Designing an email signature yourself – jay or nay

There are several important factors that need to be considered when designing an email signature.

If you know HTML and are familiar with inline CSS, by all means, you should design the email signature yourself. Keep in mind, Outlook or Word are not the right programs to create email signatures. Another important point to consider: Email signatures render differently for different email service provider and need to be thoroughly tested before launch.

Inline CSS adds the style information to the specific line of HTML code. The appropriate tool to create email signatures is Dreamweaver which is part of the Adobe Creative Suite. Don’t shorten URLs with TinyURLs or other tools. This often causes emails to end up in spam.

If you design your email signature in HTML make sure you use inline CSS and not some external style sheet. Instead of working with div tags work with transparent table cells. Additional problems with rendering occur if you use bullet points or animations. Having all the information of your email signature nicely tucked into table cells you won’t suddenly see the logo on the very right-hand side of the signature.

The mobile age and the use of smart phones and Ipads dictate the new width of email signatures. Wide email signatures will not render well either in previews. Email signatures should be designed to be not more than 600px to 650px wide.

If you have a choice between png, gif and jpeg use jpeg rather. Make sure to add the “nosend tag” to images to avoid them being sent as attachments. Another helpful piece of advice is to minimise the number of images used. Image dimensions should be set “in line”. Especially Outlook 2007 is known to render images in unpredictable ways. Don’t forget alt tags in your images. If images don’t render for whatever reason your recipients at least know that there should be an image and not a black hole. Alt tags should be calls to action, e.g. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Make sure your email signature looks professional. Use as little text as possible. You don’t want the signature to overpower your email.

Have a look at the legal requirements for your email signature. Look into what laws apply to you and what’s needed to comply with them. If you are a dentist for instance or in the medical field you have to add:

  • Name of profession
  • Registered category
  • Registered qualification
  • Registration number

Make sure you use the same email signature template across the entire company. Employees tend to make up their own email signature templates, thereby using pixelated or awkwardly stretched logos. I have seen cases where sales staff put a picture of themselves into the signature, which shows them rock star style with sun glasses and leather jacket. Make sure every staff members email signature matches a professional, approved format.

A professional email signature is just like your business card or your website a tool to create credibility with your clients and is therefore worth having. Please Contact us for professional email signature design.