E-mail signatures

As you use your e-mail account, you will notice you close every message with the same few lines: your signature. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to include a few guidelines on how to use best your email signature in this article.

Start by configuring your signature. If you have a web-based e-mail account, you do this in the Settings or Options menu. If you use an e-mail client, check the configuration of each account to add your signature. It is not difficult. You can do it.

The following guidelines will only help you consider a few things, in case you wish to improve it.

What to avoid in an e-mail signature

Taking into account your e-mail signature will be seen by every person you send an e-mail to, and by every person who received an e-mail you sent and your receivers forwarded...

+ ...avoid including unnecessary contact information. I mean, your business address is OK, but your home address may be not.
+ ...avoid including your telephone number unless you don't really mind being called by some of all those people who will have access to that information.
+ ...avoid using heavy or large graphics. A small logo is OK, but a small poster is not.
+ ...avoid using quotes which may be misunderstood, and avoid making references to your beliefs too, as not everybody will share them.
+ ...avoid those hateful anti-virus software notifications, those notifications about saving the planet, and those long confidentiality notes, please! After all, if you are sending something you deem confidential or private, sending it through e-mail is the worst thing you can do.
+ ...and, lastly, avoid using a long list of links or references, as most people will just ignore them.

What to take advantage of in an e-mail signature

+ Most people like to see short, informational signatures. Use them. Five lines is just too much. Three is best.
+ Go beyond stating your name and position in it. Mention what you do too.
+ If you are to include a telephone number, include the international way to call you, not just the local. Oh, by the way, there is no need to add a plethora of telephone numbers. Just one or two, OK?

If you need something else, add it. I don't, so I give you my example below. I must admit it wasn't so easy because I had to combine two languages in one:

Jorge Enrique Aguayo —Tedel
heptagrama.com / info@heptagrama.com
writing, translation, design, eMarketing, diseño, traducción, redacción

Computers + Online