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Should I have a Gmail signature?



Should I have a Gmail signature?


When you send out emails to coworkers and clients, should you include a personal touch with a short paragraph at the end of each one called an "email signature"? If so, how do you go about creating it?

While we all think our signatures look special, they're not really necessary. We've put together some guidelines for crafting a great signature, as well as examples from other people who use them online without having their messages come across as spammy or too self-promotional. Let's start by looking at what email signatures actually accomplish in terms of communication style.

First off, let's talk about why you'd want an email signature. You may already know this if you belong to any kind of professional organization where someone else maintains your membership account (like Moms Meet). In those cases, there will likely be a section on its website where others can sign up under you. That way, when they need help or advice, they don't have to bother you directly — they just click through to the page that handles requests related to your profile. A similar thing happens with social media accounts. For instance, Twitter has sections specifically designed for users' bios, photos, tweets, and more. Facebook gives members pages to manage groups, events, ads, apps, etc., while LinkedIn lets professionals update their profiles and find job openings. So, generally speaking, these types of sites make it easier to communicate because everything relevant is organized and accessible.

Email isn't quite like that. Often times, the only place you'll see an email address is right within the body of the message itself. And most of us aren't always checking every single person's inboxes throughout the day, which means you usually won't get another chance to say something unless you respond immediately. This is especially true if the sender doesn't pick up his phone frequently.

"A lot of people still don’t realize [an email] takes time," says Allison Stegall, assistant professor of marketing communications at Wake Forest University. "It might take longer than opening up a webpage."

So, what does an email signature achieve exactly? When sending out an email, you could write anything you wanted, but doing so would probably feel impersonal and possibly even insulting to whoever received it. Plus, since everyone has different preferences for tone, approach, and style, it can be difficult to convey your personality via text alone. But by adding a few lines at the bottom of an email, you can provide context for your thoughts and show your professionalism while also being considerate of readers. It's important to remember though, an email signature shouldn't be used solely to promote yourself. Rather, it should serve as a brief summary of who you are and what you offer.

With that said, here are some tips for putting together a functional signature. First things first, make sure you have access to a computer/laptop, smartphone, tablet, or whatever device you prefer to check work emails on. Then, you can begin thinking about what type of content your email signature should contain. The easiest option is to simply list your name, title, company affiliation, phone number, and physical mailing address. While that's fine, including additional details such as hours worked per week and whether you accept international calls can give viewers an idea of what to expect from you.

Next, decide whether you want to opt for anonymity. Most experts advise against using anonymous email addresses, as they can be easily traced back to real identities. However, if you run a small business and choose to keep your identity private, you can set up a separate email account with a fake name that you only use for correspondence involving sensitive topics. Since many companies now require employees to verify their identity before accessing certain resources, keeping your actual email hidden prevents anyone from snooping on confidential documents straight away. Of course, you should avoid sharing your password with anyone else, as that makes matters worse.

After deciding how much information you want to disclose, try writing down what comes to mind to figure out the best wording. Don't worry about grammar or spelling mistakes, as long as your words sound natural and flow smoothly. Also, stick to simple sentence structure rather than complex language. Finally, be mindful of length — you don't want to overdo it! An ideal signature should be no more than two paragraphs max.

Now that you have a basic sense of what goes into an effective email signature, below you'll find several examples provided by various individuals, along with recommended formatting suggestions. Keep reading to learn more.

How can I create my signature?

If your workplace requires you to maintain an email signature, chances are there's software available that allows you to customize yours. Microsoft Outlook offers plenty of options for customizing your own signature, including changing font sizes, colors, fonts, highlighting, and spacing between letters. To change your signature settings:

Go to File & Options & Mail Setup

Select Signatures tab

Scroll down until you reach Signature box

Click Edit Signature

Modify font size, color scheme, and highlight effects

Once done, hit Save Changes

You can then download your new signature file onto your desktop. Open it in Word or Notepad to read any changes made. If you're using Google Chrome, browse to Tools & Extensions & AutoSignature Creator. There, you can modify your existing signature by clicking Change Signature Text. As far as customization goes, you can adjust the following parameters:

Change background and foreground colors

Highlight specific parts of your signature

Adjust margins around your signature

Move signature image anywhere on screen

Add hyperlinks to your email

Finally, save your updated signature as a.PNG file, which is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. After saving, open the file with Photoshop, Illustrator, GIMP, Paint, or whatever image editing program you prefer. Now, copy and paste the picture into your document wherever applicable. Be sure to edit the rest of your signatures accordingly, ensuring they match your desired appearance.

Should your signature be your full name?

Most of us assume that signing off with the same name we listed above works better than using initials or nicknames. Unfortunately, this is incorrect, and using either of these options can lead to confusion later on.

For example, if you were born named James Smith Jr., signing off with JSmith wouldn't necessarily mean you're talking to him personally. Instead, it could refer to multiple people whose names happen to share the same initialism. This leads to problems like receiving multiple copies of bills, bank statements, and other mail addressed to JSmith, or hearing complaints from family members about missing birthday cards sent via snail mail.

The solution seems obvious enough -- instead of listing the entirety of your given name, try listing your middle initial followed by your last name. This keeps you consistent and avoids any potential mixups.



What are the qualities of a good signature?

Aside from providing context for your email, an email signature serves as a quick reference guide for recipients regarding whom to reply to. Therefore, it needs to reflect your expertise, knowledge, skillset, and experience. Here's what you should strive to include.

Your name: Make sure that your name appears somewhere prominent in your signature. Otherwise, readers may mistake your email for spam if it looks generic.

Contact info: Your name and contact info should appear next to your signature whenever possible. Including it in bolded font helps reinforce your brand presence further.

Location: Include where you currently reside or work. Doing so shows readers that you respect privacy standards and are willing to answer questions professionally.

Job description: Summarize your role at your current company, or explain what exactly you do on behalf of your employer.

Titles: Use titles to identify yourself properly. They allow readers to understand exactly who signed off on a particular piece of correspondence.

Qualifications: List any certifications or awards earned pertaining to your field. People love learning about success stories and unique achievements.

References: Always attach links leading to references you wish to call upon during interviews. This provides employers with proof that you researched and prepared thoroughly prior to applying.

Credentials: Any credentials you hold should be included in your signature. Whether degrees obtained, certificates granted, patents filed, or inventions patented, it's helpful for people to see evidence of your accomplishments.

Accomplishments: List all the projects you accomplished recently, regardless of scale. This includes big wins, smaller successes, and ongoing tasks that haven't yet been completed. Remember to clearly differentiate between items completed within the past year versus ones completed years ago.

Personal statement: Think of this part as a little bio detailing everything mentioned above. Personal statements can be concise, detailed, or humorous depending on your preference. Just ensure they are interesting enough to entice curious parties to dig deeper.

Career goals: Write a personalized vision for your career moving forward. Describe what you hope to achieve in the coming months, years, or decades. Career goals often involve financial prosperity, new responsibilities, promotions, and recognition among peers.

LinkedIn link: Attach links to your LinkedIn profile. These can point visitors toward articles published, previous posts shared, or other updates you posted recently.

Gmail lets you attach an optional signature to each of your emails. It's the same as your name and title on a business card. But are there any rules for what goes into it?

Your first step toward creating a professional-looking signature might simply be adding one if you're sending out many messages per day (and don't want to sign off with "Sincerely"). You can also use the signature field when composing new messages. If you do choose to include one, keep these things in mind:

What your email signature should say?

People often think a signature is just something extra they tack onto the end of their message. In fact, signatures serve several important functions — including letting people know who wrote the email, so they can respond accordingly.

"It’s about conveying credibility," says Michael Fertik, president of Reputation Institute, which helps companies manage online reputation. He suggests using a standard format that includes your full name, job position and company affiliation. While this isn't exactly groundbreaking advice, it does send a clear message to readers: This person has been vetted by someone else, giving them more power and authority than most other random internet users.

If you work at multiple jobs, consider putting all those affiliations at the top of your signature, followed by a brief description of your current role. For example, “Dr. John Smith is the VP of global marketing at ABC Company." Then below, list your previous positions — without going overboard describing every single detail from years past. That way, you'll only need to mention relevant details while keeping others private.

You may also wish to put down some personal interests, such as hobbies or causes you support. For instance, “John Doe likes playing tennis whenever he gets the chance.” Finally, don't forget to tell people how they can get hold of you, whether via phone number, social media profile URL, website link or even physical address. The last thing you want is for someone to reach out to your boss because they couldn't find your LinkedIn page.

While a simple signature doesn't go quite far enough to make up entirely for bad etiquette, it can help reinforce proper behavior. And if you're taking part in a discussion that requires anonymity, you can always remove yourself from the thread altogether.

Should my personal email have a signature?

Yes! Email addresses are typically assigned based on our occupation or similar factors, but we no longer live exclusively under those labels. We've joined the ranks of freelancers, stay home parents, gig workers and more. To ensure everyone knows who sent us an email, it's best to append your real identity directly after your address.

For example, instead of signing off a casual message to a friend with your generic HR email, try addressing her personally. Or, better yet, give a quick shoutout to your colleagues before listing your own email account. Instead of saying, "Sent from my iPhone," write "Hi [insert colleague]," then provide their individual mobile numbers. Doing so will let recipients know you're talking to them specifically, not everybody within your department.

The latter method could come in handy during times when you're working remotely. Even though you likely already have a dedicated email address, it never hurts to remind people of where to reach you. Plus, if you happen to share an office space with another employee, having different numbers makes sense since you won't necessarily see the same face all day long.

What information should be included in email signature?

As mentioned earlier, signatures play an essential function. They allow anyone reading your email to quickly learn who the sender is and what they do, thereby establishing trust between both parties.

And remember, the goal here is to establish authenticity and professionalism. People want to feel confident that whoever contacted them was actually authorized to do so — especially when dealing with sensitive matters or money.

That said, you shouldn't overload your signature with too much info. Try limiting the amount of names and titles to two lines max. Keep your biographical data brief and clean — don't drag out descriptions of your education, awards or accomplishments.

When it comes to titles, stick to three words maximum and avoid acronyms. Your objective here is to present yourself clearly in the eyes of anyone receiving your correspondence. Of course, it varies depending on your industry. However, for general purposes, it's probably a good idea to limit yourself to a few sentences.

Signatures aren't solely reserved for formal interactions either. As long as you follow basic guidelines, your personal email signature can still offer value. Just bear in mind that a lot of people tend to skim through incoming mail, looking for urgent tasks. So, take advantage of a signature field to highlight any pertinent notes.

What should be in your signature?

Now that you understand exactly what your signature needs to accomplish, it's time to decide what items belong inside. There are plenty of options, but perhaps none as versatile as Google Docs' prebuilt templates. Some of them feature customizable sections that you can fill with whatever content works best for you. Here are a couple examples:

A plain template allows you to list your contacts, along with your email address and/or phone number. If you prefer to keep everything separate, you can easily customize the layout. Once again, look at the bottom section for guidance.

Another option is a bulleted list that highlights your skillset and expertise. A comprehensive list of credentials, however, tends to overwhelm people unless you're very experienced. Another tip: Use bullet points to break up lengthy explanations. Otherwise, you risk losing attention halfway through.

Last but certainly not least, you can opt for a block of text with hyperlinks leading back to various parts of your site. These links provide additional insight into your background, goals or projects, among other things. When done right, they can boost engagement levels significantly.

In short...

Email signatures exist primarily to convey legitimacy and professionalism. Whether you're trying to land a promotion or seal a deal, being perceived as trustworthy is key. By following certain conventions, you can create a lasting impression.

Email signatures are a pretty common thing these days. It’s not uncommon to see someone with their business name and phone number at the bottom of every one of their emails. But do you really need it?

If you send out hundreds—or thousands—of emails per month then yes, probably. If you only use email for personal correspondence, however, there may not be much reason to sign off in this way. A lot depends on what kind of job you have (and how old you get). Even if you work from home full-time as a freelancer, having a separate email address can help protect privacy when dealing with clients.

But most people don’t fall into either category. So here we’re going to discuss whether you should actually bother having a Gmail signature. And if so, what exactly makes up this signature? We’ll also cover why some people avoid them altogether.

What is the purpose of a Gmail signature?

When talking about email addresses, “Gmail” usually refers to Google’s free web app. To access Gmail through your browser, head over to mail.google.com. On mobile devices, the main email client will likely open by default whenever you click on something labeled as an email.

The first step to creating a new message inside Gmail is adding a recipient via the More icon. This brings up three options: People, Cc/Bcc, and Reply all. The latter two are optional but the former is definitely required. You cannot create a new message without selecting at least one person.

Once you choose who gets included, they’ll receive whatever you type next. In other words, you can compose messages just fine without a Gmail signature. However, including extra details such as your title or company name isn’t possible within Gmail itself. That would require opening another window.

In short, using a signature gives you more flexibility than simply sending a standard email. For example, if you want to include additional information about yourself, such as your current position, education level, or portfolio, you could attach it to the end of your outgoing messages. Or maybe you prefer to keep things simple and stick with basic info. Either way, Gmail users tend to appreciate being able to customize their experience further.

Should you have a Gmail signature?

If you ever spend time working remotely, you might benefit from keeping track of multiple accounts. Perhaps you manage several different types of social media profiles, run a blog, or handle freelance gigs on various websites. Having multiple email addresses helps make sure everything stays organized.

This is especially true because Gmail doesn’t let you set which account appears under each label. As a result, you could end up accidentally marking an important message while checking Facebook instead of responding to something urgent.

You can go ahead and use a Gmail signature even if you don’t have any other accounts. Just know that nothing outside of the inbox offers easy ways to sort incoming email based on labels. While filtering rules exist, they aren’t very useful unless you already use filters. Plus, they’re limited to sorting messages within individual labels rather than across multiple ones.

It’s worth noting that a Gmail Signature is part of the Settings menu. When you select See All settings, you’ll find the option right below your profile picture. Make sure to check both boxes before clicking Save Changes! Otherwise, you won’t be prompted to save anything until after you close the tab.

That said, you shouldn’t feel obligated to have a signature. Email signatures are meant to supplement your online presence and give readers a quick glance at who sent them a particular piece of communication. They’re typically used to convey professionalism and authority. If you rarely use email, a signature feels unnecessary.



What does an email signature provide?

A good email signature provides relevant details about you, ideally in a concise manner. This includes your name, occupation, website links, photo(s), and phone number. Some people opt to put their hobbies and interests too.

While it’s tempting to fill out as many fields as possible, remember that less is often better. Too much extraneous information looks unprofessional and clutters up your inbox. Your goal should be to offer enough detail that anyone interested can learn more about you.

Also consider how long your signature remains visible. Do you plan to leave your job soon? Are you still attending school? Does it matter if others see outdated information? Think carefully about what goes where and try to strike a balance between brevity and thoroughness.

For those concerned about security, remember that your signature is publicly accessible no matter what device you use. So if you share your password with coworkers, they could potentially view your signature during meetings. Thankfully, you can hide sensitive data behind asterisks (*) or underscores (_). These symbols appear grayed out so recipients can’t copy or edit them. Of course, some folks may take issue with this approach.

Lastly, consider whether your signature needs updating regularly. Maybe you changed jobs recently and didn’t realize it had been appearing unchanged since 2013. Or perhaps you forgot to update your LinkedIn bio. Don’t fret though. With a few clicks, you can change any field directly in Gmail. Simply scroll down past the last section tagged “Signature” and look for the Edit Profile button near the top left corner of the screen. Once clicked, you’ll see a dropdown menu pop up. Select Update Info and follow the prompts.

What should your Gmail signature be?

Your Gmail signature is supposed to reflect who you are and what you stand for. Ideally, it should also inspire trust, regardless of whether you’ve worked together before. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

Be honest: Never lie or exaggerate about your credentials or accomplishments. You never truly know who’s reading your stuff, so be upfront about your abilities.

Don’t spam: Not everyone enjoys getting promotional emails. Also, think twice about attaching attachments larger than 20 MB total size. Those files could end up cluttering up peoples’ hard drives. Instead, ask permission before contacting potential employers privately.

Keep it brief: Keep your signature relatively short and snappy. No typos allowed! Avoid lengthy quotes or references to previous projects. Stick with general statements about your skillset and expertise.

Consider formatting: Try to format your email properly so its contents show up nicely on mobile screens. Most importantly, ensure that capitalization and punctuation conform to industry standards. Use double quotation marks ("") around titles. Put periods (…) at the ends of sentences.

Avoid politics: Unless you enjoy debating political issues with strangers on Twitter, stay away from controversial topics on professional mailing lists. Nobody wants to read about your latest internet spat in their morning commute.

Have fun: Remember to inject personality into your signature. After all, no one likes a robot.

Ultimately, your signature reflects you as a whole. Be mindful of what you post and always strive to improve. By doing so, you’ll build stronger relationships with colleagues and clients alike.

And hey, if you decide to skip the signature entirely, please refrain from signing off with “have a nice day” on your final line. That’s rude and annoying.


Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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