HelgaWritten by HelgaMay 17, 2018

5 Most Popular Ways to Create an Email Signature

1. Use an email signature generator
2. Create an HTML email signature
3. Design your email signature in Photoshop
4. Create an email signature in a text editor. Never do this!
5. Use Fiverr

In business, details matter. To be more precise, in a successful business. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs focus only on global challenges, missing out on subtle yet significant instruments of influence on a target audience such as an email signature.

A well-designed email footer helps set a business-like tone and creates loyalty and trust for the sender. We have already discussed the best practices for designing a professional email signature. We will therefore not elaborate on this topic further but will instead tell you what not to do when creating an impactful signature for your online letters.

Email signature as a vital part of brand identity

 

Branded email signature with social icons

Did you know that one of the biggest mistakes on signatures is inconsistency across the organization because each employee used their own templates and tools?

By creating a consistent and correctly branded email signature for each member of your team, you build brand recognition among your company's contacts. That is why you should use the same or similar template across your company to ensure that every signature matches the style and format you've approved.

How to create a company email signature

The email signature creation process is not that simple as you might think. To ensure the design is consistent across the whole organization and the HTML signature is displayed correctly in the most popular email clients, you will have to follow the steps below.

  • Design development

Some believe that they can easily create it in Photoshop or directly in their email program. Others prefer using Microsoft Word or Google Docs, then copy it from there, and voila, the email signature is ready to go. Nope, it doesn't work like that.

An email signature reflects your brand identity, and you should think carefully about what colors, layout, or marketing elements you are going to incorporate into your digital business card. The help of a professional designer or an email signature software is essential at this stage.

  • Coding

If you know HTML or have a team member who has a good command of it, go to the coding.

  • Testing

Once you have decided to create it yourself, be prepared to do a lot of testing. Not to annoy your customers with an improperly displayed email footer, you need to know how it'll look on various devices and email clients like Outlook, Apple Mail, or Gmail.

  • Distribution across all team members

As we mentioned before, a well-branded email footer is a tiny yet powerful detail that promotes your business with every message sent by your employees. Consequently, when the email signature layout is ready, and the testing is completed, you will have to distribute the sign-offs to every department and team member.

To automate the distribution process, some email signature management companies provide you with a central management feature for all signatures and users in your organization.

  • Installation control

You are lucky if you have a small team and employees cooperative in adopting their email signatures. But what if there are dozens or hundreds of mailboxes in the company? How do you control if each of your employees has installed the signature? No worries, some email signature services can even do that for you. From the dashboard, an administrator can see what signatures have been installed and what haven't.

Below you will find the five best ways to create an email signature. Pay attention to the pros and cons of each method, and choose the most suitable option.

1. Use an email signature generator

Email signature central management feature in Newoldstamp

Nowadays, there are various online email signature creators that can make a signature for you, your business, and every member of your team in an effortless way. 

Pros

  • Can be free or almost free

You can create a simple footer for electronic letters for free. Advanced premium features are available in the paid version.

  • You can create an email signature yourself

No coding or graphic design skills required. All you need to do is sign up for a new account, input your personal data, and upload images to the website.

  • Email signature is compatible with all email clients

If you are using Gmail, you may be looking for a reliable Gmail signature generator. Still, the good news is that there are a plethora of tools that will let you make a signature you can use with various email service providers.

  • Mobile-friendly email signature

A good email HTML signature generator creates interactive email signatures that are correctly displayed on different mobile devices.

  • Interactive email signatures

If you prefer to design a signature on your own, sometimes it's not easy to make all the links in your signature active. To motivate the recipient to view your website, Facebook page, or online store, you should insert clickable links to your social media profiles and use promotional banners with effective CTAs

  • Easy to update and manage

Some email signature generators have central management to control and update your and your team's signatures.

  • Doesn't cause spam issues

Poorly formatted HTML may be a cause of the letter blocking or filtering. To minimize the chances of your email and your HTML email signature being sent to a spam folder, use signatures coded using the best HTML practices.

  • Allows to use interactive email signatures as a marketing channel

A well-designed professional signature is an efficient marketing channel. With its help, you can generate more traffic to your website, notify your contacts about your product, events, activities, and updates and encourage the recipient to connect with you and your brand.

According to our latest research, 62% of businesses use their clickable email signatures for marketing regularly or occasionally. You can find more information on how other professionals implement email sign-offs into their marketing strategies by downloading the State of Business Email Marketing report.

Create professional email signature with Newoldstamp

Cons

  • You are limited with templates

Although you can be offered a wide selection of professional ready-to-use templates to choose from, you may still not like them or want something specially designed for you.

  • To use advanced features, you have to sign up for a subscription

You have to pay for premium features.

2. Create an HTML email signature

Email signature HTML code

When it comes to creating the HTML email signature, you should consider the pros and cons, which will help you make up your mind. Let's start with the pros.

Pros

  • Full control over your signature template

If you or your developer have a good command of HTML, you have no limits and can implement any idea.

  • Your signature can be edited at any time

Often, email signature services offer various subscription plans allowing to create one, two, ten, and more signatures during a year. But if you want to modify your signature at any time for free, you should use HTML. Once you created your footer for email, you won't have to pay anyone but will be able to edit it at any time. However, bear in mind that you will need to go through a somewhat large piece of code every time you want to change even a small bit of your signature, which brings us to the disadvantages of using HTML.

Cons

  • You need to learn HTML

Learning something new is always good, but sometimes you don't have enough time. Moreover, you may need something very urgently.

  • Hire a developer

So if you’re a busy individual and have no time to learn HTML or improve your coding skills, you need to start looking for people capable of doing your project. In case you have no previous experience in hiring a web developer, it may also be a very time-consuming task to find a knowledgeable one.

  • Spend time on research

While one recipient may see your signature as the way you designed it, another one may receive it as a plain text message or just all messed up. Why? You should understand that different email clients have different tech requirements for signatures.

  • Spend time on testing

Bear in mind that you will need to test your signature in all email clients and how it will look after being sent.

  • Preview issues at different devices

It's hard to imagine our life without smartphones. That is why we can assume that someone may be reading our emails using a smartphone or tablet device. By the way, more than half of all mobile phones in the United States are now smartphones. Many business people prefer using mobile for their business correspondence, so it is in your best interest to ensure that your email signature displays correctly on all types of devices.

3. Design your email signature in Photoshop

Email signature created in Photoshop
There are many tutorials on the web on how to create a professional email signature in Photoshop. But are those worth trying? Let's find out!

Pros

  • The sky's the limit to your creativity

If you're a Photoshop guru, this option is the very first choice for you. A wide range of image-editing functions allows you to get not just a signature, a work of art! But don't overdo it, all right?

  • Full control over your signature template

You can customize your email footer's contact text, labels, icons, fonts colors and styles, margin widths, images, banner, and more.

  • Your signature can be edited at any time

Just as with HTML discussed above, you won't have to pay again and again every time you want to change anything.

Cons

  • Learn Photoshop or hire a designer

For non-Photoshop people among us, creating an email signature in this editor can be quite hard. You have two options: you either need to improve your graphic design skills or hire a pro who can do the work for you.

  • Problems with signature visibility in email

When you create your signature in Photoshop, remember that the image can go to attachments and won't be displayed automatically. To see your signature, the recipient must click a "download images" button. Also, you risk that some recipients won't be able to see it at all because they have disabled images in their email client.

  • Your email signature won't be interactive

But even if they haven't, they still won’t be able to click on your links, social icons, banner, call to action. Now imagine your customer clicking your Facebook page link or expecting to subscribe to your monthly newsletter. Instead of getting what they want, they are taken to the place where you located the signature because it is just a picture with only one clickable area. You'd be frustrated too, wouldn't you?

  • Code it to make elements clickable

As you can see, you need to know a lot about the details (including HTML) to get it to work. Also, keep in mind that some mail software is not particularly good at interpreting HTML.

  • Long time for uploading in email

Sometimes images are taking an insanely long time to upload.

  • Spam issues

Your message may never arrive if your signature is just an image because it can be caught as spam.

4. Create an email signature in a text editor. Never do this!

Email signature created in Microsoft Word

Another popular way of designing a professional signature for emails is by using a Microsoft Word template. You probably heard of Word Rendering Engine by Microsoft for creating the HTML code. The produced code looks the same across almost all Microsoft products like Outlook, Word, and Excel.

For instance, if you copy a table from MS Word and paste it directly into a message in Outlook, it will be appropriately displayed in most versions of Outlook. Although this method is free, some specific things will go wrong if you choose to follow this approach.

The issues include:

  • Problems with formatting

Because other email clients like Gmail, Thunderbird, or Apple Mail can't read the "HTML code" produced by the Word Rendering Engine, the recipients using these email applications will see extra spacing, gaps, and wrong fonts in your email signature.

  • Problems with visibility in email clients

Besides, the beautifully formatted template that you created in Word will most likely look okay in Outlook and terrible and unformatted in all other major email clients. Your signature may even be somehow not available to the recipient.

  • Problems with images

Your logo and other images can go to attachments.

  • Signatures are not mobile-friendly

If you have insufficient knowledge of HTML, never use Microsoft Word to draw your template. The email signature will most likely look awful on mobile devices.

5. Use Fiverr

Email signature creation service in Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelance platform for people who want to sell or buy services starting from five bucks. There is a variety of categories available on Fiverr to choose from. The most popular are graphic design, web development, copywriting and translation, video creation, digital marketing, and many more.

Pros

  • Can be cheap

If you choose to create an email signature using Fiverr, you can find someone who will do that for you at a very cheap rate.

  • Can be lucky to have a custom email signature template

Besides, you can find a person who will be able to bring all your ideas to life rather than take a ready-to-use template.

  • Save your time

Since you don't need to learn HTML and Photoshop, you'll save a lot of time to focus on more important things on your plate.

Cons

  • Your vendor can be not reliable

Although you can see the ratings of freelancers who provide services, you can never be sure that you'll be 100% satisfied with the result, the freelancer’s way of working, and adherence to deadlines.

  • The vendor has control over your email signature

Keep in mind that each time you'll want to correct your email signature (e.g., change any design details), you'll need to contact your vendor for updates.

  • Your vendor can use an email signature generator

Why not take it out for a spin?

Troubleshooting. Why your email signatures corrupt

You have just installed your brand new virtual business card and sent your first email. Now you may face various issues. So let’s take a closer look at some of them.

  • Signature corrupts after being forwarded

Unfortunately, it's impossible to control what email signatures look like after the recipient replies to your emails. You need to understand that the user may have settings to reply only in plain text.

  • Pictures don’t show up in my email signature

You can either see a blank square with a red "X" or your images can go to attachments. This is probably happening because you copied and pasted the image into your email signature. To resolve this issue, host the pictures you will be using in your email signature online.

For this purpose, you can use your web server or image hosting sites like Imgur, Tinypic, and Photobucket. However, be aware that some email clients can automatically block any externally hosted pictures for security reasons.

  • Email signature doesn't look good on my phone

To create a signature that will look good on mobile devices, remember that the phone screen is usually much smaller, and the space is pretty limited. Therefore, the objects must be larger, while the number of them smaller.

Because a typical smartphone screen is vertical, be sure to align your email signature elements vertically too. You should also remember that social icons must be big enough to be clickable. We usually recommend limiting their number to three.

  • Email Signature appears in an attachment

First of all, make sure your signature isn't a single image.

Conclusion

Email signature marketing plays a vital role in your brand's success. Also, a carefully composed and professional signature can distinguish your business from the rest. While it may be easy to create it yourself, it may be quite hard to get the email signature to display fine across various email clients.

Because you're dealing with a signature, not a document, and not an image, you shouldn’t use Microsoft Word or Photoshop. Our best recommendation would be to use email signature generators that can offer various templates, created by professional designers, compatibility with almost any email client, and good technical support.

Helga

Helga is a growth marketer with 7+ years of experience. Since 2015 Helga has switched to SaaS market. Prior to joining NEWODLSTAMP she successfully cooperated with several SaaS companies that provide top-notch solutions for marketers.

Go to Helga’s Profile

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