7 Ways to Avoid an Embarrassing Email Signature Design

email signature design
5 Minute Read

Email is the preferred method of communication to 74% of all adults that are online. When communicating with clients, prospects, partners or any business professionals, it’s important to leave a strong lasting impression, especially through email. Not only are emails easily accessible to everyone at any time, but it is a direct medium of communication that makes a lasting impression with your Clients. Plus, once your email has been sent, it’s in cyberspace forever and can be repeatedly reopened by the receiver.

While thorough content-editing is critical before launch, one of the most important aspects of your email is actually right at the end: your email signature design.

With that being said… yes, you need one!

Unfortunately, many individuals and companies are unaware that their email signature design is not only poorly done, but that it’s also acting as a huge turn off for prospective customers and partners.

A poor email signature design suggests a lack of professionalism and how carelessly one values their own brand identity, and therefore translates into how poorly a customer would perceive the work that is expected to be done for them. Similarly, a potential business partner could be just as easily turned off by how unsightly your email signature design is.

email signature design

Consider these top ways to avoid an embarrassing email signature design to ensure that you have one that is up to par with your accompanying business professionals. Although it may seem like a minor detail, it will make all the difference. Plus, remember that we are always here for you to design your email signature if you need assistance, and help you effectively preserve your brand and reputation.

1. Stick to 3-4 Lines of Text

It may feel natural to include as much information as possible in your signature, but that is absolutely not the right move. A bloated email signature will be easily glazed over. Generally, all that is needed is a line for your name, a line for your company and title, and then an additional line for your phone number. It is in your best interest to skip the overthinking. Don’t over think too much and end up adding unnecessary information to your signature. If your email signature becomes filled with excessive text, then it will be much more likely to be disregarded by the person receiving your email.

email signature design

2. Include an Image in Your Email Signature Design

In order to keep your email signature fresh and professional, make sure to include an image or logo within your information. Including your Company’s logo or a photo of yourself alongside your signature text may attract more people to respond to your email. This addition can often refine the look of your entire email and give your recipient a complete brand experience in opening your message altogether. An email signature design that includes a clean headshot also adds a sense of personability, especially to potential prospects who are just opening your emails for the first time.

3. Don’t Reiterate Your Email Address 

Yep! We’ve all seen it. It’s redundant, and it’s truly a waste of space in your email. Nearly all platforms include a feature that automatically displays the sender’s email address on hover, if not already visible. Plus, when you select ‘reply’ it automatically inputs the email address into the ‘To’ field. Instead of frivolously restating your own email, use this space for more vital information such as links that would be otherwise difficult for the receiver to know or find out about.

The Good:
email signature design

Google Images 

4. Personalize Your Signature (if possible)

Although you should include a link to your website in your email signature, or some sort of external link, it’s important not to overdo the quantity of included links. Some email signatures incorporate social media links into the design, which may look beautiful when designed tastefully, but avoid adding huge icons or clickable words that could potentially tarnish your entire email. Stick with a maximum of one or two links to prevent the receiver from being too overwhelmed.

CCG Pro Tip: Don’t forget that your signature must be adaptable for both desktop and mobile devices. 

5. Insert a Call to Action

If it’s possible and your signature isn’t extending out too wide, your email signature could use a Call to Action, or CTA. A great way to incorporate a Call to Action is by including a short and sweet blurb that links to a fresh blog post or a specific landing page for increased traffic. If you only have one link in the email, an extra Call to Action shouldn’t be a problem and may even position you as more credible if you link a blog post that adds value like this one!

The Bad:
email signature design

Google Images


6. Be Authentic

You may be erasing the “Sent from my iPhone” text, but it’s actually important to keep it included. Many times an email sent through your phone may have botched your formatting or caused a multitude of other issues. Mentioning this at the end of your email will avoid any confusion or misinterpretations that may occur. Also, mention if you are using Voice text. This way any misspellings or voice-to-text errors will be excused and will make you seem more authentic and “real”, especially if you are in the early stages of working with someone for the first time.

7. Ensure Everything is Aligned

The least forgivable mistake you can make is including an email signature design with a footer that exceeds the width of the actual email. Be sure to limit how wide you make the footer. Many times its important to include copyright or a short disclaimer, but avoid creating a large extension of your email signature. Eventually, they will end up stacked within the footer of your emails which is a surefire way to cause a huge mess, especially when digging through older threads to retrieve important information.

  1. Whittenberger, Rebecca. “Top Communication Tools for Business: 12 Email Statistics.” The Corporate Blog by Ving!, blog.vingapp.com/corporate/top-communication-tools-business-12-email-statistics/.

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My team and I at Costello Creative Group have been helping businesses solve communication challenges since 2012. Prior to starting my firm, I spent eight years gaining powerful insights as an Art Director supporting global Marketing & Account teams for one of the largest Flavor & Fragrance organizations in the world. CCG’s focus in the F&F sector came naturally, but we continue to work cross-industry to maintain our diversity in both our thinking and creative approach. We partner long-term with clients to support them with everything from ad campaigns, digital marketing, branding and visual identity initiatives, to sales collateral, packaging, sales kits, and trade show materials.

email signature design

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