cold emailing

Email Signature Generator [+ Practical Design, Tips & Examples!]

lemlist team
Last Update
Jan 17, 2024
Reading Time
7 min.

Struggling to find practical guidance on email signatures?

This post has you covered, from HTML versus image designs to setup across different email clients.

Packed with tips and examples to help you create a standout signature in a few minutes.

Why You Need An Email Signature

A sharp email signature enhances your credibility - it's like a social media profile picture.

Think about it, would you respond to a message from a faceless profile on Instagram?

Probably not - the same principle applies to your emails.

Moral of the story?

What’s A Good Email Signature?

A strong email signature showcases your role and the key details your recipient is interested in.

At the bare minimum, your signature should include:

  1. Your First Name
  2. Your Position (what you do.)
  3. Contact Information other than your email (it’s a common but redundant practice.)
Sarah
Customer Success Associate
(555) 123-4567

Bonus elements you can include:

  1. Logo/Photo: A small, high-quality company logo or headshot for recognition.
  2. Social Links: Only add the profiles you actively maintain.
  3. Portfolio/Web Link: A direct, clickable link to your work or website.
  4. Certifications/Awards.
  5. CTA: A short phrase encouraging action that align with your goals.
  6. Legal Disclaimer: A necessary, brief note for compliance in formal sectors.
  7. Quote/Motto: A short, professionally resonant quote to add a personal touch.

The paradox of choice (a psychological concept) suggests that too many options overwhelm your recipient - simpler is better.

Pick one or two bonus elements to ensure you don’t overload your recipient with information.

Email Signature Design Tips

High-Res Images

Make sure your images are clear, high quality & visible (even to people who have difficulty seeing!)

  • Tools for Compression: Adobe Photoshop, GIMP or free online tools like TinyPNG or Compressor.io to compress your images for faster loading time.
  • Tip: Use sharp, clear logos or headshots. The ideal size is around 300-400 pixels wide.
  • File Size: Use Adobe Photoshop, GIMP or free online tools like TinyPNG or Compressor.io to compress images to under 100 KB for faster loading times while maintaining image quality.

Color Scheme

  • Tools: Try Coolors or Adobe Color for palette selection.
  • Tip: Pick 2-3 colors (no more) that reflect your brand, with strong contrast for readability.

Here’s what the Coolors interface looks like, you can choose from existing palettes or generate your own.

Readable Fonts

  • Stick with clear, professional fonts like Arial or Helvetica.

Smart Spacing

  • Maintain balance between content and white space for an uncluttered look.

Streamlined Layout

  • Tools: Browse Canva or Adobe Spark for layout ideas.
  • Tip: Highlight key info (name, title, contact) in a scan-friendly order.

Functional Links

  • Ensure your website or social media links are clickable and current.

Mobile-Friendly Design

  • Tools: Test responsiveness with Email on Acid or Litmus.
  • Tip: Design for small screens—keep it legible and neatly arranged.

Legal Compliance

Utilize legal templates or professional advice for disclaimers - keep them concise and unobtrusive.

How To Create Your Email Signature

You have two primary options:

  • Image Designs (JPEG or PNG)
  • HTML

Fixed image signatures in emails offer consistent visuals across platforms but can be less flexible; they’re easy to create but aren't responsive on different devices and text isn't selectable.

On the other hand, HTML designs provide dynamic, customizable options with responsive layouts and clickable links.

However, they require HTML know-how, might display inconsistently across email clients, and face potential security restrictions.

Choose fixed images for simplicity and consistency, or HTML for flexibility and interactivity.

Comparison of HTML Email Signature vs Static Image Email Signature

Feature HTML Email Signature Static Image Email Signature
Pros
  • Customizable and flexible design
  • Interactive elements (links)
  • Scalable on different devices
  • Consistent display across email clients
  • Quick to load
  • Simple to create
Cons
  • Compatibility issues with some email clients
  • Can be blocked by email security settings
  • More complex to create
  • No interactive elements
  • Can appear blurry on scaling
  • May be treated as an attachment
Challenges
  • Maintaining consistent appearance across different email clients
  • Ensuring mobile responsiveness
  • Staying within email size limits
  • Optimizing image size for quick loading
  • Maintaining image quality on different devices
  • Avoiding being marked as spam
Opportunities
  • Enhancing brand identity with rich design
  • Driving traffic to websites or social media
  • Gathering analytics through tracking links
  • Ensuring visibility even with images turned off
  • Simplified troubleshooting
  • Ease of updating for individual use
Formats & Tools
  • Formats: HTML/CSS
  • Tools: Email Signature Generators, Professional Design Tools
  • Formats: JPG, PNG
  • Tools: Basic Graphic Design Tools

Where To Find HTML Designs?

#1 Use lemlist’s free signature generator.

#2 Freelance Platforms - Hire a developer from platforms like Upwork or Fiverr for a custom design.

#3 Code it yourself.

#4 Use Chat GPT-4.

👀Count on GPT to overdo things… Anyhow - here’s how to do it:

  • Detail Your Requirements: Clearly state elements like name, title, company, contact info, and specific design preferences.
  • Inline CSS: Request inline CSS for better email client compatibility.
  • Links and Icons: Specify any links or social media icons to include.
  • Image URLs: Provide URLs for any images like logos or headshots.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Ask for a design that looks good on mobile devices.
  • Test and Iterate: After receiving the code, test it in various email clients and ask Chat GPT for adjustments if needed.

Here’s a prompt sample:

Hey GPT, could you help me create an email signature? I need it to include:
- Name: [Your Name]
- Job Title: [Your Job Title]
- Link to my portfolio: [URL of your portfolio]
- An image of my face: [Please provide a URL to your image or describe the image you'd like to use]

Feel free to add descriptive elements to your prompt, like “white background” & “professional”, etc.

Where To Find Image Designs?

#1 Graphic Design Software - Use tools like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, tapping into built-in templates for quick design.

#2 Online Tools - Try Canva for easy, template-driven designs (it’s free!)

#3 Hire a freelancer on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.

I. Design Your Signature In Your Email Client

Create Signature With Microsoft Outlook (Desktop Application)

Accessing Signature Settings:

1. Click on the gear icon in the top right tab.

2. In the 'Accounts' tab, click on 'Signatures'.

Designing Signature:

3. Click 'New signature' & give it a name.

4. Use the built-in editor to format your text, add links, and insert images.

Adding External Designs:

5. For HTML: Copy your HTML code and paste it directly into the editing area.

6. For images: Use the image insertion tool in the editor to add your image file.

Saving and Applying:

7. Click 'Save', and set it as the default for new emails and/or replies/forwards.

Create Signature With Gmail

Accessing Signature Settings:

1. Click the gear icon in the top right, then 'See all settings'.

2. Go to the 'General' tab and scroll down to the 'Signature' section.

Designing Signature:

3. Click ‘Create new’ and use the rich text editor to format text, insert links, and images.

Adding External Designs:

4. For HTML: Convert your HTML to rich text and paste it in.

5. For images: Click on the image icon in the toolbar to upload your image.

Saving and Applying:

6. Click ‘Save changes’ at the bottom of page.

Create Signature With Apple Mail

Accessing Signature Settings:

1. Open Apple Mail, go to 'Mail' in the menu bar, and select 'Preferences'.

2. Click on the 'Signatures' tab.

Designing Signature:

3. Select your email account, click the '+' button to create a new signature.

4. Design directly in the provided box.

Adding External Designs:

5. For HTML: Design in a separate editor, then copy and paste the HTML directly.

6. For images: Drag and drop the image into the signature box.

Applying Signature:

7. Drag your signature to the desired email account.

Create Signature With Outlook.com

Accessing Signature Settings:

1. Click the gear icon > 'Mail' > 'Compose and reply'.

Designing Signature:

2. Use the text box and tools for designing.

Adding External Designs:

3. For HTML: Convert HTML to rich text and paste.

4. For images: Upload using the image tool.

Saving and Applying:

5. Check the relevant boxes and save.

Create Signature With Thunderbird

Accessing Signature Settings:

1. Click the menu dropdown icon.

2. Go to 'Tools' > 'Account Settings' > 'Signature text'.

Designing Signature:

3. Paste your design (text/HTML/image) into the box - it will show up as HTML code.

Applying Signature:

4. There’s no need to save, it automatically applies your new signature.

Good Email Signature Examples

1. Cold Email Signatures

With cold emails, your goal is to establish credibility and engage recipients effectively.

Here's the selection of the four sales email signatures that achieved the highest click-through rates among all the cold email campaigns in one of our studies.

➡️Learn how to create effective cold email signatures in 5 minutes!

The takeaway?

  • Keep it concise.
  • Include helpful links.

2. Networking Email Signatures

Your goal is to make people want to get to know you!

Inject a bit of personality alongside credibility to trigger this effect.

Cool ways to personalize your signature:

  • A QR code that links to a fun fact, personal accomplishment or valuable resource.
  • A quirky hobby mention like “Marketing Maestro by Day, World's Okayest Chef by Night”
  • A personal Motto like "Find Value in Every No, Fuel for the Yes."

3. Professional/Corporate Email Signatures

Your goal is to embody the culture of your business.

Signature shake-up ideas:

  • Try festive variations: Create a duplicate signature with a Christmas element or two that your employees can switch to once December hits.
  • Differentiate departments: Switch up the colors, icons or other elements of your signature to represent different departments.

4. Creative Professionals

Your goal is to showcase your creative edge.

Creative Ideas:

  • Signature Artwork: Add a small piece of your own artwork or design.
  • Creative Typography: Experiment with typography that showcases your design skills.
  • Animated Element: Consider a subtle, tasteful animated GIF.

5. Freelancers/Consultants

Your goal is to market the value you bring in a subtle and engaging way.

Personalization Idea:

  • Engaging Video Greeting: A link to a video where you showcase your personality and services.

6. Customer Service/Support

Your goal is to be helpful.

Signature elements that support:

  • Add your support hours (e.g., "9 AM to 6 PM, Mon-Fri")
  • Include a knowledge base link or other helpful company resource.
  • Include an emergency contact link.

Before you go - remember that your email signature is just one element of effective email strategy.

Make sure you know how to write an email like a pro - from start to finish.

In the business of closing leads? Check out our Cold Email ebook to master the art of cold-conversion.

Cheers!

FAQ’s

How do I add clickable social media icons to my email signature?

To add clickable social media icons to your email signature, download high-quality icons.

Then, insert these icons as images in your email signature editor.

After inserting each icon, hyperlink it to your respective social media profiles.

Finally, test your signature to ensure the icons are clickable and lead to the correct profiles.

Can I add a call to action in my email signature?

Absolutely. Include a brief, engaging call to action, such as inviting contacts to schedule a meeting or visit your website.

Is there a specific format I should follow when creating an email signature?

Typically, include your name, job title, company, contact information, and optionally, a logo or photo.

Keep it neat and professional.

Are there any legal requirements for email signatures?

This varies by industry and region.

Some professions require specific disclaimers or regulatory details.

Always check relevant legal guidelines.

How can I create a personalized email signature for different clients?

Identify Client Email Clients:

Collect information on the email clients commonly used by your clients.

Common ones include Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Yahoo Mail, and others.

Design and Format:

Based on the email clients identified, design email signatures that are visually appealing and compatible with these clients.

Ensure that the design elements (such as fonts, images, and layout) are supported by the selected email clients.

Stick to web-safe fonts and image formats widely accepted.

Responsive Design:

Create responsive email signatures to adapt to various screen sizes, especially for mobile clients.

This ensures that the signature looks good on both desktop and mobile devices.

HTML Compatibility:

If you're using HTML signatures, ensure that the HTML code is structured correctly and follows best practices to minimize rendering issues.

Testing:

Test the designed signatures in a variety of email clients.

This includes popular ones like Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail, but also consider less common ones.

Pay close attention to how each email client renders the signature, including fonts, images, and layout.

Make note of any discrepancies or issues.

Optimization:

Address any rendering issues or inconsistencies by making adjustments to the HTML and design.

This may involve tweaking CSS styles or optimizing images.

Ensure that the signature maintains a professional and consistent appearance across all tested email clients.

Regular Updates:

Stay informed about updates and changes in email client compatibility.

Email clients may update their rendering engines, which can affect how signatures are displayed.

Regularly review and update your email signatures as needed to maintain compatibility with the latest versions of email clients.

lemlist team
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