How to Add a Professional Signature to your Emails (Outlook and Gmail)
Your email signature is much more than a convenient way to sign off a message. We look at why you should spend some time creating your signature and how to go about it.
Some other relevant articles...
Here's what we will cover...
- Why your email signature matters
- Adding a signature to Outlook (desktop and online)
- Adding a signature to Gmail (new for 2020!)
- Creating social media icons and other linked images
Why your email signature matters
Branding, email and social media are key components of any digital marketing strategy. Your business email signature can impact all of these areas so it is worth spending a lot of time designing one you are happy with.
The sections below will take you through the process in both Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, the two most popular email services. But first, here is why email signatures matter.
Do you ever suffer from email signature envy? You know those sign offs that include fancy text, attractive formatting, live website links and colour images?
An email signature is a powerful branding tool which can leave a positive impression about your business and remind the recipient of your story.
For example, if you are a life coach, you could include a positive affirmation with your name and contact details. If you are a graphic designer, you could design some beautiful custom graphics.
An email signature also offers the chance to engage with your customers via your blog or social media platforms. Live icons that link to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest are now commonly seen at the bottom of email messages.
We will show you how to achieve this in both Outlook and Gmail
Adding a signature to Outlook (desktop and online)
If you use the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook, there are two ways you can locate your email signature creator.
From the File menu, select Options, Mail and then Signatures. Alternatively, type ‘Signature’ in Outlook’s search box and you will be presented with a link to the same location.
You will see two panes. The smaller one will show a list of your existing email signatures (if any). There will also be a ‘New’ button for creating additional signatures. Click this and choose a name for your first signature.
You will then gain access to the larger pane. This contains a standard word processing editor so you can go ahead and add your name, business name, job title, telephone number, email address and any other details you wish.
You will find standard dropdowns and buttons for changing font type and size and adding styles such as italics, bold type, coloured text, underlining and the rest.
But why stop there? You also have the option to add images to your email. This could be a logo, a profile image, a promotional banner or any other visual asset. Just make sure the images are sized correctly or some browsers may not display the results (more on that later).
Once you’ve saved your signature you can choose whether to display it only on new emails you compose or also on replies and forwarded messages.
For the online version of Outlook, the process is even easier. Simply click the cog icon and type ‘Email Signature’ in the search box. You can then edit your signature and click save. You can only have one email signature by default.
Adding a signature to Gmail (new for 2020!)
There have been some slight changes to the signature creation process for Gmail which bring the options more in line with Outlook.
However, designing your signature is as easy as ever. After signing in to your Gmail account, access your settings by clicking the cog icon (usually on the top right-hand side of your screen). At the top of the panel that pops up, you should see a button marked ‘See All Settings’. Click this.
Your window should open in the ‘General’ tab of the Settings page. Scroll down to the middle of the page until you find the Signature section. If you have never created a Gmail signature before, you will see a button labelled ‘+ Create new’ (it is easy to scroll past and miss it!) Otherwise, you will see a list of your created signatures and the signature designer pane. You can edit any of these by clicking the pencil icon or simply create a new one by clicking the button.
Just as with Outlook, you will find a full range of word processing buttons for styling your text, adding links and uploading images. Go ahead and get creative.
Once you’re satisfied, adjust the drop down options under ‘Signature defaults’. Just as with Outlook, Gmail have now included the option to choose which signature you use for new emails and which for replies. If you have multiple email addresses, you will be able to customise the signatures you want to use for each.
Creating social media icons and other linked images
Adding clickable social media icons or images is simple with Outlook and Gmail although you will need to do some preparation first.
Although it is possible to resize images using your email program, it is better practise to use an image editor such as Photoshop to create your icons or images at the precise size you want. 16×16 pixels is about the smallest you can get away with while you won’t want to go any bigger than 128 x 128 pixels.
You can then upload the images as described above with one additional step.
For Outlook, click the image and choose the link (chain) icon. Copy and paste (or type in) the full URL/web address of the relevant social media page (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/VuOnline)
For Gmail, the process is almost identical but you will need to click and drag to highlight the image you’ve uploaded first. This can be a bit fiddly but the icon will turn light blue when you’ve managed it.
Repeat with all the icons and images you want to link and then save your results. Congratulations! Your email sigs will now be the talk of the town!