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Email Signature

I need help to create the perfect email sig.

     
2:57 pm on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I work in an office where we use Microsoft Outlook 2002. Over the last couple of months I have been experimenting with, plain-text only, rich text format and html email signatures. Today, at the end of my experiment, I have not found an 'ideal' or 'perfect' solution and I am wondering if anyone else has a 'perfect' solution. My issues are:

text only - as you'd expect, very basic, doesn't allow much design, change of colour etc. Is boring.

Rich text format
allows good editing, produces an aesthetically pleasing signature. However, some email clients turn the rtf into plain text. This I can live with once in a while, but as well as losing colour and font, it misaligns any alignment resulting in an ugly look.

HTML
Good general look, but some email clients again do not respond well to HTML, losing some alignment. Looking ugly.

HTML+image
Produced an email signature in photoshop and saved as a gif, looks good, but it will disappear in html non compliers, not good.

Hope you can lend some advice. Has anyone got the perfect solution?

9:12 pm on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The signature start code is NOT '--', it is '-- '

Note the space.

9:48 pm on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why do people include their email address in their signature?! Is it that hard for people to hit the reply button

Customers frequently print out emails and take them to meetings or hand them out to others and (if you have a complete signature with email address) it makes it easy for them to contact you if necessary.

10:27 pm on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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With Outlook
Is there a way to bundle email and signature?

Email address 1 = sig. 1
Email address 2 = sig. 2
etc.

Heini:

In the end it's all about the information
- Yep!
1:10 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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airpal wrote:
"Why do people include their email address in their signature?! Is it that hard for people to hit the reply button, instead of "noticing" the email address in the signature and copying/pasting it in a newly composed message. Or am I missing something..."

We are dealing in a field where messages are being sent back and forth between third parties. Having an e-mail address to someone who is quoted or being able to look it up down below contributes to efficiency. Especially if people don't know each other and there are always questions to academic text.

Jens

2:53 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It didn't take Mozilla mail long to figure out that almost 100% of the HTML emails I receive are spam and start pitching them in the Junk folder. You'll also want to keep in mind that an increasing number of mail clients are providing an option to filter graphics and/or HTML from emails. Microsoft recently announced plans to make that the default in Outlook.
6:22 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Do use a testimonial in your signature.

-------------------------------------------
Company Name
'Tag Line' TM
www.CompanyURL.com

--------------------------------------------

Member Feedback :
"I am glad to say that your services are very
nice. May U step towards prosperity every day.
I've successfully found my ----.
Wishing U all the best ----."
- Name

My Name
Designation
Tel:
Fax:
Email :

<Disclaimer>

8:02 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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shaadi,

That's not a signature line, it's an entire message in itself :-).

Perhaps a little overkill for a signature.

8:33 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What exactly does the "-- " do?
9:30 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I will go with simple signatures.

Name
www.webmasterworld.com
Ph:

Somehow simple singatures have authentic look to them :)

10:36 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know the RFC which detailed the length and format. I'm interested in looking at it...
1:13 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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NickCoons, I been using this since last seven months - works great for me. Even got few compliments and followers :)
1:37 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i use

--
name name
function in company
http.//www.bluewidget.com - bluewidget tagline

bluewidget full company name ltd.
part of the widget group - http.//www.widgetgroup.com

small text in medium gray. formatting done in HTML, converts prettily to plain text. personally i see no reason not to use HTML in business correspondence.

2:56 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm a plain text fan, but I'm a web professional. I think non web professionals may be impressed by html. Mine is plain text like this:
Kind regards
My name

mysite.com - Tag line blah blah blah.

[e] me@mysite.com
[t] 111222333
[w] mysite.com

I use Outlook and have several different sigs for different situations. I even have a complete letter setup as a signature for replies to certain enquiries, it saves me lots of time.

Why do people include their email address in their signature?!

Sometimes your email may be forwarded many times. It may help someone spot your email. Something I hate about Outlook is it likes to remove email addresses in history and change them for a name 'Fred Blogs'.

disclaimers regarding email confidentiality, virus transmission etc.

I find those disclaimers ridiculous.
...if this isn't addressed to you don't read it...
...if this email has a virus its not our fault...
...if this isn't for you notify us immediately...
...immediately and permanently delete this message and any attachments...

As if!

Has anyone here ever saved time or money because they had an email disclaimer?
I don't bother having one. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to be a self perpetuating habit/fear that one is required to have a disclaimer. If your email is actually harmful I don't think your disclaimer is going to save you.

The signature start code is NOT '--', it is '-- '

Much as you may not like M$ most of the world uses Outlook or outlook express.
Us web professionals tend to hate anything M$ but our customers mostly use it.
3:08 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm a big fan of the style of signature Heini posted, but is there any reason to include an email address in the signature? It's always available in the from line, even on printouts.
3:14 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Any thoughts on using .vcf files?
3:47 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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How do you track the traffic you get from email signatures?

The only way I can think of is to set up a page specifically for your email sig:

www.domain.com/sig

or to use html in the email signature. It'd be interesting to know how effective email signatures really are in promoting traffic to the site.

Anyone try this?

4:47 pm on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It is actually covered by UK law, email signatures. Not directly but in written correspondence, where it states all business (personal is exempt) must provide basic contact details in written communications including: physical address (PO Box only are officially illegal, though you can put the PO Box number with the full address) and telephone number are the bare minimum. Email address and fax numbers are highly recommended.

Written communication was expanded and now covers email and websites, thus by definition, it is a requirement to have certain information if you are a UK company. I don't think the law is ever applied but a law is a law. It helps inspire customer confidence too. Many companies do not provide this information which makes them break the law, even though they probably are unaware of the breach.

So the question should not be in the taking the p*** forum, but can have wider consequences.

P.S. sorry posting so late, but WorldPay are causing problems at the moment :( - Thumbs up for PayPal (that doesn't get said very often ;) )

5:17 am on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why do people include their email address in their signature?! Is it that hard for people to hit the reply button, instead of "noticing" the email address in the signature and copying/pasting it in a newly composed message. Or am I missing something...

Yep, you are missing something.

If the message you want to send is not a reply, it is inappropriate to "Reply". I get a bit annoyed at people who constantly hit reply instead of starting new emails for entirely new topics. If the subject of the original email was Widgets, and you decide you want to talk now about the weather, start a new message, please.

Also, who copies and pastes? It's a link.

I also get annoyed when I have to work to find someone in order to give them my business, so I cannot imagine why I would not put in emails every conceivable way I want to be contacted by a customer.

URL, office, cell, and fax numbers, as well as email address.

2:12 pm on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I tend to also put IM contact details. (These are different for work and leisure and for good reasons) While this is mostly for people in the same organisation to use, it also promotes good contactability.
11:04 pm on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Any thoughts on using .vcf files?

Yes... don't do it. Sending attachments (especially from Outlook or Outlook Express) can screw up a lot of things where email is concerned and should be avoided unless specifically sending a file that was requested. (Anyone else ever receive a WINMAIL.DAT file where a message was supposed to be from Outlook/Outlook Express?)

3:09 pm on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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BBC article supporting the general concensus that avoiding HTML emails is a good idea.

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

11:49 pm on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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How do you track the traffic you get from email signatures?

I think you should be able to use any old link tracking script, only the URL in the email will probably be something lik www.example.com/cgi-bin/tracker.cgi?ref=emailsig.

but I think the way you mentioned basically does the same thing if you meta refresh to the main site from the landing page.

9:54 am on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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How do you track the traffic you get from email signatures?

I think you should be able to use any old link tracking script, only the URL in the email will probably be something lik www.example.com/cgi-bin/tracker.cgi?ref=emailsig.

Two other simple ways to track email campaigns without a link tracking script:

1) Simply use "?code" after the domain name in your email address...

your.name@example.com?promo1
your.name@example.com?promo2
etc.

2) If you have a domain with unlimited aliases (or even a "catch-all" setting for incoming mail) use different email addresses for tracking purposes.

promo1@yourdomain.com
promo2@yourdomain.com

If you don't want it to appear obvious that you are tracking, you can use the same conventions as the old direct mail masters by making slight adjustments that will be invisible to all but you and your staff...

john.doe@yourdomain.com
johndoe@yourdomain.com
johnd@yourdomain.com
jdoe@yourdomain.com
etc.

With either of the above methods you can easily set up filters in your email client to file messages into individual folders based on the tracking information now imbedded in the "To:" field of the incoming emails.

11:30 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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BBC article supporting the general concensus that avoiding HTML emails is a good idea.
[news.bbc.co.uk...]

with the same arguments it can be recommended to avoid browsing the web. i admit that HTML makes more sense on the web than within email but that doesn't mean it wouldn't make any sense.

the only "general concensus" i see is to use up-to-date anti-virus software and firewalls, protecting against all threats described in the article (being from web or e-mail).

in standard private and business communication already large numbers of people use HTML as default format.

so: why shouldn't i take advantage of HTML in email?

11:55 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My sig cents.

$k= "0802020501020401054a2b020154212d01050c030d5230150d064c28190208060d"; 
@r=unpack('C*', pack('H*',$k)); for (1..shift(@r)){$n[$q+= shift(@r)]=1;}
for(@r){if($n[$t]){$_=-$_};$t++;print chr($o+=$_);}#sig-relation.04.20.02

11:57 pm on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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engine, that was nice. Lot of samples here now. Choice for everybody mind. :-)
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