Thought I’d write this post to discuss some issues I’ve been having with email signatures recently in particular HTML signatures.

Recently I changed my personal email signature by adding some css properties to a link as I thought this would be a better way to display the link in a more aesthetically pleasing manner. Little did I know the problems it was going to cause me. I’ve not been able to fully confirm this but some off my friends, clients and peers spam filters have been blocking my emails, once I removed the css everything reverted back to normal. So my tips for creating HTML email signatures are below:

  1. Don’t use CSS.
  2. Use one image (your logo) whenever possible.
  3. When formatting text use standard HTML formatting and live with the fact that any links will have to have the normal blue underline.
  4. You can use the image as a link.
  5. If you want to use many links in you email signature it’s probably best to have a link to landing page that holds many links to send users to your social networks,  micro sites, blogs etc.
  6. Too many images may result in getting caught in spam filters.
  7. Use tables to format your layout.
  8. Use a URL shortening service like cli.gs or bit.ly to help you measure the success of click throughs from your email signature, remember the link or image does not have to be straight to your web site it could be a link off to a micro site or landing page where you require users to action a call to action.

Below is a table for both PC and Mac desktop email clients which can best handle HTML signatures the best.

Email Client

Mac

PC

Entourage

HTML Signatures will not work very well (simple formatting)

NA

Thunderbird

YES

YES

Mail App

HTML Signatures will not work

NA

Outlook 2002

NA

YES

Outlook 2003

NA

YES Sends as attachments

Outlook 2007

NA

Sends as attachments (cannot be dynamic)

I personally would recommend Thunderbird. Using firefox, gmail and an html email signature add on you can also apply email signature to your gmail account.

So part of the reason for me writing this is also to drive traffic hopefully towards a HTML email signature generator that will dynamically update your email signature with your latest online activity and much much more, all functions and features will be revealed soon.

I’ve also started a flickr group, a gallery of email signatures, I’ve added mine, why don’t you add your HTML email signature there too!

If you have any comments or questions about HTML email signatures why don’t you comment below in the post, and i’ll get back to you.