Do Me A Favor And Change Your Email Signature
107.81 billion emails are sent every day and while 10% of it is spam other 90% serious communication is sometimes converted to spammy looking email due to certain bad practices.
A few days ago we received an email from one of our team member Leo and his signature was awful. It was way bigger than the email text itself which made him our running gag for the day. Before that, I got a cold email in which I was CC along with 30 other senior management people from different companies.
Emails like these leave a bad reputation and negatively impact communication with the senders and this article will try to address one such disastrous problem of poor email signatures.
Let's look at some of the annoying practices of email signature and if you do it too, maybe try to tone it down a bit -
Listing Out All Your Contact DetailsThe main aim of a signature is to let others know who you're and how to get in touch with you apart from email. This does not mean you list out every single contact detail and slap it at the end. Don't be this guy, Instead, make it look good so it reflects your personality, like this You can also keep signatures simple and add 2-3 other contact details like phone number, skype id or even one of your social media profiles where you're most active. Listing down 5-10 contact details will only confuse the other person and may jeopardize your privacy. Alternatively, if you still want to add all your contact details, maybe mention in the end what's the most preferred way to reach you.
Using An Image As a SignatureGranted that you can customize your signatures in every possible way with an image, it doesn't mean you should. Most of the email servers do not render images in the first go and always require the receiver's permission. This is why you would often see a message like this when you open an email If you're already present in your recipient's trusted contact list, it might work out for you but otherwise, the recipient will only see your email text without any signature. There are various security reasons why it is not advisable to allow images to display in email and users following this advice would never see your signature. Not only this, images increase the size of the email and thus increases the loading time. Users having a slow internet connection might suffer. To top it off, how do you expect people to copy information from your signature image? If you still want to take a chance an alternative way is to specify an 'alt' text for your signature image. 'alt' text means alternative text and will appear if your image is not rendered properly. To specify 'alt' text in your signature's image you need to add an 'alt' attribute to signature's HTML image tag which would look something like this: Alternative text for your signature
Using Large Images in SignatureRemember the email signature which was even bigger than the email text? One of the reasons - the sender added a big logo of her company in the signature. Though her intention might have been to get her brand noticed, it ruined my experience. And I honestly confess, I didn't reply to her with full enthusiasm as I generally do. Placing a small logo of your company would probably be the best but make sure it is accommodated in a way that doesn't attract too much attention. And sadly even 'alt' text won't work well here because when an image is absent it might show - 'CompanyName Logo' or simply 'CompanyName'.
Using Mobile Friendly SignaturesDid you know - In 2014, 48% of total email opens occur from mobile phones or tablets. Depending on your target audience, your product, etc. the email opens from mobile varies from 15-48%. This is enough of a reason to optimize your email signature for small screens. There are various possibilities of how you achieve this,
- By using only text and no images.
- By using small CSS icons.
By using tiny images which doesn't increase the size of the email and doesn't look bad even if they are not rendered. Example: