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Logo or No-Go: Images in E-Mail Signatures

December 31, 2010

Like Coke vs. Pepsi or Lady Gaga’s outfits, e-mail signatures are a matter of taste. Unfortunately, it’s not just your taste that matters. Your e-mail recipients are the ultimate judge. A new year is a good excuse to take a good hard look at your signature and what it says about you. After all, it’s the final word in every e-mail you send.

There’s too much that can go wrong in a signature to cover in a short post. So we’ll stick to a single topic: signature images. E-mail purists and design-nerds think they’re hokey. Those who use them think they’re great.

Regardless of where you come down on the image issue, remember one thing - it shouldn’t replace text. If your contact information appears only in an image, it won’t display by default in most mail clients. Even if it does, the reader won’t be able to copy the text out, which is a least part of the reason you’ve got a signature in there in the first place.

If you think an image is appropriate, that it gives your readers a better sense of who you are and how you do business, we recommend keeping it small and simple. The more elaborate your image, the more likely it will get noticed. And that may not be a good thing.

A poorly designed signature image, like a lame logo or clunky website says something about your business. If you’re not 100% sure you’re sending the right message, stick to text. And keep the ASCII art portraits to a minimum.

Posted by Sherman Dickman