What is an email signature?

What is an email signature? cover image
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An email signature is small bit of information that one attaches to the end of an email message. People typically put their name and contact details in the email signature; however, you are free to put whatever you like.

Email signatures can be plain text or fancier with images and colors. Any email program worth its salt allows you to create these in a jiffy… and the popular ones even let you have a separate signature for each email account you have configured in the software. For example, Outlook Express, which is a free email program from Microsoft, lets you quickly create and attach email signatures to outgoing messages.

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The importance and advantages of email signatures

The main advantages of an email signature are ease and time-saving. Even when you have a simple ‘thank you’ followed by your name, imagine the convenience of having it automatically added to your email message. However, email signatures become much more useful once you put in your contact details including your web site address, phone numbers and alternate email addresses – recipients immediately know how to contact you!

Another way in which you can exploit the power of email signatures is to mention ongoing promotions. So if you have a 20% off sale in progress, be sure to include it in the signature.

Email signature contents

There are no set rules as to what email signatures should contain. For email addresses you use for personal communication, including your name and contact details would be sufficient. Email signatures for businesses, however, can take on a whole new dimension. These can contain your company logo, ongoing promotions and full contact details. You can even throw in your company tag-line.

However, care needs to be taken in keeping the email signatures short and to-the-point – it would be unwise to have a signature that spans half a page, right? Don’t stuff the signatures with irrelevant and meaningless information.

Though fancy email signatures can contain images and colors, remember, the recipients will only be able to see thse embellishments if they have chosen to accept email messages in HTML format. A plain text signature provides better compatibility across different email programs; the complex ones may become illegible if the recipient has opted to receive email messages in plain text format.

Creating email signatures

If you use an email client such as Outlook Express, Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail, you can find help in creating signatures on this web site. Refer the links below.

Windows Mail

Windows Live Mail

The image below is a screenshot of the email signature I use in the Windows Live Mail email program. You’ll notice that it contains my name, web site link and the logo image. To learn how to create such as email signature, please refer the links above.

Email signature I use in Windows Live Mail - contains my name, web site link and logo

There are some online services that allow you to create an email icon that can be used as an email signature.

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