Email Etiquette: The Signature

The anatomy of an email is like a good book. The front cover (subject line) should give you some idea of what the book is about, but shouldn't be a chapter in itself. Concise and descriptive. The back cover (email signature) should tell you a little about the author and how you can find out more about him if you choose.

Problem is, most people take the email signature as free reign to regurgitate all the places they can be found on the internet, in person, via fax and by phone. While the signature should provide an easy way to contact the sender, a signature like this is inexcusable:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Here are some do's and don'ts for your email signature:

  • Don't use graphics and icons, they look like attachments
  • Don't use multiple colors or fonts, only bold for emphasis
  • Don't include multiple phone #'s or emails, just one of each
  • Don't include every social network you're a part of
  • Do use the line separator ( | )
  • Put full URL's and emails, some clients won't read HTML correctly
  • Make sure your signature is consistent across mobile devices
  • Keep it short

Here's my current signature:

Stephen Robles, Communications Director |
10130 Tuscany Ridge Dr. Tampa, FL 33619
Phone: 813.626.0783

For the original article making fun of the worst email signatures, click here. You can also read the 20 Tips for Creating an Effective Email Signature here.