The 4 Personalities of Poor Email Signatures

Alyssa Gregory
Alyssa Gregory

An email signature should provide some very basic information about who you are, what you do and how you can be reached. But the possible ways to format that information are boundless. If you get the constant barrage of incoming mail, like I do, you probably have seen a nice variety of email signatures. And I’m sure there have been some that make you wonder what the sender was thinking. The bottom line is there are certain formats that work better than others in getting your information across in an effective and unobtrusive way (more on that later). I did some scanning of archived messages, and I noticed there are certainly some patterns in how people sign and close out their messages. I’ve grouped the four most conspicuous formats into four common personality types. Oh, and please note that all references to “John Smith” are fictional and do not apply to a real person.

1. The Novelist

The novelist has an email signature that spans an entire screen length. They provide a lot of information – way too much information — in complete sentences that almost feels like a second email within an email. They typically include links to a handful of web sites, a summary of their experience and current endeavors, every type of contact information they have, a special deal or free teleclass, and close it out with a favorite quote or two. email signatures

2. The Standout

The standout loves using bold fonts, bright colors and enlarged text. And they format every line differently. The standout’s email signature is a rainbow of blue, green, orange and pink. They also use email stationery and change their theme weekly. And when they make the change, they sometimes forget to change the font colors to accommodate the new background color. So it’s not unusual for the recipient to be reading yellow text on a white background, or red on purple. email signatures

3. The Graphic Addict

The graphic addict typically includes their company logo, a headshot, and assorted social media icons in their email signature. They freshen up their signature with Microsoft clipart for holidays and special events, and tend to just resize the graphics inline, instead of reducing the file size and optimizing them. They usually don’t test their signature on various email clients, so their messages may be ridden with broken images, or all of the images are included as attachments. email signatures

4. The Mysterious

The mysterious sender rarely uses an email signature. In fact, they usually don’t even sign their name. True, it’s usually clear who the message is coming from, but it can be highly puzzling to recipients they don’t communicate with often, and very frustrating to those who need a phone number or other contact information. The mysterious sender is also known for using a lot of abbreviations in their messages and providing little clarification. email signatures Okay, as fun as this exercise has been, there is a point. There is a way to create an effective email signature and avoid being lumped into one of the signature-challenged groups listed above. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, which will provide tips to help you improve your email signature. What are some of your email signature stories? Have you seen (or used) a dancing Santa? Related posts:

Frequently Asked Questions about Email Signatures

What are the key elements of a professional email signature?

A professional email signature should include your full name, your job title, and your contact information. This can include your phone number, email address, and even your company’s address. You can also include your company logo or your professional photo. A professional email signature should be simple, clean, and easy to read. It should also be consistent with your company’s branding.

How can I add a quote to my email signature?

Adding a quote to your email signature can be a great way to express your personality or share a bit of wisdom. To add a quote, simply include it at the end of your signature, after your contact information. Make sure the quote is professional and appropriate for a business setting. You can change the quote regularly to keep your signature fresh and interesting.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in an email signature?

Some common mistakes to avoid in an email signature include using too many colors or fonts, including too much information, and using unprofessional images or quotes. Your email signature should be simple and professional. Avoid using flashy colors or fonts that are hard to read. Keep your information concise and relevant. And always use professional and appropriate images and quotes.

How can I make my email signature stand out?

To make your email signature stand out, consider including a professional photo or your company logo. You can also use a unique font or color, but make sure it’s still easy to read and professional. Including a quote or a call to action can also make your signature more interesting and engaging.

Can I include social media links in my email signature?

Yes, you can include social media links in your email signature. This can be a great way to connect with your contacts and promote your online presence. However, make sure to only include professional social media accounts, and avoid including personal accounts.

How often should I update my email signature?

It’s a good idea to update your email signature regularly, especially if your contact information or job title changes. You can also update your signature to include new social media accounts, or to change the quote or call to action.

Can I use different email signatures for different situations?

Yes, you can use different email signatures for different situations. For example, you might have a more formal signature for business emails, and a more casual signature for emails to friends and family. You can also have different signatures for different email accounts.

What is the best size for an email signature?

The best size for an email signature is around 50-80 pixels high and 320 pixels wide. This will ensure that your signature is easy to read and fits well in the email window. However, the exact size can vary depending on your specific needs and the design of your signature.

Should I include a disclaimer in my email signature?

Including a disclaimer in your email signature can be a good idea, especially if you’re sending business emails. The disclaimer can include information about confidentiality, copyright, and other legal issues. However, make sure the disclaimer is concise and easy to understand.

How can I create an email signature that reflects my personality?

To create an email signature that reflects your personality, consider including a quote or a personal motto. You can also use a unique font or color, or include a professional photo. However, make sure your signature is still professional and appropriate for a business setting.