistics depend on the industry and job role but, in general, most people do check emails on mobiles and when they do, they want to know who sent it.
For personal email, we like to be up to date, even when we’re away from home. Raise your hand if you don’t check your emails on a mobile… Well, I don’t see many raised hands.
Jokes aside, the numbers show that it’s becoming extremely important to focus on mobiles, when it comes to designing email signatures.
Mobile-first email signature design
The smart thing to do is to act on those numbers and change the habits. Instead of designing email signatures that look great on PC, but are useless for mobiles, you should think about mobile email clients first. Still, by switching your focus point, you shouldn’t assume that desktops don’t count.
Best practices for mobile email signature
There are a few design tips to keep your email signatures optimized for mobiles.
Mind the size
A perfect mobile email signature will have no more than 440px in width. Super-wide email signatures can have two consequences you might want to avoid:
- They might cause the email body to zoom out. To keep the whole marketing banner within the display range, the email body might be auto-resized, making the email difficult to read.
- The email might not fit within the viewing scope. So, if your recipients want to read the whole thing, they might need to scroll horizontally or zoom out. Both options cause a terrible reading experience.
Keep It Short and Simple.
The absolute minimum of any email signature is your name and an alternative contact method. But if you want to keep your signature professional, you need the following basics:
- Name and title
- Contact details
- Company logo
There’s a lot of optional elements that might be incredibly useful, but you won’t use them all in one design. For example:
Your business email signatures might need a disclaimer or company address for compliance reasons. There’s not much you can do about it in your first email. But you can always create a second design that is a shorter variant of your main signature template.
Mind the dark mode
Dark mode has been around for a long time. While on a PC not every email client supports it and, still, a lot of people prefer the traditional, white background, dark mode is often on by default on mobiles.
To make sure you’re fully prepared for it, always test your email signatures. Pay attention to how your colors look in dark mode – text colors might get transformed to something ugly or hard to see. Images might get white backgrounds or become completely illegible.
Although small, most mobile displays have quite a high resolution. So, to prevent your images from getting all blurry, it’s best to design images with twice the target resolution and scale them down with HTML. And remember, your widest image usually translates into the final width of your email signature design.
You might think that there are more problems than benefits when it comes to email signature images. While it might be a bit of a pain, all the professional email signatures include branding. If you’re thinking about company email signatures, a logo is a must. For personal email signatures, it’s nice to include a professional photo.
Without any graphics, signatures are likely to get overlooked – you won’t spark the WOW reaction you should be looking for. Images catch attention and make a perfect place to add links.
Email signature links are one of the most crucial elements. Social media links can increase your community engagement and make it easy to verify your business. Adding links to a well-designed marketing banner can really help with your marketing campaigns. When using links, you can always add tracking parameters to analyze your performance and run A/B tests.
Not every link will be mobile-friendly, though. Here’s a few good tips about links:
- If you add microscopic social media buttons, recipients will need to zoom to actually tap them. So, instead of adding 6 different small social icons, it’s better to add 2-3 most important and make them bigger.
- Don’t create image-only email signatures. You might be tempted to do that, to keep your design intact. Then, you might think it’s a great idea to add a link on the image, to send people, for example, to your profile card. That’s one of the worst email signature mistakes ever. Especially on mobiles. Basically, you make people click the linked image, whether they like it or not, while they are trying to scroll through the email thread.
How to set up an email signature on your phone
Well, it’s not as easy as click this and that – it depends on which OS and email client you’re using. For some email clients, like the Gmail app, you can’t even set up a well-formatted email signature. Look below for links with step-by-step set up instructions:
- How to create an HTML email signature in Outlook for iOS
- How to set up or change an Android email signature
- How to set up an iPhone email signature
How to design a perfect mobile email signature
Designing email signatures is trickier than it sounds. The underlying HTML code is different than the one used on most websites, because email clients have different ways of understanding it. So, you have four ways of creating a professional email signature that work and some that doesn’t, but people still use them:
Ways to design your email signature (that work)
- Using an HTML editor designed to work for email signatures. Like this one
- Generating your email signature. Here’s a user-friendly (and free) email signature generator
- Designing your email signature from scratch in HTML. It’s time consuming and hard, but you can base your code on a working email signature template. Here’s a library of HTML email signature designs
- Using an email signature editor built into your email client – each one is different and comes with a custom experience, but in general they usually can get the job done.
Wrong ways to design your email signature
- Creating email signatures in Microsoft Word. You wouldn’t believe how much strange invisible formatting you get when designing an email signature in a word processor. This invisible formatting usually works for Outlook for Windows, but right after an email leaves your mailbox, it usually gets mangled.
- Using graphic design tools. I mean it’s a good starting point but getting from here to a working HTML code is a long way. Automatically converting the design to HTML just doesn’t work and using an image-only email signature has a lot of downsides, especially for mobile email signatures.
Mobile-friendly email signatures for business
When you think about a company as a whole, the best possible scenario is to get mobile-friendly email signatures under each and every email an employee sends.
Doing this manually is out of the question. For more than 10 users, especially when they access emails on more than one email client, a simple email signature update takes too much time.
The thing is a company can’t afford to lose face with each email an employee sends.
Fortunately, there is a solution that makes mobile email signatures management quick and easy.
CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 lets you design mobile-friendly email signatures with ease. What’s more, with a single signature design in place, you can handle email signatures for the whole company. Each user can get a personalized mobile email signature directly into their Outlook for Android or Outlook for iOS:
The best part is that with CodeTwo Email Signatures 365, you can instantly add an email signature to every email you send. Some of its advanced features include:
- Separate signature designs for replies and forwards.
- Different signatures for different teams.
- Built-in customer satisfaction surveys.
- Email signature campaign automation.