It’s safe to say that ending an email with “Sent from my iPhone” is not really the best way to finish off a business or professional message.
Also not great to include at the end of an email:
- “Text me if you want to talk to me.”
- “Why does anybody even email anymore?”
- “Typed up and sent while driving.”
Not only does it give the impression that the sender of that particular email might not be very tech-savvy, it completely removes the potential for further engagement through email.
To be frank, I’m not going to be too keen on doing any sort of professional communication with someone who wants to end their email with something unnecessarily sarcastic or improper. Save that sort of thing for a personal email message.
Which isn’t to say that fun sarcasm can’t be appreciated, but there’s a fine line to walk between clever and eye-rolling.
These days, there’s no need for an email signature that doesn’t look stylish, provides extra information, and lets the person you’re emailing with know they’re talking to someone who cares about what they’re doing. It’s not like email is some brand new thing that nobody’s figured out yet. No, we’ve got it down.
In fact, creating a professional and capable email signature is a process that’s about as simple as it gets.
- Attain an understanding of what makes a professional email signature.
- Create a pretty dang snazzy signature using a great free tool.
- Learn how to put this new signature into your email service of choice.
What should your email signature include?
I find that what your email signature should include is often up to your personal style and preference. Sometimes the look and content of your email signature isn’t up you and is instead decided on by, perhaps, the I.T. department of your workplace. If that’s the case, then this post may not benefit you. However, if your email signature is up to you to decide, then let’s get into it!
Depending on your needs, you may find that something as simple as some plain text with your name and contact information is all your emails should have. In that case something like this could work well for you:
Simple. Elegant. Straight to the point. You’re a business person who’s doing some serious work and you don’t have time for any of the unnecessary frills that other email signatures might have.
As you can see, the above signature is covering only the absolute essentials. You’ve got your name so people know what to call you, there’s your website so they can check out your work, and you’ve included a phone number in case they have an urgent need to talk with you.
I don’t usually feel like including your email address is necessary with a signature like this one. Your address is in the sender line of the email, after all. However, if your emails are frequently forwarded to other people, it may be a good idea to include it just in case a recipient down the line can’t figure out how to reply to you.
But what if you’re somebody who doesn’t mind indulging in some of those frills every once in a while? What’s a person to do then? Friend, we can get pretty cah-razy.
We’ll cover the basics:
- Your full name.
- Your website.
- Your phone number.
And then we’ll start adding some serious icing to this email cake we’re making:
- A great looking picture of yourself.
- Links to your social media profiles.
- The name of your company and your position in it.
- A call to action button.
- Heck, even your email address because why not at this point?
You can end up with something that looks as awesome as you are:
With email addresses we’re usually dealing with copy-pasted text and images or even just plain HTML text. There’s nothing weird or very complicated about an email signature, so there shouldn’t be anything that limits your creativity.
How to create the jazziest email signature you’ve ever seen
If you’re not very familiar with HTML code, then there are free services that can help you design and create an awesome looking signature that you’ll be proud to show off.
If you are familiar enough with HTML and can create your own email signature, then well, this post might not be for you. No hard feelings, of course.
My email signature creation service of choice is an incredible tool made by HubSpot. They’re a business software development company that does amazing and informative work. The tools and information they provide are top-notch.
I’m going to talk about their free email signature template generator here. This is a powerful tool that takes care of all the hard work when it comes to creating your own signature. All you have to do is choose your template, enter in your information and photos, and then copy the email signature they create into your email provider.
It’s a piece of cake.
In the first panel, we’re given six different template styles to choose from. Each of the templates include similar information. The difference between them comes down to the arrangement of the elements in the signature. For example, in the first template, your picture is aligned all the way to left and the text is on the right, while in the fifth template those positions are reversed.
I’m a fan of the first template — it feels cleaner to me — but the choice here is up to you.
In the second panel, you’re given text fields to enter in all the contact information you want to feature, including your name, phone number, email address, social links, and custom fields, among others.
Again, the information you include here is up to you. None of the fields are required, but I would recommend filling in whatever information you have or are comfortable sharing.
The third panel is all about styling the appearance of your signature. Here you’re able to specify what colors your want to use in the signature. You can also choose between several different email-safe font options to use for your text.
The fourth and last panel allows you to include images of yourself and your logo, while also throwing in a call to action button.
I love this last panel. It gives you an opportunity to transform your email signature from something that just gets the job done into a valuable tool that encourages better connections with the people you email.
Any images you want to include here will need to be done by entering in links to images that you’ve uploaded and are hosting elsewhere. This email signature generator only provides code for your email service to use. They’re not interested in storing your images. Upload your images to Dropbox or Google Drive and then just paste in the image links you want to use.
I do suggest making use of the call to action button feature. It’s always a useful tool that draws people further into your business.
When you’re finished with the four panels, click on the Create Signature button to take you to a screen where you can copy the signature itself or copy its code.
Get that signature into your email service
Just about every single email service provider includes a way to add a custom signature. As I said earlier, this isn’t new technology, so it’s a safe bet that you’ll be able to use this new signature you created.
We’re going to click the Copy Signature button and then head into the email service we use.
In Apple’s Mail app, we’re going to make sure we’re logged into our email account and then open up Mail’s Preferences. We can do this easily by pressing Command+Comma.
In the pop-up that appears, click on the Signatures tab.
At the bottom of the middle column, click the + icon to create a new signature that the Mail app can use.
Paste in the signature we copied from HubSpot into the far right column of the Preferences pop-up and then close the window to save the signature.
In Gmail, make sure you’re logged into the account you want to add this signature to. Click on the settings “cog” icon and select Settings to open up Gmail’s settings.
Scroll down the page until you see the email signature section.
Paste the signature we copied from HubSpot into the text box.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Save button.
Make sure you’re logged into the account you want to add this new email signature to. Select New Email in the Home tab.
Click the Message tab.
In the Include group section, select Signature -> Signatures.
In the Choose Default Signature section, make sure that you’ve got the email account you want to add the signature to selected from the dropdown menu.
In the Select Signature to Edit section, click the New button and name this signature.
Paste the signature we copied from HubSpot into this area and click OK.
Log into your Yahoo! Mail account and select Settings -> More Settings.
In the sidebar on the left side of the screen, select Writing email and then find the “Signature” header.
If there are multiple accounts to choose from, click on the toggle for the account you want to add this new signature to.
Paste the signature we copied from HubSpot into the text box to save it.
Email may not be the new hotness anymore. Some may say it never was. However, we can still transform the way we use it into a more enjoyable and useful experience for everyone involved.
With just a few simple steps we’ve created a pretty awesome new email signature for ourselves. Now you’re going to be sending messages that’ll leave everyone else wondering, “How the heck did they do that? How can I get myself one of those cool email signatures?”
And friend, that’s a pretty cool place to be.
Sent from my heart, cats.