9 Common Email Signature Mistakes You Want To Avoid

We are a culture of email senders! The average professional sends about 40 emails each day, and 86 percent say they prefer email over any other means of business communication. Using a dynamic email signature is an easy and effective way to promote your business with each email you send. The most effective email signatures feature clickable content such as calls-to-action, social media buttons and more, like this one:


So, are you using your email signature right? It’s time to optimize your signature! Here is a quick checklist of the 9 most common email signature mistakes to avoid:


  1. Don’t send email without an email signature
  2. Don’t reinvent the email signature
  3. Don’t ignore your email provider’s limitations
  4. Don’t misuse fonts
  5. Don’t forget to add calls-to-action
  6. Don’t forget to add an image
  7. Don’t get crazy with colors
  8. Don’t make typos
  9. Don’t forget to update it

Let’s start with that rookie mistake you really want to avoid:


1. Not having an email signature


The biggest mistake you can make is to not use an email signature. If you don’t have one, you can easily set it up in minutes and for free with an email signature generator.

A professional email signature can do amazing things for your business such as boost sales conversion and customer engagement. But, in order to see results, you need to make sure to avoid these common email signature mistakes.


Three beginner mistakes to avoid:


2. Don’t reinvent the email signature


Visual email signatures have been with us for more than a decade. So there really is no need to start from zero. Do some research: Start on Google images – always a good place to get basic orientation on visuals – and then zoom in on email signature examples to see what your peers are doing. As you will quickly find out, there are some basic design guidelines you need to follow. The best way to adhere is to use existing templates – they will speed up the process and help you look professional.


3. Don’t ignore your email provider’s limitations


Not all email providers are created equal! Gmail, Outlook, Mac Mail, and others each have different capabilities.


Webmail providers, such as Gmail & Yahoo mail, have inherently different capabilities from desktop ones, such as Outlook and Mac Mail. So if you’re using Outlook, don’t add GIFs as calls-to-action because Microsoft’s image processor doesn’t support them. If you’re spending most of your day on the road, communicating through your Android mail app, you should know they don’t allow reach HTML signatures.


Before setting out to design, as always, see what people are already doing, by researching relevant examples for your email provider:

Gmail signature examples | Outlook signature examples | Mac Mail signature examples.


Five design mistakes to avoid


4. Don’t misuse fonts


Your email signature font needs to appear professional and be easy to read. It also needs to be:

  • Web-safe: Web-safe fonts are pre-installed by many operating systems, and therefore work flawlessly—looking exactly the same—with the main email providers: Google, Microsoft, and Apple.
  • Consistent: Don’t mix different font types. It looks unprofessional. Use one font type only.
  • Structure: Establish a hierarchy of information; your name, for example, should appear larger than your contact information.

5. Don’t neglect calls-to-action


If you want to get your email recipients to take a specific action, then simply add call-to-action buttons to your signature! Most users know that in order to drive traffic to your website, you should link it to your signature. But not so many hyperlink their email address within their email signature. Why should you? Well, that’s because emails tend to be forwarded a lot. For a new recipient, hyperlinking your email address means they can easily email you with just a click, instead of copying and pasting your address. Our data shows this small change makes a big difference.  

6. Don’t forget to add an image


We work in a very visual environment, making images essential; WiseStamp’s data shows that email signatures with an image get 32% more clicks than those without. Choose a photo that best represents your business, whether it’s a logo image, headshot or product shot.


Let’s be very clear: Adding an image to your signature is a must-do. But turning your entire signature into an image file is a huge FAIL. Don’t confuse the two. If you make the mistake of turning your signature into an image file, here are the ramifications:
• It makes your signature impossible to click (a common mistake we list above)
• Some email providers will actually block the image from displaying. You don’t want that to happen.


7. Don’t get crazy with colors


Much like images, colors are great for drawing attention and conveying certain emotions. But overdoing it projects something childish and unprofessional. Limit the color scheme to one “highlight” color (that draws attention to your name) and black text only for the remaining information.  


8. Don’t make typos


We’ve seen our fair share of email signature typos. Double check all of the text-based information: Name, title and contact details must be absolutely flawless. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook a typo when you are so familiar with the text (i.e. your own contact information). That’s why it’s crucial to have a colleague or peer review your email signature before you start using it. Having another set of eyes is the best way to catch typos you might have missed.


One more lazy mistake:


9. Don’t forget to update your email signature


Keeping things updated will dramatically improve engagement. More people will click on your upcoming webinar banner if it is indeed upcoming and hasn’t taken place 3 weeks ago.  It is also beneficial to update your contact information – phone, email, etc – as well as your new position (congrats!).


That’s it for common email mistakes, so now it’s time to take a good, hard look at your email signature. No need to beat yourself up on past mistakes; simply correct them. And even if your email signature is already looking good, there is always room for improvement. Now get going!


Author bio:

Asaf Rothem | Head of Revenue | WiseStamp

Asaf has been working in MarTech startups for the past 8 years. He writes about marketing personalization technologies, conversion optimization, and other cool stuff.