Your Email Signature: Keep it Simple

5 February 10 ,

I’ve written before about listing your website in your email signature, and I’ve recently read an excellent, very level-headed post about email signatures and what should (and shouldn’t!) be included.

A web designer named Kat Neville has published The Art And Science of the Email Signature and it’s really everything you need to know. I recommend you read her article in full, but to summarize the key points:

  • Less is more. Keep the content to the bare minimum: Name, website, phone. Optionally company name and title or position.
  • Plain text rules. Include images and styles with caution, and certainly don’t make your whole signature an image. Colors and fancy fonts are superfluous.
  • Don’t attach you vcard. If you want people to be able to download it, simply include a link instead.
  • Separation is good. Use some kind of separating characters—a line of dashes or hyphens, a few slashes, something to separate the content of your email from your signature.

When composing your email signature…

Keep the following things in mind:

  • There are a lot of different platforms for reading email, with a wide variety of capabilities. This is why it’s best to stay away from images, html, and anything too bulky.
  • Remember, some folks are probably getting several emails from you per week or even per day! So avoid attachments like vcards or images, or even loads of text.

Further recommendations

  • Check out what your email signature looks like on a Blackberry, in gmail, in a plain-text reader, etc.
  • Consider putting together several concise signatures, tailored to the different types of people you email.
  • At the bottom of the Smashing Mag article, there are links to instructions on creating signatures in various email clients, as well as further resources.

Highly recommended!

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