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Updated: Dec 5, 2022

Endless variation is an accurate way to describe what we've come to know as the "email signature blocks." Is there really a right way? No, but there are definitely ways to be wrong. So here is our comprehensive list of what we think should and could (read as: non-negotiables and optional) be included.

The Overview.

What to include:

  • Sign-offs

  • Name

  • Title

  • Company/Brand

  • Website

  • Phone Number*

  • Email*

  • Logo*

The Sign-off: Non-negotiable

Why? A proper close out is key.

  • Design Tip: Add it to your default signature block, and change as needed. Get creative!

The Name: Non-negotiable

Why? Names are important.

  • Design Tip: If your industry is more lax, you may opt for a first name and last initial - but know your audience, and make adjustments where appropriate.

The Title: Non-negotiable

Why? People want to know with whom they are speaking. For those who don't, titles add a bit of polish.

  • Design Tip: Italicize.

The Org/Brand: Non-negotiable

Why? Tell the people who you are, they need reminders.

  • Design Tip: Italicize. Add some color, if you don't plan on adding the logo.

The Website: Non-negotiable

Why? If you have a site, add it. It drives organic traffic and can lead to future business. Make sure to hyperlink because fact: people are more likely to 'click' over 'copy/paste'.

  • Design Tip: Make it bold and underline.

The Phone Number: Optional

Why? Some entities do not want to be accessible by phone, GHINKS, for instance, is one.

  • Design Tip: Format the number.

  • Example: or (xxx) xxx-xxxx

The Email: Optional

Why? Our thing, you have my email above. However, there are orgs that believe having the copy/paste option in the content of the message is the better option. We won't debate you.

The Logo: Optional

Why? There are many accounts that will show email messages in HTML format, meaning all those cute colors and graphics that you added will show up as plain old text, or not at all. The value added can be great, especially in efforts to be consistent across all communications, it's simply a personal choice. Pro tip: make your logo a hyperlink to your website or social media page.

  • Design Tip: Place this at the very end of your signature block. Logos take up a lot of real estate, so when a logo disrupts the clean alignment between your title and website lines things can start to look whacky.

Content golden rule for email signatures: please make them consistent across your company. Decide who sets the tone and the design for how the email signature block looks, and everyone else should follow suit - even if they are just an intern. #consistentcontent

GHINKS is not a brand manager. However, we evaluate existing content to determine if certain elements are present to enhance how you look and sound to your audience.

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

#freegame #techtips

As someone who has built websites across multiple industries and platforms for clients, I am a firm believer that not every business needs a website. As a business owner, we take on so many expenses and while the idea of having a website is great, I think in many cases it is an unnecessary expense.

For those who may be unfamiliar the cost of launching a website, know that your tab can add up relatively quickly. Let's see... There is the cost of the domain which can range anywhere from $12.99/yr on up. The cost of hosting the site can be as low as $8.99/mo to upwards of $45/mo depending on what you feel your business needs really are. Adding plugins or e-commerce features, and other.

Of course, each hosting platform runs periodic discounts (think holiday/change of season specials) to give users a break off the price, but in order to cash in on these you normally have to pay for a year, or two (or in the case of Godaddy you must pay for a 3-year term) in advance in order to reap the benefits. Kudos to you if, as a new business, you have 3 years of tech expenses in the tuck! I will cover this is more depth in a later piece.

Additional costs will include hosting a mailbox with your business domain, e.g., You spent all this money on hosting and building a site you may decide that having a non @gmail or @yahoo account is what you want straight out the gate - though on the backend, most are connected to Google (stick a pin, I'll revisit in the future). If you are planning to accept payments via your website, there is usually a processing fee of some sort. You will easily spend $350-400 or more, especially if you hire someone to design the site for you. Note, this all may be before you make one dollar with your company. Basically, in your earlier stages, there is a better way to spend those hard, earned funds.

The point that I am getting at: you have options. Social media is an ah-mazing tool, and most importantly, it's free*. I highly recommend those who have that talent (read as: consistency) to leverage that space and build an audience - - as for us, ehh, we are still a work in progress.

However, if you are reading this and still are yearning for a website, here's a #ghinkshack: Google Sites.

Allow me to explain.

(Short backstory) Collaborated on a project with a colleague for my w2, and she suggested we set up a site via Google Sites - - didn't know it was a thing at the time. We did what we could with it's limited design options, but it worked for the project at hand. Fast-forward months later, and I am in the process of launching my own website. Now even though I know how to create on other platforms, I really wanted to save some money (i.e., be cheap) so I was curious if Google Sites had the capability of connecting your own domain to its existing platform, for free (think: versus

It took me about two weeks to figure it out, but alas I found success!

We have since moved on, but using Sites bought me time. Time that allowed me to be more intentional about my business needs and use of funds.

Via Google Sites, you can purchase a domain (which is not free), design a website, and host that very website via that platform at the very low cost of whatever you paid for the domain. Just know that it has limited design capabilities, but with a little imagination, Canva, Procreate, or whatever your supplemental design tools of choice are, you can do some very creative things to set up a "no-cost" website.

The reason I love this option, even as a simple landing page, is because it allows you to determine whether your business truly needs a site without bleeding money.

I will probably create a separate post to walk you through how to actually set it up... Until then, stay inspired!

#ghinksfreegame #ghinkshack #blackwomenincreativetech

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