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How to Create a Branded Email Signature Using Microsoft Outlook

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The use of email to communicate with clients has become commonplace, often replacing what used to be client letters or telephone conversations. Email is popular because it is efficient and often more effective than what used to be time-consuming phone tag with clients. Because of its prevalence in business, an email should be handled with the same level of care as a message leaving your office on company letterhead, which includes a signature that is professional and branded to promote your business.

Today, creating and using a branded email signature line is as important as creating and using the same letterhead company-wide. Everyone in the firm should use the same branded email signature to ensure the company is presenting itself in a professional and uniform way, regardless of who is behind the email message going out.  With branding, there is power in numbers, so it's important for everyone in the firm to get on board and implement a consistent signature..

A branded email signature should include the same information as what you would expect to be present on your business card.  This could include items such as your full name, position or title, phone number, fax number, company name, company address, email address and company website.  Even if you know the recipient well, do not make the assumption your email message will stop at the recipient's inbox.  They may forward your message to someone who is not familiar with you, which leaves your message as the tool being used to make a first impression.  Take care to create a branded email signature that presents you and your firm in a professional manner.

Beyond including the information typical for most business cards, many add extras such as social media handles (Twitter handle, Facebook company page, LinkedIN company page, etc.).  Some choose to also add a privacy statement in fine print below their signature line to ensure appropriate data privacy language is uniformly present if sending sensitive documents to clients.  Some other popular additions are a message about referring a friend or colleague to your practice, any promotions you are currently offering or additional services you have available to clients.  You may be able to attract new business from it if a potential customer sees a service they need mentioned in your email signature.

Learn From Microsoft: The Steps to Creating a Branded Signature

Create a branded signature in Outlook 2007

Create a branded signature in Outlook 2010

Create a branded signature in Outlook for Mac 2011

Helpful Hints

Add a closing that you feel comfortable with such as "Sincerely," — with a comma- when you are creating your branded signature.  This eliminates having to type a closing comment in every email.

Some email spam filters are sensitive to images in the body of email, such as your logo being added to your email signature.  Therefore, be conservative and follow the "less is more" approach to adding images.

Watch this video and learn about custom HTML email signatures for Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2011.