Endless variation is an accurate way to describe what we've come to know as the "email signature." Is there really a right way? No, but there are definitely ways to be wrong.
What to include:
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, 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.
xxx.xxx.xxxx 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.