Full disclosure – some of this post is opinion; my opinion. That opinion has been fashioned by over 40 years of IT experience and using email way back when most of you were trying to change the paper in your fax machine.
What’s the point of an email signature?
- It presents a professional corporate image.
- You’re passing on your contact information
- Maybe you’re also providing pertinent relevant information
- Probably supplying credentials, certifications or mentioning partnerships that promote your brand.
Firstly, some rants.
Things I don’t like and think create a bad impression, cause issues or are just plain annoying. Again… my opinion, but please do email me if you have some point to make that I might appreciate.
Don’t include your full signature on every single email. I mean… how many times do I need to see your company logo, contact information and the other stuff on an email. If the conversation goes back and forth a few times, it’s easy to see an email where 70% of the content is repeated signatures, and there’s no wonder the conversation becomes less effective and people miss points. Use a full signature on the first email and then just something basic and concise to mark the end of each of your emails on subsequent replies. It’s easy to set this up in almost all email programs. If you’re a Lorica client and would like a knowledgebase article on how to do this on our support site please do let me know.
Apart from the annoyance how much space and bandwidth over the global email system is being taken up by the same corporate logo billions of times? Signatures, other than a name, are probably a waste of time for internal communications unless your company has more than 200 employees!
“This email is for the intended recipient and if you receive it in error you must immediately delete it and expose yourself to a mind eraser pen from Men in Black so you forget you even received it”……yeah right!
If you send an email to the wrong recipient then it’s your job to politely contact them, apologise and ask them to delete it. What right have you to demand this on every email you send, whether to the correct or the wrong recipient?
Disclaimers! Are they even legal and enforceable? Does anyone even read them? I’ve not checked either, but my suspicion is “no” to both. Having said that, I have a disclaimer as a web page and just link to it on my email signature with a single word. Just covering my ass with as low a profile as I can manage.
Adverts are OK-ish. If they’re small and inoffensive and just once per email. Even better if they change and are relevant.
Profile pictures are good. I’ve avoided one for years until I was sufficiently wrinkly and haggard that people would feel sorry for me. The nature of our business means we don’t see our clients very often so now I’ve added a profile picture to crawl back a little of the personal touch. Entirely optional but I do think it’s nice to put a face to a conversation.
You also need to make sure the appearance is good. It’s common for many programs, including email, to use a dark mode or custom colour scheme so you need to make sure your text and images looks OK on many systems. Layout is important and maintaining a corporate standard too. It may be that it’s something you need to farm out to a graphic designer.
What are your options for signatures?
Free and easy means using the in-built signature option on your email program.
The downside is you can’t enforce a corporate standard, ensure everyone has the correct information and it only applies to the machine, account and profile you set it up on.
Free, coming soon and the next option.
Microsoft will soon be introducing ( Microsoft 365 roadmap item 60371 ) cloud options so you can set a signature in Outlook and have it apply to whatever device you’re using. Good stuff eh?
Bells and Whistles option is to use a third party signature option.
This can be cloud based and we recommend Exclaimer. It can pull contact information from the user’s profile in Office 365 so can be accurately and quickly deployed to hundreds of users, can be changed easily across the board and can be tailored for different groups, departments and users.