7 Email Signature Marketing Best Practices

It’s only natural for marketers to devote their attention to the body of the email or even perfecting the subject line when creating an email. However, your email signature matters equally. Think of it as your email epilogue. As such, it can leave a lasting impression on your audience. Not only does it offer your audience different communication options, but you can also use email signature marketing to achieve your business goals. For all those reasons, it shouldn’t be overlooked. But let’s start by explaining what a business email signature is.

What is an email signature?

An email signature, or email footer, is the final element of your email campaign. It usually includes your company’s basic details, contact information, and logo - but you could enrich it with more details like an announcement or a link to your calendar. Brands should consider it an integral part of their identity, as it helps email recipients recognize and remember your business.

Why do you need email signature marketing? 

People tend to remember the last piece of information they read. That’s why your email sign-off should make an impact. Need more reasons? Here’s why your business needs to invest in email signature marketing:

  • Low cost advertisement: With the right email signature, you reduce marketing costs while increasing lead generation by 18.8%. All you have to do is optimize it and keep sending targeted emails.
  • Higher engagement: Your email signature could prompt recipients to take specific actions. For example, you could drive traffic by including a link to your blog or increase your response rates by encouraging subscribers to give you feedback. 
  • Optimized user experience: The great thing about your email sign-off is that it eliminates the extra steps users need to take. By providing your contact information and unique selling points, you save them time from googling your business.
  • Strong brand identity: With a branded signature, you enhance your brand identity in every email you send. Also, you verify your credibility by confirming your company’s contact information or highlighting significant achievements.

How to create an effective email signature in 4 steps

Before diving into email signature best practices, let’s walk through the basic steps of creating an effective email signature:

1. Pick the right email signature management software

Most inbox service providers like Gmail or Outlook give you the option to  edit your email signature. If you want a professional email signature, though, you shouldn’t put limitations on your creativity. Instead, invest in powerful email signature software that helps you streamline your signature-creation process. You don’t have to break the bank since there are robust signature generators like MySignature you can use for free without losing on quality.

First, pick the template that best suits your objectives from the tool’s extensive library. Then, just add the elements you need to match your branding and requirements. And you have a professionally-designed email signature that you can scale across departments and employees effortlessly. 

2. Align your signature with the email design

You might build your email signature separately, but it doesn’t mean it’s a standalone item. It’s an integral part of your overall email marketing strategy. Therefore, your footer must feel and look natural within your email. If your email campaign is clear and simple, so should your email signature be. Likewise, if you want to send a bold or playful message, your signature should follow suit.

But how do you make sure your email design and signature are on the same page? (No pun intended.)

Just like an email signature generator, an email marketing platform with a robust email builder will give you control over the design.  You can use a built-in template and add, remove, or tweak email components based on your needs. Alternatively, there’s the option of creating an email template from scratch. 

In either case, you can use handy drag-and-drop editors to upload your email signature as an image and adjust it as you see fit. You can also use the preview options within the builder to ensure it renders correctly on every device.

3. Segment your audience

Chances are you already segment your audience to send personalized emails. But do you need to adjust your signature, too? Certain elements like your contact information and company details will remain the same, but you can tweak other parts of your footer to better tailor your message.

For instance, you could customize your email signature CTAs based on what would interest your readers and direct them to specific landing pages. Let’s say you sell outdoor adventure gear and you need to customize your email signature to target different audience groups. If they’re hikers, you should include a link to product pages with hiking gear like boots or backpacks. But if you want to target cyclists, you should use cycling accessories to lure them in. 

Or you might use their stage within your sales funnel to target email recipients with valuable resources. For instance, if you’re sending a welcome email, it’s a good idea to direct users to blog posts that educate them on your unique value proposition.

4. Measure the impact of your email signature

So, you’ve built your email signature, you’ve made sure it aligns with your overall email design, and you’ve adjusted it to different segments. Now it’s time to measure whether it’s effective based on your goals. To do so, you have to decide on the right benchmarks and KPIs. This decision is key to measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns since it allows you to align your email signatures with your objectives. 

As you can see in the diagram below, there are many different goals for using email signatures. Increasing brand awareness is a top priority for email signature marketing. In this scenario, you might choose to highlight your business achievements to show your credibility. But if you’re going after brand consistency and cohesive communication with your audience, including a standardized email signature with your company’s basic details should work just fine. 

source: Hubspot

7 marketing best practices for your email signature to work

To represent your brand effectively, your email signature must stand out and show your company’s true colors. Here are the best practices for supercharging your email signatures.

1. Create a well-designed email signature

The way you decide to present the information you put in your email signature is critical to its success. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Keep your design simple. Less is more with email signature design. Make it clean and neat and avoid overloading it with unnecessary text or too many visual elements.
  • Stick to a few colors in your signature palette - two or three colors work just fine. Use your brand colors to keep it consistent with your overall message.
  • Pick web-friendly fonts that match your branding. Some of the most popular web-safe fonts are: Arial, Times New Roman, or Tahoma. Don’t play with many different fonts since it will make your signature hard to read.
  • Include high-quality graphics. Opt for graphic elements with clean and simple design, with proper resolution and neutral background. 
  • Add a headshot instead of a full-body photo. Make sure you pose naturally and smile to be as friendly and warm as possible.
  • Include social media icons that match the rest of your signature. Try to include the social media platforms that are most relevant to your audience to avoid cluttering your email signature design.
  • Mind design hierarchy to direct readers’ attention to the most crucial information. To do so, put the important components at the top and design them accordingly by using bold letters or large fonts.

2. Provide only the most valuable information

Have you heard about recipients not losing too much time reading through every email? The same goes for your email signature. So, including only the most valuable information to your signature is among the most effective email marketing practices. You should resist the temptation to fill it with unnecessary elements just to add extra flair. 

You may ask yourself which are the key components of an email sign-off. These would be your first and last name, job title, company name, phone number, an active link to your website, physical address, and social media icons. Adding a professional headshot to put a face to the name is considered a great practice to engage your audience. And don’t forget about smiling.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to what professionals should display in their signature. It all depends on your goals. For instance, life coaches could benefit from adding a motivational quote while artists might leverage the occasion to include their YouTube channel trailer. The only prerequisite is that it feels relevant and matches your objectives. Check how Dan Brown, a famous wildlife photographer, uses its email signature to promote its latest YouTube video:

source: desighhill

3. Stay on brand

Never underestimate the power of brand consistency. It’s imperative to create a coherent experience across all your marketing channels. So, make sure you inform your email signature based on your branding guidelines. Remember that it should set clear expectations and blend seamlessly with your branding as any other piece of your email campaign.

First, include your company logo in the form of an icon or thumbnail to design a branded email signature. Secondly, stick to using your color palette and choose a font that reflects your brand identity. You could consider adding branding messages in your signature if you feel it will serve your email purpose. Last but not least, you can create a specific email signature format and ask employees to add it in their emails to ensure a consistent experience regardless of the sender. 

4. Make it mobile-friendly

The number of users checking their emails on mobile devices is ever-increasing. So, creating an effective email signature design without ensuring it looks great across all devices might hurt the user experience. Every component in your email design should be responsive. Otherwise, a large percentage of recipients won't view your email properly. The worst part is that such an experience will make them delete your email:

source: unlayer

You should make sure that your clickable elements are visible and that there is enough whitespace around them. Plus, use fonts and colors that can be properly displayed on smaller screens and make them big enough for readers to spot them. And don’t forget to test your email design for mobile-responsiveness to check how every component works across different devices and email clients. 

5. Add the right call to action

Even if you do everything right, your call to action could make or break your email signature marketing. A powerful CTA is all you need to create an effective email signature—especially when you align it with your broader marketing strategy. Your email signature CTAs may range from asking for a review to signing up to your video website. Everything goes as long as it’s relevant to your business goals and is in line with your brand tone.

As a rule, create simple and clear CTAs so readers understand instantly what action you expect them to take. Adam Yaeger, the founder of Llama Lead Gen uses a clean email signature with a straightforward, simple, and prominent call-to-action to convince readers to schedule a call.

source: databox

Remember your email signature is a complementary element to your email copy, so you should avoid making your signature CTAs pushy. Whatever you choose, ensure it fits naturally into your email. Also, always test out different CTAs to find the ones that your audience responds best to. You can even choose between different CTA formats, such as clickable links, buttons, or banners.

6. Use your signature to reflect your credibility

There’s more to your email signature than your contact information and CTAs. An engaging email signature is also the right place to express your values and leave readers with the most positive impression. 

What’s more, adding your awards or badges to your email signature reflects your credibility and establishes you as an industry leader. Just make sure you don’t overdo it to keep your signature light and not overwhelm your readers.

7. Test and optimize

One of the most common mistakes marketers make is making assumptions about their email design. Testing every piece of your emails will help you avoid this pitfall and get the best results possible. When you apply A/B testing on your email signatures, you’re able to find new variations that perform better. 

You can experiment with different layouts, graphic elements, color schemes, and CTAs to check which version engages your audience the most. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to test one element at a time so that you know which changes made a difference and tweak your strategy accordingly. 

Create a professional email signature that converts

Your email signature should make a lasting impression since it’s the final piece of information your subscribers see. As such, it offers many marketing opportunities, from increasing brand awareness to promoting your offering. More importantly, its look and feel should reflect your overall brand identity, helping readers understand what your business stands for. 

If you haven’t invested in email signature marketing to guide your subscribers toward your goals, now is the time to start. Use our guide to develop an eye-catching email signature and incorporate it into your overall email marketing. Be sure to keep testing and experimenting with different signature versions to boost their effectiveness and drive engagement and conversions. 

Maria Fintanidou
Maria Fintanidou
Maria Fintanidou works as a copywriter for email marketing automation software Moosend, having created the Help Articles (FAQs) and overseen the platform’s translations in Greek and Spanish. She loves exploring new cultures and ways of thinking through traveling, reading, and language learning.