5 Careless, Yet Common, Email Signature Mistakes

Chances are, it has been awhile since you last adjusted your e-mail signature. I got the idea to do an article on this while cleaning my inbox from a vacation (for those of you who don’t know what my inbox is like, let me tell you… it wasn’t easy!) As I was going through my emails, I found a great presentation done by Hubspot about some of the mistakes we may have in our own e-mail signatures. I thought that there were a few great points made in this article, that maybe you can look for in your own signatures.

1) You’re Using an Image as Your Signature

If you’re sending emails to people who are not in your contact list, they may need to take additional steps to view your contact info. Also, having your signature as an image increases the size of your email and can increase the load time of your message. For the sake of others inboxes (including mine), list your contact information in text so others can easily copy and paste it. You can still add your company’s logo as a smaller, JPEG file, or a small headshot of yourself, to make your signature look professional. Just don’t have your whole signature as an image file.

2) You’ve Never Viewed Your Email on Another Device

  

Mobile devices account for 54 percent of all email opens, according to research from Litmus. It’s important to check your signature on both iOS and Android devices to see how it shows up on these devices. Give it the “thumb test” to ensure that all of the links work properly on mobile devices, and try to use smaller fonts if you find that words are getting cut off, or a phone number isn’t visible. My e-mail signature is in the font Trebuchet MS size 7.5. While it may look tiny in a word processor program, it’s just large enough to click hyperlinked text, and have everything fit nicely on a smaller device. Also, remember to look at how your signature appears on other e-mail clients as well. Things may look different on Outlook than they do in Gmail.

3) Listing Too Many Ways to Contact You

There’s no need to include your own email address in your signature. I’d recommend having one phone number for someone to contact you at, like your office line. You can then add a secondary one if you wish, along with a Twitter account if you have professional social media accounts. Also, look at what links you have in your footer. First, check to make sure none of them are short-handed (i.e. bit.ly, goo.gl, etc.). If someone hovers over a link and sees these URLs, they may get confused and think you’re linking them out elsewhere. Also, try to limit your links to only stuff that’s relevant to your recipients. If you have a guide or whitepaper that you think is relevant, go ahead and link it. If you haven’t updated your company’s blog in over a year, then remove the link from your signature.

4) Having Multiple Fonts in Your Signature

You obviously want all of the focus on the information within your email. Ensure that your signature is all in the same font. Having one to two colors is okay, along with maybe having some of the less prominent information in a smaller font size. When in doubt, I’d recommend having everything be the same color, with your social links slightly smaller than your contact info.

5) You Have a Disclaimer

How many of you have one in your e-mail currently? As I was thinking of different ideas to incorporate, I saw this disclaimer and began laughing to myself:

If you received this email in error, please inform me immediately and delete this email. If you fail you do so, you shall be judged, the heavens shall reign fire down upon you and curse your family, your lands shall be broken, the earth shall open up and swallow you whole. All will be lost!

When it comes down to it, the majority agrees; legally, email disclaimers are pretty pointless. Unless your employer requires it, I’d recommend removing a disclaimer from your emails entirely. They fail to create a valid contract between sender and recipient. They are generally untested and unimpressive in court, too long, overused and no one reads them. Unless you absolutely need one due to company policy, it’s best to ditch the disclaimer.