The top 15 things to never include in an email signature

Published on
4,289 Points
Last Modified:
Exclaimer is the recognized global market leader in on-premises and cloud-based email signature software and solutions.
Read this checklist to learn more about the 15 things you should never include in an email signature.
How you design an email signature can influence how your company is perceived by its contacts. Adding extra, unnecessary elements to your signature looks unprofessional and messy. If your email signature is poorly designed, it can negatively impact your reputation.
Check out the top 15 things you should never include in an email signature below:

1. Unnecessary contact details

Don’t overload your signature with every possible way to contact you. Keep to the basics:

  • Name;
  • Job title;
  • Company name and address;
  • Phone number;
  • Website URL;
  • Email address.
Keep this shorter for internal emails and replies.

2. Custom fonts

It is possible to use custom fonts in your email signature, but it is not advisable. This is because most of your recipient’s devices will not have your custom font installed, so it will automatically change to a default font such as Times New Roman or Arial.

If you have to use a custom font, make sure to use a web safe fallback font. You can find a list of web safe fonts here.

3. Bullet points

You should avoid using bullet points in email signatures as they render strangely in different email clients and can ruin the format of your signature. A bullet point in Outlook will look completely different to one in Gmail.

4. Animated gifs

Many email clients do not play animated GIFs. Instead, only the first frame of the GIF will show or the dreaded red X showing the image is broken.

Learn more about using animated GIFs in email signatures.

5. Videos

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to embed videos directly into your email signature as most email clients do not support this. This is because videos are seen to be a security issue, so the content will not play.

If you’d like to share a video in your email signature, you can use a link with alternate text or a promotional banner.


Email signatures are not the best place for motivational and inspirational quotes. Not everyone’s values will align with yours; the recipient may get the wrong impression, may get offended and probably won’t even care about the message.


7. Personal information

If it’s a work signature, keep it professional. Don’t include links to your fundraising page or personal social media pages.

8. Multiple color fonts

Having an email signature with multiple font colors looks messy, especially if they are too bright. Use a maximum of two neutral colors that match your company’s branding.


9. An image as your email signature

You should never use just an image as your email signature for multiple reasons:

  • Most email clients do not automatically download and display images.
  • The recipient cannot copy your contact details.
  • You will not be able to include multiple hyperlinks in the image.
  • It will be difficult to update regularly.
If you use an image for your signature, your email is also more likely to end up in the recipient’s junk folder or it may be blocked by spam filters.

10. Links to unused accounts or old posts

Never include links in your email signature to an old blog post or a social media account that hasn’t been used in over 6 months. It will look unprofessional if a customer goes to a page you haven’t updated in a long time.

11. Out-of-date promotional banners

Do you still have a Christmas promotional banner in your email signature in May? Time to remove it! All promotional banners should be current and regularly updated.

12. Too many social media icons

Your signature will look cluttered if you add an icon for every social media channel your company uses. We recommend using a maximum of four icons in your email signature. Only choose the channels that are most regularly updated.


13. Pointless certifications

Unless the degree or certifications you have obtained is relevant to your job, it’s best to not include them in your email signature.

For corporate email signatures, only add certifications your company has achieved in the past five years. A certification from 1999 is very much out-of- date!

Check out the top 10 email signature images for certifications DOs & DON’Ts.

14. Too much content

Too much content can ruin the formatting of your email signature. If you have more than 72 characters on one line of your signature, it is likely to be wrapped onto the next line, especially on mobiles.

Format your signatures to be evenly spaced on multiple lines as best practice.

15. Large image files

If you are using a logo or a photo of yourself in your email signature, make sure that you resize the image to be the size you want it to appear.

If you have a 2000x1500px image file linked in the HTML, but it is coded to display at 500x375px, this may be ignored by email clients and actually appear as the original file size.
1 Comment

Expert Comment

by:Jeffry Gunawan
You havent mention about giving refferal link in email signature

Featured Post

Has Powershell sent you back into the Stone Age?

If managing Active Directory using Windows Powershell® is making you feel like you stepped back in time, you are not alone.  For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why.

Join & Write a Comment

This video shows how to quickly and easily deploy an email signature for all users in Office 365 and prevent it from being added to replies and forwards. (the resulting signature is applied on the server level in Exchange Online) The email signat…
Watch the video to know the simple way to remove or recover or reset lost or forgotten passwords of Outlook PST file. With Kernel Outlook Password Recovery tool such operation is very easy to perform. It is a freeware with limitation to use with 500…

Keep in touch with Experts Exchange

Tech news and trends delivered to your inbox every month