Do's and Don'ts for the Perfect Email Signature

Jamie Watson, Product at Boomerang

You're selling a product or service. Or perhaps you're applying for a job or internship with your dream company. You've spent time, money, and effort applying strategies to boost your email open rate. Don't blow it with a dismal email signature. The competition is fierce, and you need every possible advantage. Design a strong, effective email signature -- one that's engaging and eye-catching, yet professional and tailored for you. The following tips combined with our Boomerang Respondable tool deliver excellent results.


A great email signature includes some standard features that most professionals need to use. Start there, and then personalize yours with some optional ideas and elements. These guidelines will get you started.

Keep Your Text Lean

Start with 3 or 4 lines of text in your signature, providing the essentials:

Your Full Name
Job Title/Profession, Hyperlinked Website
Contact Number
Optional info - social media links, slogan, CTA

Email Signature

Incorporate Your Branding

Company branding is an essential part of business. Most businesses make a substantial investment in their branding. Be sure to include elements of this branding in your email signature. That may be your logo, company motto, a banner, branded company name image, or distinctive colors. As long as you don't go overboard, this will help your email's effectiveness, especially if your company brand is easily recognizable.

Add Some Color

If color is part of your branding, add it to your signature. If not, choose one or two solid colors for your text to give it some pop and visual appeal. Again you should be judicious with your use of color and keep in mind that some people are color-blind.
Email Signature with Color

Use an Image

Humans are visual creatures. Images are the easiest thing for the brain to remember. Connect with your email recipient with a photo. A clear, professional headshot can help build trust and make you more appealing.
Email Signature with Images

Link to Your Social Media Profiles

Your LinkedIn profile or other social media pages can include much more information than someone will be able to absorb from an email. Links to these pages in an email signature give the reader an easy way to access everything they need to know about you or your business.

Be Kind to Mobile

Always be mindful of the fact that most people now open emails on their phone rather than on a full desktop screen. Make sure your signature and email client display properly on most mobile phones to avoid emails being ignored simply because they do not work on the recipient's phone.

Brag a Little

If you have impressive credentials or recent awards that are relevant to your business needs or job seeking, include a few words about them. This lets the reader know that you are serious and accomplished before they look at any other documents or web pages related to you.

Create an Engaging CTA

A call to action is an effective way to close any document. It compels the reader to perform in some way that will help you achieve better results. A CTA should clearly indicate what you expect the reader to do next and provide a link to the appropriate destination.

Try a Signature Generator

If you're a little design challenged like me, a number of apps will make the process of creating an email signature easier. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. WiseStamp works for SMBs, freelancers, and other professionals.
  2. newoldstamp provides several templates and lets you add social media icons and a photo.
  3. Hubspot's Email Signature Generator works with many popular email providers - like Gmail, Apple Mail, and Yahoo.
  4. designhill is a popular choice that helps with creative options that sell.

What not do with your email signature (if you want to appear professional)

Don't ruin an engaging email signature with any of the following no-no's.

Don't Include Everything

You've probably seen those long, unwieldy email signatures. These can run 10 or more lines and add unnecessary information. They can come off as annoying or desperate cries for attention.

Don't Over-Design

More is not better here. And a little branding goes a long way. For example, don't use both a photo and your logo. Moreover, while color is good, don't add more than two.

Don't Use an Image in Place of Text

The person receiving your email may have a block image default setting. That means they'll never see your signature if you replace it with an image. However, if you feel you must -- include image alt text.

Don't Include Your Email Address

This is redundant and a waste of space. If they're reading your email, they have your address. Adding it to your signature will extend your lines of text and create other problems.

Email Signatures for Job Hunters

Are you trying to impress a potential new employer? Your email signature may need a few tweaks from the standard Do's and Don'ts for professionals and company signatures.

Certainly, incorporate the basics:

  1. Don't go over 3 to 4 lines of text
  2. Include your full name and phone number
  3. Add your photo
  4. Include your social media profiles
  5. Close with a CTA

Be sure to include relevant links and information to demonstrate your skills:

  • Add links to your LinkedIn profile. If your using Twitter professionally, link that too.
  • Remain professional - don't include inspirational quotes or images of your cute cat.
  • Be sure your photo isn't too large. It may cause slow loading, which frustrates the recipient. That's if they ever see it - a large file size may be relegated to their spam folder.
  • Create a "marketing" tagline to sell yourself. You're the product. Give them a reason to buy!

  • Email Signature for Job Hunter

Using the best email signature increases your chances of getting a favorable response by a bit. But making just a few simple tweaks to your email can increase your odds of getting a response by over 40% - try Respondable for free to find out how!

Using the best email signature increases your chances of getting a favorable response by a bit. But making just a few simple tweaks to your email can increase your odds of getting a response by over 40% - try Respondable for free to find out how!