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4 Common Questions About Email Signatures

So you want to have a fancy email signature for your law firm. Maybe it will include your logo, a link to your website, a button to connect on LinkedIn, or more. It looks great on your end, but since not everyone uses the same type of email program, everyone “reads” emails differently. For instance, if your firm is using Outlook and sends an email to someone using MacMail, some aspects of your email signature might get lost in translation. Be forewarned: email signatures are incredibly temperamental, and you will more than likely need assistance from your IT provider to get them implemented. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions and concerns regarding email signatures.

Why isn’t my logo appearing in my signature?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is including their logo as an attachment to their emails instead of hosting the logo on a web server. Many email programs require a manual download of embedded attachments, meaning they will not automatically display the logo in your email signature. This is even more common for emails viewed on mobile devices, because they seek to minimize data usage when downloading emails by not automatically showing imagery. In order to avoid a pesky red X and/or the “Outlook prevented automatic download of some pictures” message in your email signature, make sure the logo is not embedded in your signature or attached as an attachment to your email, but instead is hosted on a web sever and properly linked to in the code that will generate your email signature.

What happened to my logo when someone replies?

Once you send an email, the content is downloaded, read, and converted by the receiver’s email client. If they reply and/or forward your email, their email server will now control how your email signature looks in replies. It may strip the image from it, convert it to plain text, or it may look like a complete mess. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing you can do about this – it’s just how email clients work.

Why are email signatures messed up when I receive them?

When an email signature is installed, it may look absolutely perfect on the sender’s machine. But when it hits the inbox of someone using a different email program, it can appear distorted or the text may overlay an image you’ve included like your logo (this frequently happens). This happens when the sender fails to test the email signature to ensure it appears correctly across a variety of email clients. If your law firm chooses to move forward with installing custom email signatures, make sure to test, test, and test some more before finishing the project.

So what is the best way to make sure your law firm email signatures look good?

The only surefire method of ensuring the most uniform appearance possible is installing email signatures as HTML code. While this seems complicated, it’s really as simple as copying and pasting code into a pre-designated folder on each computer. By utilizing HTML code, you can prevent many common distortions.

When dealing with email signatures, keep in mind you will only have control up to a certain point. If you want something more than plain text, there is no magic button or code to absolutely ensure images look exactly the same every time in every email program. But you can have something that looks nice and renders correctly the majority of the time by installing correctly coded HTML signatures.

Email signatures should be consistent across all members of your firm as they are another element of your law firm’s branding (or brand standards). Creating and utilizing a uniform brand identity for your law firm is one of the most important elements of marketing – and often one of the most overlooked. Find out how we can help your firm today with its brand identity.

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