*UPDATE: Here are instructions on how to add the email signature to Outlook*
Did you know that CC has an email signature generator? The generator was launched in 2016 when CC introduced the new college logo. It’s very easy to use — you enter in your name, contact information, and office/department area in the form fields and the generator formats the signature automatically. Just copy the formatted signature and paste it into your email application. You may also include additional information like a cell phone number, office location, and preferred pronouns to reflect diversity and inclusion efforts at the college.
Signatures were adopted as a best-use practice for email communications in the mid-1990s, with sender information appended at the end of emails with very limited formatting. In the early 2000s, signatures were equivalent to “digital business cards” in most corporate businesses and they included images, complex font formatting, colors, and even animated GIFs. Quotes and inspirational sayings also became a fond feature. The prevalence of social media has led to organizations and individuals adding links and icons for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others.
These features, however, can make an email signature look very busy as well as present other issues: some email applications block images, swapping an error icon for your carefully chosen image or graphics; emails with too many images or links in the signature could be mistaken for SPAM, dumping your important email into a junk folder; and inspirational quotes may be viewed as unprofessional or controversial if the receiver does not agree with the sentiment. These issues can be problematic for the brand of the organization, or in our case, the college.
Here are some interesting stats:
269 billion emails are sent each day worldwide
An average office worker receives 121 emails per day
Percentage of emails that are opened in North America: 34%
The formatted signature from the generator is the standard at Colorado College, and all college employees should use the email signature consistently. The signature should be viewed as another significant way that Colorado College expresses and uses its brand. Think of the many emails you send per day and to as many audiences; as a communicator working at CC, you are responsible for making sure the CC brand has a good impression on various audiences. Using a simple, strong, and consistent email signature will help the college honor its strategic goal of everyone communicating in a cohesive voice.
We’ve simplified the appearance of the email signature. When we launched the first email signature generator in 2016, it used a variety of fonts, stylings, and HTML code to generate the signature. We tried to make it appear as close to the CC-branded business cards as possible. The email signature is now simplified by:
- using only one font
- limited stylings (italic and bold)
- less HTML so that the signature appears consistent in most email applications
Here is how the HTML code would show up in some email applications with some issues in the styling (left), and how the updated signature has addressed the issues and simplified the styling by using less HTML coding (right):
The email signature is on-brand because it uses:
- Verdana, which is one of CC’s official typefaces that is present on both PC and Mac computers
- only black and gold colors to reflect the college’s brand
- the college’s main address is consistent for all employees, as well as formatting for email addresses, telephone numbers, and the college’s web address
Here are some best practices when using the CC email signature:
- keep formatting consistent; do not change fonts or stylings
- Use “Office of…” or “Department of … “ when adding the area where you work
- do not change the college physical or web addresses
- do not add images or icons to the signature
- all options for your information can be used on a signature, but consider the length of your email signature and the amount of information you will present
- keep personalized information, like quotes, to a minimum, or consider placing them above your signature; keep the signature area clean and consistent
- Consider how some information expresses a personal identity rather than the college brand when adding quotes, social media links, etc.
Below are examples of my email signature when I apply information from every field in the generator (left). See how long the email signature becomes when I add too much information? On the right is the signature that I actually use in my emails. Notice how simplified the signature becomes with less information and how the area stays clean when I place my custom message above the signature? This is a good example of using best practices.
Build your email signature by using the easy generator to communicate effectively and to reflect the CC brand! There are also signatures for employees at the Fine Arts Center and KRCC.