Email Signature

In writing, people sign their names with a signature. In the current digital era, however, more people are using signatures at the end of emails. Email signatures tell the recipient important information about the sender, like how to contact them and what company they are affiliated with. People usually use the same email signature at the end of every email. 

Email Signature Email Signature

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Table of contents

    An email signature is important because it sums up the key details about a person. It is also the last part of an email a person reads. It makes the final impression on the recipient and thus needs to be polished.

    Signature, Signing name, StudySmarterFig. 1 - An email signature tells the recipient key information about the sender.

    Email Signature Format

    An email signature is a text at the end of an email in which the sender outlines their personal information. Using an email signature saves time because writers do not have to re-write their contact information on every email they send.

    An email signature is a text at the end of an email with the sender’s personal information.

    Email signatures vary depending on the person sending the emails and the context, but generally, they should include the following information.

    The Name of the Sender

    Typically, the first part of an email signature is the sender's first and last name. This is important because it tells recipients who the email is from. Sometimes writers use other titles, such as Dr. Smith or Professor Roberts, instead of their first and last names. People also sometimes include information after their names, such as "J.D.," which shows they are a lawyer or RN to show they are a registered nurse. These acronyms tell the recipient more about who the sender is.

    Additionally, some clients allow you to "draw" your name out, creating something like a real signature.

    The Sender’s Title

    After the sender’s name, email signatures often mention the writer’s title. This could be a job title or a description of the person. For instance, a signature for a businesswoman might state “Head of Marketing” in the second line, but for a graduate student, it might say “Graduate Student Researcher.”

    Contact Information

    An email signature should always contain at least one way to contact the sender, such as the email address or phone number. Often people will also put the address of their company or an office number.

    It is becoming increasingly common for writers to add links to their social media platforms to the bottom of their email signatures. In a professional context, people sending emails should ensure that the social media they link is relevant to and appropriate for work. For instance, including a link to a social media page with photographs of the company’s employees at work or a company’s project would be appropriate. On the other hand, a link to one's personal Instagram would not.

    In addition, people also sometimes include a photograph of themselves or the staff at their company in their email signature. Adding a photograph can make the communication more personal, especially when the email is formal and the sender has never met the recipient. Doing it “puts a face to a name" and helps the recipient feel more comfortable and familiar with the sender. This can also be useful if a recipient eventually meets the sender in person and needs to know what they look like.

    Email Signature vs. Closing Text

    It is important to note that an email signature does not replace the closing text. The term closing text refers to an email's last few lines, in which the sender signs off with a polite phrase and their name. People writing an email still have to close the text with a closing line such as “Sincerely” or “All the best” and who they are. Then they insert their email signature at the very end. For instance, note how the sender of the following email crafts the closing text and an email signature in the following message:

    Subject: Meeting Time Next Tuesday

    Dear Todd,

    I hope this email finds you well. I am looking forward to our meeting next Tuesday to discuss this quarter’s numbers. However, I was wondering if it would be possible to move the meeting time from 2 pm to 3 pm. If not, I will have to reschedule for another day. I apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Katie

    Katie Smith

    Director of Development

    Johnson and Sons Charity

    K.Smith@Johnson.com

    +1 123-456-7890 Ext 123

    In this example, the sender already knows the recipient, so she does not introduce herself or include her last name in the closing text. She ends the email with a polite closing line and then adds her full contact information in her email signature. Even though the recipient knows her, it is still useful for him to have all of her contact information, so he does not have to follow up and ask for it.

    Pronouns in Email Signature

    People often include their preferred gender pronouns after their name in their email signature. Preferred gender pronouns are the pronouns one wishes others to use when addressing them. Including pronouns in an email signature helps ensure that recipients understand how to properly address them in the future. The following example depicts how one might add pronouns to an email signature:

    Riley Sharpe (she/her/hers)

    Lab Technician

    Riley.Sharpe@email.com

    +1 123-456-7890

    Writers often put their pronouns in parentheses right after their name in their email signature. However, it is also logical to put pronouns in the second line.

    Professional Email Signature

    A professional email signature is for formal communication, such as communication in a workplace. It includes all of the above aspects of an email signature, including the name, title, and contact information of the person sending an email. In a professional email, people do not include personal details such as their personal cell phone number or home address. Instead, they tend to include their professional details, such as their office telephone number or office address.

    A professional email signature also often includes the logo or name of a company the person is affiliated with and sometimes even the company's website. This reaffirms the sender’s connection with the organizations and raises awareness for them.

    People should avoid linking personal social media accounts in a professional email signature. People may include their company's social media accounts or professional accounts that demonstrate their skills, but keeping personal photos and posts separate from professional email signatures helps maintain a distance between one's personal and professional lives.

    Personal Email Signature

    A personal email signature is more informal than a professional email signature. Personal email signatures sometimes include personal social media accounts, emails, and phone numbers. They do not necessarily mention the name of a company a person is affiliated with or their job title.

    Personal email signatures usually just include a person’s name, contact information, and whatever information they want to include about themselves, be it fun informal details or practical, professional information.

    People often have to follow a standardized company format for a professional email signature, but people can choose the layout themselves with a personal email signature. They can select the font type, color, and size. While these are personal choices, choosing ones that are easy to read is useful for recipients.

    Signature, Typing, StudySmarterFig. 2 - People use professional email signatures for formal communication and personal email signatures for informal communication.

    Email Signature Examples

    The following examples demonstrate the difference between professional and personal email signatures.

    Professional Email Signature Example

    Casey Smith (She/Her/Hers)

    Director of Communications

    KR Bank

    Casey. Smith@KRBank.com

    +1 123-456-7890 Ext 123

    Personal Email Signature Example

    Jane Alexander

    (She/Her/Hers)

    Freelance Writer

    Jane.Alexander@Email.com

    Jane.AlexanderPhotography.com

    To set up an email signature, people have to go to the email account's settings. The exact place to go will vary depending on the type of email account, but typically people click on settings, signature, and type the signature they want.

    Signature - Key Takeaways

    • An email signature is a text at the end of an email with the sender’s personal information.
    • Email signatures typically include the sender’s name, title, contact information, and sometimes an image.
    • A professional email signature is for professional communication at work and does not include personal details.
    • A personal email signature is for informal communication and can include the sender’s personal information.
    • People often put their preferred gender pronouns after their name in their email signature.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Email Signature

    How to make an email signature?

    To make an email signature go to email settings and click signature. Then add the sender’s name, title, and contact information 

    What is an email signature?

    An email signature is a text at the end of an email with the sender’s personal information. 

    What to include in an email signature?

    In an email signature, the sender should include their name, title, and contact information. 

    What an email signature should look like

    An email signature should have a new line for each piece of information. Sometimes senders also include company images or logos. 

    Where to put pronouns in an email signature?

    Pronouns go next to or right below the sender’s name in an email signature. 

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    What is the order of a typical email signature?

    Kelly is sending an email to her new intern. Which of the following email signatures should she use?

    Where do pronouns go in an email signature?

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