The year is still young and it’s not too late to take up a resolution for brevity in the arena of email signatures. Far too often do threads end up as 95% signature text and 5% actually useful words. I have no credentials to provide advice—only an above average amount of unapologetic grammar snobbery thanks to some good friends in college that made a mockery of any sentence that so much as misplaced a comma, but here is my opinion.
- Create 2 signatures in Outlook: The verbose one that is required by your company and a super short one, ideally just your first name. Configure your settings to use the long one only on original messages and the short one on replies and forwards. Remember you can always change it manually (by selecting the desired signature from the drop down) before sending the email. Pro tip: have the short one as the default and bring in the big guns only when necessary (i.e. the first time you are emailing someone ever). Another really good time to switch over to that short signature is when you are sending a personal email with your business email. (Or consider using your gmail for personal emails, but that is another topic)
- Every character in the signature should have a purpose. I’m not going to say don’t do it, but I am going to point out that quotes rarely enhance a business email and that’s an awful lot of characters.
- Nobody cares that you sent the email from your smart phone. It takes 30 seconds to change the default signature to anything other than that. I configured two signatures for my iPhone: “Sent from my iPhone” and “Sent from my Android”. I then select the one that matches the person I am emailing so they feel a false sense of camaraderie and are more likely to consent to do it my way. I don’t actually do that, but now I’m kind of tempted to.