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What makes a good email signature?

We’ve all seen good email signatures. We’ve all seen bad email signatures. But have you ever put your finger on what the difference is? Here’s our quick layman’s guide.

What makes a good email signature? image

Hi everyone! Zarte here! Bear with me a moment, I’m just autographing a signed copy of my new anthology of the best BEA Solutions blog articles... just hang on there... and...

OK. I’m with you. Obviously we’re not actually publishing an anthology of my blog articles, that would be nonsense, but it does give me a typically tenuous connection to jump into what this article is actually about – signatures. Specifically, email signatures. Even more specifically, what makes a good email signature?

First things first, it seems appropriate to mention the ending of the body of your email. A lot of people still manually sign off with something, such as “Sincerely, Dave” – but the issue with doing that is that you will, at some points, inevitably forget, and there’s something very unprofessional looking about an email without a sign-off. Granted, this prevents you from being able to choose the requisite conclusion – some people will merit a “take care”, whilst others are definitely more of a “faithfully” – however we think the compromise is to use “Regards” – it’s a personable, but also not too familiar solution to apply as a catchall, and ensure your email never gets caught short.

Following this should be your full name, and the full business name. You can also include your job title in this if you think it’s relevant to the people that you’re likely to be communicating with. This is personal choice in our view, but more likely to be of relevance to larger companies who might need a clue where to redirect a call, should an email be followed up with someone attempting to reach you by telephone.

Next should be the logo, or a condensed version of the logo of your company. This should not be excessively large, as it’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Just big enough to be clearly legible and recognisable is perfect. It gives a sense of professionalism without taking up too much room.

You should then have the company’s general contact information. This could include the main office telephone number, the website address, the fax number if fax is a relevant part of your business – in essence, anything that your customers might consistently need, but without giving individual numbers – those should be provided privately by each member of staff on a need to know basis.

If your company has a promotion running, or is trying to draw attention to a new product, or perhaps has a charity event in the works, then below the contact information is the perfect place to include this. Again, this shouldn’t be like a flyer – you want as little information to scroll through as possible, but a page wide banner without too much height is perfectly acceptable.

Now we move into the legal stuff. Ergo the THIS BIT IS IMPORTANT stuff. If you are a limited company, you must, by law, include your full registered office address, and your registered company number at the end of every email. This is not negotiable, and yet we have several customers who are both limited companies and NOT adhering to this law. If you read this article, and you’re not adhering to this because you didn’t know – you no longer have an excuse!

Different industries may have other legal requirements that they need to include – it is up to you to make sure that you’re fully following everything that you need to. One thing that we feel we should advise you against however is adding the following things. Firstly, non-legally required disclaimers. For the most part, no one will read the smallprint in your email signature. This is why you have the essential stuff only, and anything else you try and put in some sort of an eyecatching graphic. No-one is paying attention to whether or not you advise them to think about if they need to print your email before they do so. Also, you’re only going to irritate people if you force them to scroll through a load of images or a list of companies and organisations that you’re affiliated with. Keep those sorts of things for on your website if you view it as appropriate – it’s not the right thing to be taking onto the end of an email.

I hope this all gives you some food for thought when it comes to sorting out your company’s email signatures, but I can’t emphasise enough that you should at least make sure that you’re following the law. We’re not making the importance of that up.

Give us a call or send us a message if there’s anything more you’d like to discuss on the matter – or indeed if you’d like to suggest other topics for us to cover in our upcoming blog articles and videos!

Until next time,

Zarte