Social media may be hot, and few things can replace face-to-face networking, but for straight up business communication, email is still king. Hundreds of billions of emails are sent every day by employees of companies all over the world, and we’re not showing any signs of slowing down. These electronic messages differ in content, of course, but the overwhelming majority of those emails have one thing in common: an email signature.


You undoubtedly have a signature that automatically tacks itself onto the end of all of your messages, and if it’s like most, it’s simple: your name, your number, and maybe the name of your company. But if it does, you’re missing out on an opportunity to do more. Your email signature isn’t just a static place to list basic contact information — it’s a dynamic chance to show, say, and do all sorts of things.


So how do you create an email signature that’s powerful enough to get results? We’re glad you asked. Here are seven steps to a better email signature.


  1. Make it colorful.

The body of your email — of most emails — is black type on a white background. It’s great for readability, of course, but it doesn’t really stand out visually. To make your email signature pop just a little, add a splash of color, being sure to keep the palette consistent with your company and its brand.


  1. Use small graphics.

A company logo, small button-type images to follow you or your company on social media channels, and even a small professional headshot of you are all good options.


  1. Add a link with a call to action.

What’s a small and simple thing that an email recipient can do to make your business just a little bit better? Link it in a call to action in your email signature. You might ask readers to follow you on social media, sign up for your newsletter, check out your blog, or download an ebook. It sounds like a little thing, but a simple call to action can get big results!


  1. Promote an upcoming event or campaign.

One of the great things about email signatures is that they can be changed as often as you want. Keep yours current by including information and links about your company’s upcoming events. (And of course, don’t forget to change your signature once the event or campaign is done.)


  1. Leave your email out of it.

There’s no need to take up an extra line in your signature with your email address. If your recipients want to email you, they’ll just hit reply.


  1. Keep it short.

It’s important to remember that a lot of your emails will be read on a mobile device, and a signature that’s long or uses large graphics is annoying to read on a five inch screen. If you have a lot to say, put it in an email. And, if you can’t decide what to include in your email signature, rotate its content on a regular basis.


  1. When in doubt, have one generated.

You probably know that the default signatures on emails sent from Apple devices are “Sent from my iPhone” and “Sent from my iPad.” These may help recipients forgive the odd autocorrect, but they offer little in the way of information, and they’re certainly not the best use of space. There are, however, excellent online email signature generators, including newoldstamp, htmlsig, and WiseStamp, that will create a sleek and attractive email signature for you. (Most of these services charge a small fee, though you can create a simple one that won’t expire for free at newoldstamp.)