Employee Branding: How to create a decent signature file using Gmail?

Michael Chanover Head of Design at Shopkick

June 21st, 2016

I'm taking steps toward some better employee branding for our company and would like to create a consistent email signature design that everyone can use. Gmail, however, appears to be very limiting (extremely) in terms of what is / isn't possible. For example, there does not appear to be a way to use HTML / CSS and get something decent looking together. Has anyone run across this before and/or have a good solution? 

David LaPlante CMO at PropertyRadar

June 22nd, 2016

Less is more. User experience ultimately does more for a brand...

This seems counterintuitive but in my experience...the shorter the signature the better the engagement. 

I even A/B tested it and found that the larger and more elegant the signature, the less likely it is to get a response. 

My hunch is that it creates a formality tension, is less authentic, and in some cases (typically inside sales for an enterprise B2B brand or a recruiter) is the email equivalent of this.

Please please please no confidentiality disclaimer! It's useless and toothless. Makes scrolling through a thread on mobile (where 90% of your email will be read and responded to) a real pain. If your legal department demands it, as them to come back and show one court case in history where it was useful. Crickets.

As a side note, I'm involved with a luxury travel business and trade a lot of email with many names you read about and appear on some list on Forbes/Fortune. The kind of folks that can blow $35,000 per person for a 1 week trip for a family of six and not sweat it.

9/10 of them do not use a signature. If they do, it's a mobile number (usually to their assistant). So that's created a bias for me: the bigger and more fanciful the signature, the less relevant you are.

Here's what I've found to be best:

Name. Phone number in a format that mobile devices recognize and are clickable and that the recipient can call AND message you. Label it office or mobile.

Fletcher Christian | +1 (555) 555-5555 mobile

Resist using more than one phone number and make the recipient guess which one is best to use. If you have an office and mobile listed, the user feels like you prefer to not be reached on your mobile. And everyone knows you never actually get someone at their desk. So they don't call. One number is best if you want engagement.

Brain teaser! Can you guess why it's not necessary to include your email address in the signature?

Optional: Company name, title and a website URL if it's not obvious from the company domain name in your email address.

Fletcher Christian, Lieutenant at HMS Bounty | +1 (555) 555-5555 mobile

Resist social links unless you're crushing it on social. Most social links I see on email signatures just highlight how much the brand and/or individual sucks at social. Why would you include a link to your Twitter that you haven't used since August 2014? LinkedIn is perhaps the best assuming a B2B organization and intent is to connect. Think sales or recruiting.

Physical address is ONLY EVER NECESSARY if the intent of most of your email interactions is to result in an appointment or visit at your place of business. Think dentist, restaurant, proctologist, auto repair shop, or tattoo parlor. Otherwise it's useless.

Bottom line: The more email is treated like messaging the better the response and the better for the brand. A brand is ultimately how people feel about interacting with you/your employees/your company.


Connie Bensen Community, Social Media and Marketing Leader

June 21st, 2016

Hi Michael, I like this format of logo and contact info. She gives instructions on how to create it. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-set-up-professional-email-signature-gmail-susan-gilbert-

Mike Moyer

June 21st, 2016

Try WiseStamp.com

Rod Austin

June 21st, 2016

Hi Michael - You might try Knowee - a free online tool for creating visual cards that can be easily embedded in gmail as signatures (among other places) and can be made to all follow a consistent company style.

Roger MacKenzie Analytics Freelancer and Machine Learning Student

June 23rd, 2016

First, great answer from David LaPlante, the only point I would add is that in Google apps for business you can set that up in two places: one in admin settings, and the other on your personal email. This gives you he option of having a company wide footer combined with a person one.

Franklin II Founder/CEO| Top Social Media Marketer|Keynote Speaker|Veteran|Influential in Finding Advocates

June 27th, 2016

Personally, I use Wisestamp for my email signatures.  Several templates, different signatures for reply, and compose, and different email addresses.  I am big on social, so being able to include my social profiles, an appointment link and more is great for me.  Personally, a signature depends on your target market, your industry etc.  The amount of information in a signature does not denote how relevant you are or are not.  

Vivek Ghai Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO Panacea Infotect I Startup Enthusiast I Outsourcing

July 1st, 2016

WiseStamp.com is a great tool to create professional and attractive signatures. It works seamless with Gmail app too.

The advice given by David is worth considering and very thoughtful.

Graeme Lewis [LION]

July 3rd, 2016

so to settings in Google mail.
search for canned responses.

For eg. this is mine:


Graeme Lewis
Founder Tumiramari PTY Ltd
Whatsapp +447123456789
Mobile +447123456789
Skype Graeme1Lewis897845

ps. Changed the numbers here so i dont get spambambulated.

Mike Goyette President at Global Service Technicians, Inc.

July 1st, 2016

Excellent advice David LaPlant!  My signature has all the normal contact information listed, but I am going to shorten it a bit right now (lol my fax number... why...).

One downside to having limited information in a signature, is that it's more time consuming to add the person to your contacts.  I use a Mac, and when I get an email from someone new, I hover over their signature and it gives me the option to populate a new vCard.  If some of their information is missing, you may have to ask for it or hunt for it.

dave poort Cofounder consultant entrepeneur

May 18th, 2017

Try https://maildoodler.com for this. We use it for our brand consistency and email marketing.