How To Design an Email Signature: Tips and Examples

How To Design an Email Signature: Tips and Examples

An email signature is a common feature of personal and business email. Usually found at the bottom of an email message, it serves as a personal sign-off, conveys your professionalism, and on a practical level, provides essential contact information to clients and business associates.

An email signature often includes basic information such as your name, job title, company logo, phone number, and website. It can also be an opportunity to provide important information about yourself or your services, include a call to action in marketing communications, or use a logo that connects to a brand identity. Whether you create one yourself from scratch, start with an email template, or use a free email signature generator, email signatures can have many uses. You can even save time by having a variety of email templates on hand for different scenarios, whether you’re handling an angry customer or thanking them for their patronage.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to design an email signature that is both memorable and effective.

Email signature best practices

Signatures are a common feature of email, so you need to go a step or two further than your competition if you want your email signature to stand out. Whether you use graphic design, a compelling call to action (CTA), or an animation, you want your personal or professional signature to stand out and go beyond the basic contact information.

Don’t include too much information

Say more by saying less—start with a minimalist approach with lots of soothing white space. Many people try to fit too much into their email signatures, turning them into mini-autobiographies or mini-billboards stuffed with links, quotes, Photoshop graphics, and an overload of info that can be a tad much for the recipient to take in.

To be respectful of your readers’ time and willingness to engage with your signature, only provide the essential information you’ll want to communicate in each new email. That might be your company name or logo, a clickable link to your LinkedIn profile, or a nice headshot of yourself.

Think about how you work. For example, if you don’t like phone calls but enjoy conducting business through social media, then cut the phone number and include social media icons that link to your preferred channels instead.

Turn your signature into a lead

A professional email signature can be an effective method for getting that all-important customer conversion. You might have a link to book an appointment through a Zoom meeting or highlight a special offer that when clicked, provides an attractive discount on your product or service.

You might use a handwritten signature to personalize an email, conveying to potential clients the kind of personalized service they would get from you.

Use a coherent color scheme

Color Scheme

Good email signature design will have a coherent color scheme, as well as a professional and effective layout. When choosing colors keep your palette small—as with the amount of information presented, less is always more. A simple palette creates a cohesive design.

When selecting a color for an email signature, you should bring an awareness that different colors have different associations. For example, using brown for food brands probably isn’t a good idea, since it is the least favorite choice for men and women. Colors like red (desire) and yellow (hunger) might be good ideas for a restaurant.

Other associations, as represented in a color wheel, might include blue for loyalty, orange for youth and happiness, and green for wellness and trust. Many companies, of course, choose to go with the default of black text on a white background, which provides a strong contrast. But you can also get the same kind of contrast using, say, white text on a bright green or blue background.

If you have an official company brand, remaining consistent and picking colors and design elements from your corporate identity is a good idea.

Practice good visual hierarchy

Good visual hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is a matter of arranging the different elements of your email signature to demonstrate their relative importance to one another. So the most important elements (whether it is your CTA, contact information, or graphic) should be the most prominent.

You could emphasize information in many ways, including using larger type sizes, varying colors, line dividers, catchy graphics, or buttons. If you’re not sure how to create a good “visual hierarchy,” you might consider hiring a talented freelance graphic designer to create a signature that makes a strong visual impact and conveys the best impression.

How to add email signatures

Gmail

With Gmail, you can create signatures of up to 10,000 characters, although best design practices stress simplicity and readability. You can also manage multiple signatures, so you have a choice for every email you send, or you may have different signatures assigned to different email addresses.

There are also different methods for adding a Gmail signature, depending on whether you’re using a computer or a mobile device like an Android or iPhone.

Follow these steps if you’re using a computer:

  1. Launch Gmail
  2. Select Settings and then choose See All Settings
  3. Type your signature text in the signature box. You have the option of adding an image or choosing a different text style
  4. Click Save Changes

Follow these steps for an Android device:

  1. Launch the Gmail app
  2. Tap Menu Menu
  3. Choose Settings
  4. Select the Google Account the signature will be used for
  5. Select Mobile Signature
  6. Type in your signature
  7. Select OK

For your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Gmail app
  2. Select Menu
  3. Choose Settings
  4. Select the Google Account the signature will be used for
  5. Choose Signature Settings
  6. Turn on the Mobile Signature setting
  7. Add or rework your mobile signature
  8. To save your signature, tap Back

Outlook

With Microsoft Outlook, you can create an email signature that is automatically added to all outgoing messages, or added manually to specific messages. You can only have one signature per account.

To create an email signature in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook.com or the Outlook application, choose Settings
  2. Select Mail, then Compose and Reply
  3. Type your text under Email Signature, making any formatting changes you want
  4. If you like, select “Automatically include my signature on new messages I compose
  5. To make your signature appear on forwarded and reply email, choose “Automatically include my signature on messages I forward or reply to
  6. Select Save when doneIf you have created a signature and want to add it manually to email, do the following:

If you have created a signature and want to add it manually to email, do the following:

  1. Go to your mailbox and select New Message
  2. After you type your email, select Insert Signature under More Actions
  3. Then you can Send

Apple Mail

With Apple Mail, you can create different signatures for work and personal email. Using your iCloud drive, you can have your signatures synced across all your different Mac devices, including computers, iPhones, and iPads.

To create a signature in Apple Mail, use the following steps:

  1. On your Mac device, choose Mail Preferences, then select Signatures
  2. Choose the email account for your signature
  3. If All Signatures is selected, you must move your new signature to a specific email account before using it
  4. Select the Add button
  5. Type a name for the signature, which will show up in the signature pop-up menu when you compose a message
  6. Compose your signature in the preview section (right column)
  7. Use the Mail app’s Edit or Format menus to select a different font or layout, or perform other functions, such as turning text into links
  8. If you want to incorporate an image, place it in the preview area
  9. If you desire your signature to show up in reply or forwarded email, deselect “Place signature above quoted text

To automatically add signatures to email, follow these steps:

  1. Select Mail Preferences, then Signatures
  2. Choose the email account you want
  3. The Choose Signature pop-up menu allows you to select the signature you want
  4. If an account has more than one signature, you can automatically alternate between them by selecting At Random or In Sequential Order
  5. To stop a signature from automatically being added to your email, select None under the Choose Signature pop-up menu

To manually add signatures in Apple Mail, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Signature pop-up menu in the email you’re composing
  2. Select a signature

Examples of excellent email signatures

To help you create your electronic signature masterpiece, here are five email signature design examples from inspired users (and companies) who have realized the value of this small piece of email real estate. For a broader look at the power of email marketing, check out these masterful examples of campaigns that stand out.

Simple but strong visuals

Simple but strong

This email signature, created by graphic designer and photographer Chanelle Villena, embraces several best practices.

First, it is a simple but effective presentation demonstrating a sound visual hierarchy, using a professionally photographed headshot at the top as the largest element. It then incorporates her logo with a shadow background, a list of skills, and contact info in descending levels of importance.

A personal touch

Personal touch

Email is the electronic form of old-school paper correspondence. Picking up the letter writing practice of ending your email with your actual signature helps to personalize your correspondence.

Whether you use an email signature generator, work with a scanner and HTML code, or use an online template, the process of adding a signature is usually fast and easy.

Move your recipients

Move your receipents

People like a bit of motion in their email. While you may not be able yet to include videos in your email signatures, you can add animation. This Enola, Pennsylvania, ramen restaurant whips up hunger for its fare with a simple animated GIF that shows an assortment menu items with an appetizing drizzle of sauce.

Include a clickable CTA

Clickable CTA

The email signature for a freelance content writer includes an effective CTA with a clickable button so potential clients can easily start a conversation with the supplier.

The design also shows a restrained color palette, with two shades of purple, small icons linking to the sender’s social media platforms, and only the essential contact information. The visual hierarchy and minimalist design focuses on the fact that freelance content creation related to marketing strategy is what’s on offer.

Make it responsive

Make it responsive

More and more people are consuming their online information on mobile devices with small screens, so your email signature graphics need to look good in both small and large sizes. The text must be set in the correct format so it is readable on a smaller mobile screen. Hyperlinks and icons need to be spaced well enough apart that they can be clicked easily by someone with larger fingers.

The example created by the Hubspot email signature generator fits the bill nicely, zooming in and out with clarity according to the size of screen it’s viewed on.

Get inspired with Project Catalog

To find the best qualified help for your next creative project—whether a mail signature, website design, video editing,  or something else—one of the most productive places to start is Project Catalog™.

Simply browse for the type of work you want and choose the professional you want to work with from a range of clearly defined choices. Work begins when you’ve provided your requirements and made your purchase.

A search for “email signature design” might provide choices from “Clickable HTML email signatures,” to “mobile-friendly email signatures,” as well as choices for specific email programs. For a broader selection of services, check under email marketing for projects ranging from special templates and effective campaigns to special email consulting services. You’ll find the help you need to  turn email into a vital marketing tool, stay connected with your customers, and grow your brand.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

Heading

asdassdsad
Projects related to this article:
No items found.

Author Spotlight

How To Design an Email Signature: Tips and Examples
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

Get This Article as a PDF

For easy printing, reading, and sharing.

Download PDF

Latest articles

X Icon
Hide