The top 10 tips for email signature branding
Do your business cards, product packaging, and social platforms all conform to your brand guidelines? Of course they do. You wouldn’t want something as important as your branding to be left to chance.
Yet in some organizations, corporate emails aren’t treated with the same level of branding. Corporate email signature branding is sometimes left in the hands of employees.
But the truth is, old, bad quality or inconsistent branding can damage your brand reputation and make you look amateurish.
But how do you apply the same care to your email signature as you do with every other aspect of your corporate branding?
Check out our Top 10 tips for email signature branding to create a branded signature that’ll impress your email recipients.
1. Do treat emails like all other forms of corporate communications
Professional email signature branding is designed to reflect a company’s ethos and credibility. When a signature is designed well, it promotes your brand in a positive way.
We recommend going beyond using one uniform email signature template and varying your branding according to the sender’s department. In other words, give customer services one signature and the sales team another.
2. Don't let everyone design their own email signature
Create an email signature policy so everyone uses the same email signature branding. Otherwise, you risk end users presenting incorrect contact information, using their own personal branding, or doing reputational damage to your organization.
If in doubt, use a dedicated email signature management solution so users can’t modify the design. You’ll then be assured that all employees will always have the right email signature branding.
3. Do use brand guidelines to inform your signature design
Any email that reaches someone who isn’t part of your company gives an immediate representation of what you stand for. The quality of your email signature branding plays a large part of this. A bad design will reflect badly on your organization.
Having a branded email signature accompanied by your company logo and contact information makes you look legitimate and helps to build brand recognition among your contacts.
4. Don't use custom fonts
You should always choose a font that closely matches the message body of your emails. If your organization uses Verdana, this should be the font you use in your signature.
Choose a clean font that’s easy to read such as Tahoma, Arial or Sans-Serif (no Comic-Sans!). Also, don’t make the font size bigger than 12 points to ensure easier visibility.
5. Do code signatures properly
Make sure you use a web designer to code your branded email signature template in HTML. However, be aware that signatures don’t work like a web page, so should not be designed in the same way. If you run a small business and no one knows HTML, create a plain text signature instead.
Also, make sure to do lots of testing before deploying the signature companywide. An email signature that works in Gmail might not necessarily look the same in Outlook or on an iOS device.
6. Don't use a full image for your branded email signature
Unless you’re using email signature software, don’t design your signatures as a full image. A branded email signature design like this can cause messages to get marked as spam due to the image-to-text ratio being too low. It’ll also cause you numerous problems when you need to update the template later.
Images also increase the file size of an email, which increases the time it takes for a recipient to open your messages. This could cause complications if some of them have slow internet connections.
7. Do embed or host any signature images
If you want to include images such as social media icons, either embed them directly into the design or host them externally. Don’t just copy and paste them directly into your template!
If you aren’t sure which method to use, consider how your recipients view the messages you send them. If a large percentage use email clients like Outlook, then use embedded images. If, however, you know that a lot of recipients view emails on mobile devices, use hosted imagery instead.
In either case, never forget to add the appropriate Alt Text for all images. This way, if a recipient is unable to view them, they’ll at least know what they represent.
8. Don't forget about mobiles
Over 50% of all emails are now opened on mobile devices. This means your branded email signature needs to be optimized for smartphones and tablets. If a recipient can’t easily put their thumb on a link in your email signature, your message might get deleted.
Also, reading speed on a mobile tends to be slower than on a computer. This means you’ll want to use a font with a point size of 11 to 14. Usability has to take precedence over design.
9. Don't include irrelevant information like quotes
Quotes should be used sparingly, and only if they're representative of your brand strategy and values.
It’s important to note that not all people’s values align with your own, so try to avoid the use of quotes.
10. Do keep your email signature branding simple
An email signature doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs to have a clean design, look as professional as possible, and be easy to read. Once you’ve got this right, you can include additional elements such as display banners for marketing campaigns and social media icons.
If all else fails, reach out to Exclaimer. We’re the market leaders in email signature software and we can help you take away the pain of email signature management. We’ve even written the official Email Signatures for Dummies guide.
If you’re looking for an easy way to design and manage professional email signatures across your entire organization, we’re here to help.